There are dozens of great digital marketing conferences every year. SEJ Summit, Pubcon, State of Search, Content Marketing World – the list goes on and on. There is no way for any one person to attend all the conferences in our industry. Which is why live tweeting and blogging conferences is so popular. We all suffer from at least a little FOMO.
It can also be a great way to grow your blog and your social media channels. Live coverage can range from live tweeting to sharing behind the scenes pictures on Instagram or Snapchat to writing full blog posts covering your favorite sessions.
The Benefits of Live Conference Coverage
We all suffer from FOMO – the fear of missing out. What if Google lets something slip and I wasn’t there to witness it?? What if I miss out on making great connections because I didn’t make it to the after parties? What if Scott Stratten shares an awesome new strategy that would help me grow, but I wasn’t there??
Live coverage allows people who couldn’t make the conference to still get a taste of the action, so sharing this content gets eyes on your blog and social media channels.
People attending the conference tend to follow the hashtags, so using the right one could help you connect with people IRL. Plus, conferences themselves tend to like and retweet articles and photos from their own conference, which could give you some added exposure.
5 Ways to Offer Live Conference Coverage
There are several ways to offer live conference coverage, but really anything is up for grabs. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat. Just make sure you offer live coverage that makes sense for each platform.
Here are a few ideas.
Live-Tweet Your Favorite Sessions
Share pictures, stats, and sound bites live from the sessions you attend. Gauge how often to tweet on your following and how active you normally are. If you go from Tweeting once a week to 200 times in one day, you may find yourself unfollowed. If you are generally pretty active, then you might be just fine. A good rule of thumb is five to seven tweets per hour-long session. But if you are at, say, an Apple conference, you could definitely get away with more. It really depends.
Make sure to use the correct hashtag – don’t just guess. For example, Pubcon’s hashtag is just #pubcon not #pubcon2016 or #pubconvegas. Also, make sure to look up the speaker’s Twitter handle and include that as well.
Facebook Live A Panel or Part of A Session
Facebook Live allows you to easily share a live streaming video with your entire newsfeed. Currently, Live videos get a ton of engagement, as everyone in your feed gets a notification that you are live. That makes them an ideal choice for conference coverage!
Just make sure the sound is decent and include the hashtag for the conference in the description. Here is an example of a well-done Facebook Live at SEJ Summit.
Watch more of our SEJ Facebook Live sessions on our Facebook channel.
Write A Recap Post
Recap posts are a great way to share what you learn, and an easy way to add to your editorial calendar. You don’t need to offer blow-by-blow coverage, either. This post I wrote for Content Marketing World includes just a few lessons learned from sessions I attended.
You could also write a post with takeaways from the whole conference and share one lesson from each session. For example, “5 Lessons from Content Marketing World 2015”, or similar. I really like this one by BlueGlass titled 84 Things We Learned Last Week at Pubcon. I read it mostly because I was impressed by the number!
I do recommend planning the sessions you want to attend ahead of time and considering what sessions people who aren’t in attendance would most likely be interested it. For example, a keynote by a Google executive or a celebrity is likely to be popular.
Be sure to share your posts as soon as possible to get the most use out of event hashtags. For example, since it is unlikely that people are searching the Pubcon hashtag two weeks after the event, we publish our day one recap the next day.
Share Behind the Scenes Pictures on Instagram or Snapchat
One of the best parts of attending a conference is the after parties and networking events. Instagram and Snapchat are an ideal place to share candid photos from after parties. (Just be sure they are appropriate!) Also, make sure to tag the people in your photos and use the correct hashtag.
Share Selfies (And Photos With Other Attendees!)
Conference selfies are a great way to show how much fun you are having. But, they can also be a great networking tool. Ask a new friend to take a selfie, share it on Twitter with the conference hashtag and tag their Twitter handle.
Or, you can be cool like Matt Siltata and bring a prop to encourage people to take photos. (It is worth mentioning that Matt’s beard has its own Twitter handle, because of course it does.)
— Matt Siltala (@Matt_Siltala) October 12, 2016
Get Your Networking On
Offering live coverage of a conference is a pretty easy way to grow your online presence. But it can also be a great way to network, both online and in real life. “Hey, it has been great talking to you! Can we take a selfie for me to include in my recap post?” is an easier ask than “Hey, we should do something…sometime.”
Want to learn more about how to get the most out of networking at conferences? Check out this episode of Marketing Nerds with Kelsey Jones, Debbie Miller, and Amanda Russell.
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