Here at Passle, we attend events regularly, and we’ve developed a bit of a strategy when it comes to using blogging and social media to create opportunities. A lot of this is about making contact with key people in a way that feels relevant to them (rather than, say, spamming or being otherwise annoying!)
Here are my four top tips for making the most of any event:
Don’t just turn up and wing it:
- Look at the agenda and decide who you want to talk to. Gather the Twitter handles of all the relevant people and keep them somewhere handy (whether a note app on your phone, or scribbled on a real notebook, whatever works for you). If you use Instagram, do the same thing there.
- Make a note of the event hashtag (and any other relevant ones).
- If the topics discussed are familiar to you (and/or you can find a version of the speaker’s talk elsewhere online), you can also draft some content to blog on the day. This will save you time on the day. Don’t schedule it unless you’re confident it won’t change.
- If you have already created Passle posts that are relevant to the event, schedule them to be shared on Twitter on the day, using the event hashtag and the handles of relevant people. If you don’t have a social media scheduler, keep the URLs somewhere handy, or post them first thing ‘early bird’ style. Buffer’s free version allows you to schedule up to 10 tweets so that could be worth your while.
- If you want to be really ambitious, you could take a page out of Aaron Orendorff and plot to take over an entire event.
As the heading suggests, head into key talks with the aim of creating a Passle post in real time. If you’ve made notes ahead of time this will be quicker, but you can also do it in the moment, as I have done. As there are time constraints I find that either summarizing the main points/tips (as I did here) or focusing on one particular point (as I did here) are the most effective tactics.
When you’re happy with the post, search for the conference hashtag in Passle’s Twitter picker and add the tweets of people attending the same talk as you. Then, once it’s live, share your post and thank those people for using those tweets. This will drive traffic back to your site again.
3. Social Media
Use social media to spread your content further.
- Share your Passle post on Twitter, don’t forget to tag relevant people and include the event hashtag.
- Take a picture or screengrab of your post on your phone, and share it to your Instagram account using the event hashtag. Change your profile’s biography link to a link to your Passle post, and direct viewers there. Chances are, there’ll be less competition for attention on Instagram so it’s worth doing.
- Don’t forget other networks, such as LinkedIn!
As well as spreading the word about your content, try to digitally engage in other ways with the event, for instance:
- Take photos of the speaker and/or key slides, and share them on Twitter using the event hashtag and the speaker’s handle. That tweet can then be included in your Passle posts (and the picture you’ve taken can be the featured image in the post).
- Engage delegates by asking questions on Twitter using the event hashtag (why not include a Twitter poll?)
- Go live on Twitter, using Periscope. Use this to livestream great talks, or interview other delegates. This will draw attendees to your Twitter page where they can hopefully find lots of links to your content.
4. After the Event
Here are some steps to take after the event:
- Edit your post. Beef it up, tidy any typos, add a better image etc.
- If you’ve created several Passle posts, create a new ‘Best of’ post with links to them, summarizing key takeaways from the event.
- Keep sharing these posts after the event on your social media channels, and any email newsletters you have.
- ISTATOY your post to key contacts. ISTATOY (I Saw This And Thought Of You) is a Passle tool that allows you to email your post to a specific contact and lets you know when they have clicked the link to your post.
- Advanced: download any recordings you’ve made on Periscope and edit them into a video summary of the event. Upload it to YouTube, Passle the video: create more content to share and ISTATOY that way!