by Lily Bradic
Live-tweeting is an excellent way to get more mileage out of your offline activity. It can help your brand gain traction with its Twitter audience, attract new followers, and gain more attendees at your next event. Here’s what you need to know — before, during, and after:
Before the event
Whether you're live-tweeting a store opening, a convention, or even the launch party for a new product line, you’ll need to start preparing the week before your event. Make a list of the names and Twitter handles of everybody who will be speaking. This will be crucial for reference during the talks.
If your schedule is strict and you’re positive no segments will overrun, you can plan certain Tweets in advance and set them to send during the event. Announcements about new speakers taking the stage, Q&A sessions, product demos and the like can all be scheduled before you arrive at the venue. This way, you have less to worry about once the event is underway.
It’s also a good idea to decide on a hashtag in advance — and start using it in the weeks leading up to the event. Any promotional media displayed at the event (Powerpoint presentations, projected images, banners, and flyers) should also include the hashtag and encourage attendees to join in the conversation online. You want as many people to get behind this as possible. You could even incentivise participation with freebies or prize draws. Hashtags should be short and easy to remember.
During the event
If you are integral to the smooth running of the event, it’s not a good idea to try live-tweeting it as well. Find a member of staff who knows how to work Twitter, and who can focus completely on the task in hand. For day- or weekend-long events, you may wish to alternate between several people. Accuracy is crucial here, so it’s not worth the risk of your designated Tweeter burning out by lunchtime (or cowering under a table because they're still seeing hashtags when they close their eyes) .
Where equipment is concerned, a smartphone with a good camera is essential. If you can tweet with speed and precision on your iPhone, and you’re familiar with the content of the event, you may not need anything else.
However, if you don’t know some of the speakers very well, or if an employee or volunteer is tweeting on your brand’s behalf, consider bringing a laptop or iPad to allow for quick fact-checking. Search the venue for power outlets and don’t forget your iPhone/laptop charger.
Some tips for the tweets themselves:
After the event
Remember to thank your staff, your speakers and your attendees. If you have another event planned in the near future, remind your followers of this. Respond to any event feedback, and continue to use the hashtag to share any images, thoughts and articles relating to the event.
Have any tips for live-tweeting? Share them below!