I love live blogs and have used them extensively in the past to conduct live Q&A sessions with significant people in the industries I've worked in. Working at an event company now though I'm going to turn their power on our live events. They offer a fantastic array of opportunities to enhance what's going on, both for those attending and those unable to. Here are some of the things we'll be using live blogs for at upcoming PEX events.
- Live commentary of the event – ok, this one might seem a no brainer as a live commentary is fundamentally what a live blog is all about. In an event context however it has a number of benefits.
- People don't need to take notes. You're providing a run down of what's going on, so it frees the delegates to pay attention to the speakers. The blog will be available to delegates after the event so they can recap.
- It'll be displayed live on screens throughout the venue. Written words provide nice reinforcement of what we're hearing, so seeing the commentary live on screen at the venue is a great way for the subject matter to really sink in.
- Mashing it with Twitter – the live blog makes it really easy to pull in tweets about the event. You can usually do this by selecting the hashtag or Twitter accounts you want to pull into it. So it's a nice and simple way of both getting input from delegates at the event and of course from people tuning in purely through the live blog.
- Testing the temperature of the room – there may be times during the day when you want to get the opinion of people. With most professionals owning smart phones now you can easily do this via your live blog by posting up a poll. That way you can get the opinion of people about the topics being discussed there and then. Pretty cool.
- Additional content – most live blogs allow you to embed audio and video into the live blog, so why not conduct a live interview with a speaker or sponsor at the event, maybe even some vox pox with a delegate?
- Make the event debrief easy – this is a really exciting one. As any professional will tell you, whenever you go to an event or tradeshow you often have to debrief your colleagues on what you learnt at the event. How about this instead? We're planning to give each delegate the embed code for the live blog, so that their colleagues can embed it into the intranet and actually follow what's happening live. Of course as you have control over the embed html you can add a link to your site for SEO purposes. Which brings me to.
- Blogger outreach – giving a blogger the embed code for their site is one thing. To make it more likely they'll do that however, why not invite the blogger along to the event and make them the guest editor of the blog for a particular part of the show? If they're guest editing they'd be mad not to embed the chat into their blog right?
Just a few ideas there of how you can use live blogs to make your events a bit better. Have you used a live blog at any of your own events? Let me know in the comments.