Turning Your Offline Event into an Online Frenzy

One of our favorite activities in the social media division at Metaverse is helping brands turn their offline live events into an online social media buzz fest.  Recently we’ve helped with the Mission Control launch of Rick Smolan’s globally crowdsourced media project The Human Face of Big Data sponsored by EMC and Cisco Systems.

Mission Control The Human Face of Big Data ©AndreaFischman.com

Earlier this summer, we dove into events with the World Science Festival, live tweeting everything from Oliver Sacks’ theory of reawakening the brain through music to screen siren Hedy Lamar’s life as an early inventor of GPS and Bluetooth technology (seriously)!

Based upon our success, here are some tips on ramping up the social media quotient on your next event:

*  Planning makes perfect. Don’t wait until the last minute to consult with your social media team. Pull us in as early as possible in the planning process.  We can provide important information and suggestions that can affect the ultimate success of the event online.  For example, we may take a look at the speaking agenda and suggest adding 5 minutes to take from the Twitter-sphere to add an interactive element to the presentation.  We can also provide information on which speakers have large digital footprints and would make sense to involve in pre & post show online promotion.

Live tweeting presenter @aaronkoblin of @google “The Art of Data” ©AndreaFischman.com

* Promote and publish #hastags. If a #hashtag falls in the social media forest, does anyone hear it?  Not if they don’t know about it.  You’d be surprised the number of events I’ve attended where no one actually knows the hashtags being used.  Make sure to put on signage in the room, on handouts/brochures, and on the live streaming feed.

* Promote speaker handles.  A corollary of the above—if the speaker has an intro slide on screen, why not add his or her twitter handle so others in the room know, connect and tweet?  Add to other handouts and info of the event as well.

* Provide speaker presentations.  A little secret about “live” tweeting: it goes much smoother—and will be more engaging—if your community manager has an opportunity to become familiar with the content prior to the actual event.  Caution: handing over a presentation with visuals onlyis not particularly helpful.  Try to get speaker to provide at least talking points.  If that doesn’t work, let your social team do a brief Q&A ahead of time with the speakers—that can either be used after as a blog post, or hosted on Twitter as a Q&A.

Rick Smolan at Mission Control for The Human Face of Big Data ©AndreaFischman.com

* Location, location, location.  The old real estate mantra applies: pay attention to where you place your social media team at the event.  Make sure we’re not an after thought, and include us in plans and give us a sightline of the speakers if you expect us to live tweet.  We need visual contact to provide context for the tweeting, and to help capture behind-the-scenes pictures that resonate on social media.  Oh, and give us a table with power accessible to set-up.  We know they are called laptops, but tweeting and blogging at the speed of light requires a bit of room—and really, you don’t want us in the midst of your guests pulling focus away from the presenters.

* Location, location, location (part 2). Set-up a special FourSquare location that allows attendees to check-in and easily share their activity across social networks.  You can also provide tips and special for attendees.  You’ll need to plan this well in advance.

* Call the experts.  No need to feel overwhelmed.  Metaverse has you covered.  Reach out to me at jp(at)metaversemodsquad.com for more.

JP Buchmeyer, VP Digital Engagement, @jpbuchmeyer, Jp(at)metaversemodsquad.com

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