How Social Media Enhances Events


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A webinar delivered on Friday May 21 for Small Act

How can social media make your event bigger than it is? How can you use it to expand the conversation beyond the attendees, turning event content into digital content and online engagement?


How can social media make your event bigger than it is? How can you use it to expand the conversation beyond the attendees, leveraging event content into digital content and online engagement?

Ashoka Social Media Director Tom Dawkins will talk about two major events with significant social media components: Tech4Society in Hyderabad, India and the Ashoka Future Forum in Washington, D.C. Tom will discuss what they did, what they learned, and how you can expand the reach of your next event using social media.

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How Social Media Enhances Events

  1. 1. Social Media @ Events Leveraging Your Events for Maximum Reach and Impact Tom Dawkins Social Media Director, Ashoka @tomjd / @AshokaTweets Delivered as part of the Small Act webinar series, May 21 2010.
  2. 2. What we’ll cover: Why this matters: <ul><li>Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Video Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Photo Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Audience participation </li></ul><ul><li>Livestreaming </li></ul><ul><li>Website Integration </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Integration </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons Learned </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>An event without a social media strategy is a wasted opportunity. Events now provide a platform much bigger than the event itself, allowing more people to participate in the conversation and experience elements of the content. While live experiences are unique and essential social media is a lever to push the impact of the event beyond those in attendance.
  3. 3. Blogging Have a dedicated person generating rapid-fire blog posts and reactions during the event, going beyond what is possible with tweets. For Tech4Society we ran a bloggers competition to find this person: Example of what they produced:
  4. 4. Twitter Before: Distribute an event hashtag to participants beforehand and promote during the event. For instance #tech4soc and #AshokaFF. During: Have a dedicated “live tweeter” maintaining a flow of commentary and quotes. Decide if you want to integrate the twitter stream into the event. After: Use the Twitter stream to continue conversation and for documentation.
  5. 5. Video Blogging A great approach to video is to create rapid-fire video pieces uploading throughout the events – interviews with participants, keynote speeches, etc. Eg: Ashoka Future Forum :
  6. 6. Photo Blogging You can upload photos in real-time to flickr . Distribute event tag to participants for them to use for their photo uploads, allowing you to aggregate all photos after the event. Eg. Ashoka Future Forum :
  7. 7. Audience Participation <ul><li>Twitter creates a ‘back-channel’ at events, allowing the audience to speak with each other while the event is going. Opinions differ on the value of surfacing this channel, as at Active 09 -> </li></ul><ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Additional layer of conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><li>Distraction/split-attention </li></ul><ul><li>You need to consider: </li></ul><ul><li>Distraction vs engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Is it integrated into sessions in a meaningful way? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it adding value to the conversation in the room? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Livestreaming Livestreaming allow people to watch the event live, the next best thing to being there. This is especially impactful if the presenters have a high-profile or a media partner promotes the stream (eg. Huffington Post and the Ashoka Future Forum ). Platform: Livestream is what we use , it allows you to create a virtual TV studio and archives your streams for on-demand viewing. You should also look into Ustream and .
  9. 9. Website Integration There are a number of easy-to-install modules that allow your website to become a hub for social interaction around your event. Eg: , http:// /live Resources: Twitter widgets Embedr Drupal modules Flickr app garden
  10. 10. Facebook Integration <ul><li>The newly-launched Facebook Live </li></ul><ul><li>plugins allows you to integrate Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>and your website around live event. </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t require any coding, just grab </li></ul><ul><li>the embed code from the Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Social Plugins page > Live Stream. </li></ul><ul><li>Now people can update their FB </li></ul><ul><li>status from your site, sharing more </li></ul><ul><li>virally their engagement with </li></ul><ul><li>your events as it shows up in </li></ul><ul><li>their friends timeline. </li></ul><ul><li>More info . </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate with wordpress . </li></ul>
  11. 11. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Requires dedicated person/people </li></ul><ul><li>These dedicated people can be volunteers if managed properly </li></ul><ul><li>Decide if you are using it to enhance event for participants or to open the event to external audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation, preparation, preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate </li></ul><ul><li>Have a plan B </li></ul>Additional reflections: Case-study of the Tech4Society event’s use of Social Media . #4Change Twitter chat on social media for events .
  12. 12. Questions?