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If you're a blogger and plan to attend a conference or industry event, you may want to consider live blogging as a means to expand your reach during the event. Live blogging allows you to be the gateway between the people who couldn't attend and the actual event which puts you front and center, even if you're just in the audience.
Here are a few tips to attract the most attention and get the most out of your live blogging experience.
Before the Event1. Set a schedule.
Don't go into an event assuming that you'll live blog the entire time. Create a schedule for the specific sessions or events you want to post during.
2. Find out if the event is going to have wi-fi.
Hongkiat suggests contacting the promoters to verify the wi-fi situation before you get there. Some events offer wi-fi for a fee, so make sure if this is the case you sign up ahead of time. Also, consider bringing back up. Events where a majority of the audience uses wi-fi can create connection problems, so consider bringing your own wi-fi hotspot.
3. Make a list of resources and assets you might need.
Since you'll have to be fast on your feet (or fingers) to live blog, make sure that all the resources and assets you might need are easy to access. You should have:
- A list of event designated hashtags
- A list of event speakers and attendees (and their Twitter handles)
- A schedule of sessions and event highlights
4. Consider your delivery method.
Microblogging can be delivered through different types of blogs or social media. So before you go, consider if posting to your blog or tweeting will be your primary method of spreading information.
5. Figure out which tech gadgets you need.
Don't get to the event only to realize that you brought the wrong equipment. Test out your gadgets before you get there and consider using something with a keyboard that is small and lightweight like a unltrabook or tablet, so that transporting and using your equipment will be easy.
6. Create drafts.
If you know you're going to write a post about a certain speaker or presentation, add some information before you get to the event. Set up posts with as much information as you can before you get to the event so you can post faster from the venue.
During the Event
7. Get their early and get a good seat.
If you're going to live blog, you should have one of the best seats in the house. This will help you stay focused and snag great photos and videos.
8. Accept that you will probably make some mistakes.
You can't expect your posts to be perfect if you're writing on a time crunch. Know going into it that you'll likely reread your content after the event and find errors, but that's okay (as long as your readers know you're live blogging).
9. Don't deliver a play by play.
Mashable says to avoid "the play-by-play (i.e. "Speaker X walks up to the podium, clears throat, and opens with quip about your mom.") in favor of more salient points ("Speaker X says trust is the most important factor in determining marketing success. Jack from Company Y challenges this.)."
10. Take lots of photos and video.
The point of living blogging is to help those who can't attend feel like they are there, so snap photos of details both big and small. Plus, after the event, Top Rank Blog suggests you can set up a Facebook album of the photos from the event.
11. Be a strong social figure.
Use the event hashtags and tweet at attendees as much as possible. This is how you connect with other attendees and get your content in front of them. Also consider creating your own hashtag so you can curate all your own posts from the event.
After the Event12. Follow up with the speakers.
Make sure to share the posts that you wrote about speakers with them. They'll enjoy the free PR and possibly share the post with their followers.
13. Write a recap that links to all your mini blogs from the session.
If you wrote many small posts during the event, go back and create a post that curates links to all the other posts for easy reference.
14. Email all of your connections the recap post.
When you reach out to the people you met at the conference, make sure to share your recap post in the correspondence. It's a nice way to reconnect and share the resources you've collected at the conference.
Live blogging from a conference or industry event is a great way to connect with a link-minded audience, so keep these easy steps in mind at your next event and let us know how it goes.
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