Don’t Live Tweet your event, Live Cheat it!

graphic showing how to use Twitter for events

It’s not exactly a new phenomenon, but live tweeting is still something that can bring out a cold sweat in many an event planner. When you have been assigned the unenviable task to be the ‘sportscaster’ of your event, you have to bring your followers a play-by-play of the action as it unfolds.  We’re talking speedy reporting skills, accurate observations and clever insight. Oh and don’t forget humorous commentary too.

Well fear not, we’ve got the tips to help you raise your game and become a master live tweeter, gaining lots of new followers and fans in the process. We like to call it Live Cheating. It’s a little like hosting a dinner party. You wouldn’t just whip something up on the night. By planning well in advance you give yourself the skills to pull off a showstopper and fool everyone into thinking that it’s a natural talent. So let’s start the prep;

Create some buzz

First and foremost, tell your followers about your event a few days beforehand. Being first with news will help focus a lot of attention on your Twitter account. Let them know that you’ll be live tweeting and ask if they have any questions for the speakers. This way you’re starting the conversation and preparing your audience for your live tweets. It’s also a good idea to rewrite your Twitter bio to suit the event and pin an event-related tweet to the top of your Twitter feed. Don’t forget to start using your event hashtag.

Can you handle it?

Preparation is key. So who’s coming to your event? Who are the VIP’s? Get a list of your keynote speakers and sponsors beforehand and make a note of their twitter handles. Are there any journalists or bloggers attending your event? You definitely want to know who they are. On the day there will be a lot of ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moments so the last thing you need is to be spending time looking up Twitter handles. Start building your relationships with your speakers and sponsors before the event, follow them and always include your event hashtag.

Pre-build your tweets

The more you have ready on the day, the easier your job will be. Prepare some tweets. Read your tweets as if you weren’t there and ask yourself ‘will my followers be able to understand it? Is there enough room for a retweet? Is it engaging?’ Keep it relevant to your sector, make sure your tweets are accurate and have no typos. Prepare some images that might grab attention. Run your eye over the presentations of your key speakers, see what topics they cover and get some inspiration. Don’t forget your sponsors. Before the event take some nice photos of your sponsors’ logos on banners in and around the auditorium. #happysponsor

A seat with a view

Nobody wants to see a blurry picture of a speaker, with a dozen heads in the way. Before the event, find a seat that is close to the stage and mark it reserved. Standing on chair at the back of the venue is not really an option. During the event, remember to get some photos of your speaker with their slides in the background. Slide content adds more context and will always encourage people to share your photo. Yes, add your event hashtag.

Remember the 15-minute check!

It’s always good to interact with your audience and followers. You’ll have lots going on so the only thing you need to keep at the back of your mind is to check your event hashtag every 15 minute to see what people are saying. This is often enough to retweet, favourite and reply to tweets. Monitoring your hashtag is a must to see how far your content is spreading, but be careful not to let it take from the task as hand. Remember that your followers are waiting for your regular event updates.

One thing at a time

Once you start, you can’t stop. If people are following you for as it happens news, then you can’t quit mid-way through. Remember to stock up on supplies so you don’t get hungry or thirsty. Sometimes live-tweeting means sitting through the entire event without moving. It takes up a ton of energy, so stay focused and don’t try to multi-task. Let someone else answer emails or update your Facebook account. Do one thing and do it properly.

That’s it, tweet* your little heart out!




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