Twitter expands the reach and engagement of a national scientific meeting: the Irish Society of Urology

Ir J Med Sci. 2015 Sep;184(3):685-9. doi: 10.1007/s11845-015-1277-6. Epub 2015 Mar 5.


Background: Social media is the interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and web-based networks. This year, the Irish Society of Urology (ISU) expanded its involvement in social media with a preregistered Twitter hashtag (#ISU14) for the annual meeting.

Aim: The aim of this study was to highlight the use of Twitter at an annual national meeting held in 2014.

Methods: The Symplur healthcare analytics website was used to prospectively examine traffic related to the 2014 ISU Annual Meeting. This feature was used to generate statistics for the number of impressions, unique tweets (excluding retweets) and distinct contributors who used the indexing hashtag #ISU14. Individual tweets were assessed using the conference hashtag on the Twitter website.

Results: The total number of attendees at the conference was 119, and 99 individuals participated in Twitter using the conference hashtag (#ISU14). 31 % of attendees participated in tweeting at the conference. Over the course of the conference, a total of 798 unique tweets were generated, creating over 665,000 impressions in cyberspace. 590 (73.9 %) tweets were generated from attendees at the conference, while 26.1 % of tweets were from virtual followers. 702 (87.9 %) tweets were from urologists and 439 (55 %) tweets were of scientific nature. Tweet activity peaked during the guest lectures on both days.

Conclusion: Twitter use at the ISU has been shown to facilitate interaction between delegates and allows users to follow as well as participate from afar.

MeSH terms

  • Blogging*
  • Communication
  • Congresses as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Ireland
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Research Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Media / instrumentation*
  • Urology / standards*