By Mariam Bhacker, Associate, Inís Communications, and Jeffrey V. Lazarus, Secretariat Director and co-founder, Health Systems Global
Health Systems Global and the health systems research community have come a long way since Beijing. Our numbers have grown, the thematic working groups are hitting their stride, and despite a few hiccups with the Internet connection in Cape Town, online coverage of the Symposium was a resounding success.
And we’re not just tooting our own horn when we make that statement! Allow us to elaborate: between September 29 and October 3, the #HSR2014 hashtag was used 14,379 times by 1,457 people and reached a whopping 23,453,115 Twitter timelines. Tweet activity peaked on October 1, with a total of 3,499 Tweets.
If you’re not sure what that means in the grand scheme of things, we’ll admit it wasn’t up there with the UN General Assembly the week before (something to work towards for Vancouver!), but here’s how #HSR2014 faired in comparison to other healthcare conferences that week:
With resources like the live Twitter event tool “Twubs” and the daily Tweeted Times at their disposal, Symposium attendees (and those joining in from afar!) live tweeted sessions, shared resources, asked important questions, and drew connections between Symposium themes in ways that wouldn’t have been possible without online engagement. Indeed, such was the impact and buzz around these parallel discussions that several attendees left Cape Town vowing to get up and running on social media!
If you’re one of those people looking to get online, the image below displays the Top Tweeters at the Symposium, who along with the shortlisted nominees in the 2014 Health Systems Social Media Awards, are a great place to start building your network.
Speaking of networks, the team at Future Health System conducted a cool social network analysis of Symposium attendees.
We’ll also throw in eight tips for using social media at health-related events, which was adapted for Cape Town and discussed during the pre-Symposium social media briefing facilitated by Inis Communication.
If you’re wondering what to follow online now that #HSR2014 is over and #HSR2016 is just that bit too far on the horizon, our top 3 would be #UHC, #IRDS, and of course, #healthsystems.
To sign off, we’d like to thank all of you who participated and continue to engage with us online and on the blog. Thanks to you, we’re growing too and reaching wider and wider audiences everyday.