Tips for Covering an Event Live on Social
One of my favorite aspects of social media is live coverage for events like industry conferences, speeches, and media frenzies. I love people able to give people across the world live insight that allows them to feel like they're right here next to me.
There's a two effective ways to cover an event on social media:
- Facebook Live / Periscope - Facebook Live is a great way to broadcast video of what is happening live. Your audience can tune in, ask questions, and even go back later to watch if they didn't catch it live.
- Twitter - Allow your audience to feel like they are there with you by sharing text, photos, and videos as well as network with other attendees using the event's hashtag.
I prefer the latter. Through Twitter you are able to give your audience a much more well-rounded and meaningful experience.
What You Need
- A Laptop or Tablet (with a keyboard) - The one thing that most people get wrong when it comes to social media coverage is that it can all be done from a smartphone. However to get it done quickly and with the most quality, a laptop or a tablet with a full keyboard is vital. You can do much more (and a lot faster) when you have the full computing power of a laptop behind you. And it's a bonus not to have autocorrect messing everything up for you.
- An Internet Connection - I prefer to use wifi however I always bring along my Verizon enabled iPad with keyboard along with me just in case the event space's wifi is on the fritz or is overloaded with other guests.
- An Old Fashioned Notebook & Pen - You know, to take notes during the event, duh!
- A Speaker List - Chances are the event coordinators have put together a speaker list or a run of show. Usually these are posted online but if you can't find one, ask!
Before the Event
- Do Your Research - Take your speaker list and look up every speaker online. Read about them and try to find a headshot so you can put a face to the name beforehand. Also look them and the organization they are representing on Twitter and make note of their handles. This will help you attribute credit to them faster and easier during the actual event. I like to write them all in next to their names on the speaker list.
- Charge Up! - Quite possibly the most crucial part is making sure you have enough juice to get you through the day. Plus in all of your electronics the night before. It's also a good idea to invest in some good battery packs that you can use to recharge on the go. The worst part about big events like this is that there are never any open outlets when you need one.
- Get a Good Night Sleep - Seriously, it helps.
"The Day Of" Tips
- Eat Breakfast - There's nothing worse than that low-blood sugar feeling a couple hours in. It would also be a good idea to bring a snack, just in case.
- Get There Early and Find a Close Seat - Sit close so you can get good pictures. It's not rocket science!
- Pay Attention - Pay attention to every little detail and every word and simultaneously register how that could be valuable to your audience and share it with them. This includes witty or entertaining copywriting too.
What to Share
- Play-By-Play - Announce speakers, show what's happening, and network with other attendees.
- Behind the Scenes - There is a lot that goes on that even the regular guests don't get to see. If you get a chance to see something special, share it with the world.
- Quotes - Quotes are the bread and butter of live social media coverage. They're very simple. Listen for noteworthy statements, type them out, attribute them to a Twitter handle (you did the research about the speakers ahead of time), and tweet on. Once you get used to it, you'll get pretty quick at it.
- Photos - Really SHOW them what they're missing!