Social media strategy for live events: Working on-site


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Social media strategy for live events: Working on-site

Earlier in June, we talked about the planning stage of social media strategy for events coverage. Now that we are fully prepped for our main event, it’s time to map out a strategy of execution.

We all know the theory of Murphy’s Law—”Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”—and it certainly rings true for live events. All the time and effort put into the preparation stage will show their worth once you are truly working on the fly.

Consider yourself “live” in these recommendations for social promotion on the day of your event:

Get acquainted with the space.

We’ve arrived! First things first.

Get to know the space where the event is taking place. Almost every event I have produced has been in a space I’ve only just arrived in. For larger events, such as those in convention centers, it may make sense to arrive a day earlier. The ability to navigate the area is important, because timing is essential. Events require us to be in two places at once sometimes, so the ability to get from point A to point B with ease will prove very important!

Early arrival also gives me an opportunity to collect any “calm before the storm” photos, which are always nice to have for later promotion.

Greenbuild 2018 auditorium space

Capture the space before the hordes arrive.

Communicate with the team.

As basic as this sound, it is vital. We all need a little help every now and again, and if your team knows where you may have scheduling conflicts or the aforementioned double-booking snafu, they can assist.

This time allows you to communicate those needs. I always have a “shot list” and/or a “quote list” that I give to my entire team in advance. That way, they know where I have holes, and can assume responsibility for capturing and sending that content to me in real time.

Check multimedia needs.

Another great aspect of arriving early is the opportunity to test out wifi connections and possible auxiliary connections, if necessary.

We always have a live-feed plan in place, should everything be accommodating once we arrive. If we simply cannot receive the connection we want, we will scrap certain live-feed plans we may have originally wanted. A live video that freezes and only captures every fourth word isn’t fair to audiences.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have any video included in your promotion. In such cases, we still capture short recordings or behind-the-scenes moments, and use those primarily for Instagram and Twitter.

Use stories.

Speaking of Instagram, stories are an excellent opportunity to showcase live happenings. I connect my Instagram stories to my Facebook stories—and just like that, I could have 500–1,000 views on an image that I couldn’t necessarily have used as a whole new post, but that was still worthy of a share. It’s a live album, essentially.

Get the good shot.

It’s always worth getting the shot. When I first started in this gig, I was not confident about putting myself front and center to get the best possible photograph. However, part of the job of a social media manager is to be a good smart phone photographer, and so, it’s my job to do whatever I need to capture an image that is polished and credible, and—most importantly—that wants desperately to be shared!

Amal Clooney and Mahesh Ramanujam at Greenbuild 2018

Get right up front so you can capture the speakers: here, Amal Clooney and USGBC CEO Mahesh Ramanujam.

Thank the participants.

There are many hands that go into making an event a success. Social media is the perfect opportunity to lend some extra love to partners, sponsors, members, volunteers and any of the other individuals or companies that have helped make an impact. The same policy goes for any formal awards someone may be giving or receiving.

Example of a thank-you social post from Greenbuild Mexico

Post a shout-out to your event sponsors—in this case, for Greenbuild Mexico 2019.

Create content for both attendees and remote fans.

After my second Greenbuild final report, I began to notice that there was a high trend of people engaging with my content from a desktop device rather than a mobile device. This told me that there were tens of thousands of people not at the event who were nonetheless interested in what was happening at Greenbuild.

Since then, for all of my events, I consider the audience both on-site and off-site. Their interests are different, and it is important to acknowledge that as you create dynamic and interactive content.

These are tips that I could never have provided when I first started at USGBC. Five years and at least 100 events later, these are unique tools of the trade that I couldn’t live without!

Stay tuned for our final blog in this series: the post-production and reporting process.

Read about planning for live events coverage

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