Event organizers: Nine tips for live tweeting your conferences and other events

(Ten is so clichéd, and I only had 9 anyway)

Live tweeting your conference as the host has come a long way. It’s become standard practice now and many entities (companies, non-profits, media) are doing it successfully – engaging conference participants, broadcasting the conference beyond its venue and greatly multiplying reach, extending the brand of the conference and its hosting organization, and subsequently creating buzz and increasing followers.

Having been to many conferences, meetings, trade shows, conventions and events where live tweeting was done well (and sometimes not so well), I will share nine reminders for conference hosts and organizers:

1: Have a pre-event strategy in place to use Twitter to build your audience beforehand, to encourage registrations and increase ticket sales. Twitter is a great lead generator!

2: When it’s your brand or company hosting the event or conference, YOU should be the live tweet moderator. You need to monitor the conversation, retweet, acknowledge others, thank, participate!

3: Don’t depend on attendees to tweet your main concepts and important subjects. It’s your conference and your chance to highlight what’s important to your audience and brand.

4: Live tweet from your OWN brand’s Twitter account. You want the buzz to come back to you – creating more attention and followers. There are exceptions to this rule, but if you must have a separate conference account, be sure to cross-promote your brand. You don’t want to lose alll that momentum and attention once the conference is over. Tweeting live from YOUR event from YOUR main account increases your brand equity!

5: If you absolutely have no one on staff who can be dedicated to day-of conference tweeting from your organization’s main page, it’s ok to hire ghost tweeters with in-depth knowledge of your conference’s theme, content, purpose and audience, and related products and services. But he/she should still tweet under your account’s name.

6: Frequency of your tweets during the conference? This depends on the size of the event and the amount of content but I recommend 3-6 per hour, not including retweets and @ replies.

7: Promotion: Create a hashtag (#) for the event and put this on all your materials prior. Use it while tweeting, post it live on-site at your venue, and encourage everyone to use it.

8: Live tweeting isn’t just broadcast media – you are hosting a sideline conversation in conjunction with your conference – providing additional content and commentary that enriches the experience for all.

9. Follow up! Be sure to follow-back the new followers you gain during the conference – and thank and acknowledge everyone who tweeted your content.