Supporting an Event Through Social Media

Assess

You first need to assess the situation and ask yourself some simple questions.

What can we do?

Whether you are a team of 1, or a team of many, you have to start by asking yourself or your team what can we afford. That's both in time and money. Understanding your budget and having appropriate approvals in order are paramount. Obviously having a dedicated resource focused on the social media channels is best, but sometimes that's not possible.

When can we do it?

Everyone attending should think through their responsibilities while at the event and identify opportunities. Additionally, everyone should identify gaps. Sometimes you are too busy with customers or you have set up a private meeting and are unable to provide any coverage. Perhaps you are even the one presenting and would require someone else to cover YOU! 

Priorities & Expectations

Answering "what" and "when" will help you set priorities and expectations for you, your group, and your boss! You should be able to provide a basic outline of deliverables and a general timeline of communications.

Research

If you cover social media for a company, chances are you will not know everyone and everything about the event you are attending. It's recommended that you discuss the following topics with others attending the event so you are prepared.

Attendees

Know who is expected to be there. You'll be ready to set up photo opportunities and you can even have some pre-canned content related to that person ready to be used.

Events

Gather information on the events you will attend and cover. Be sure to note schedules so you can be in the right place at the right time.

Locations

Knowing the venue can prove to be invaluable. Familiarize yourself with the layout. You'll know where the quiet places are to hold interviews and where the best lighting is if you can't use a flash. You'll also be able to move around with the action by knowing hallways and doors to get you places faster.

In General

Talk with organizers if you can. Introduce yourself so that they recognize you later on. It's always a good thing to be friendly with the staff. They may even help you out or give you tips.

Prepare

You've gathered all your information and now it's time to actually get ready for the event. Here's just a few tips on starting things off on the right foot.

Communications Schedule

This should be second nature, but you should have a communications schedule that will help you with your coverage. This may include scheduled tweets of social media posts as well. Although some claim scheduling social media is faux pas, it's a valuable tool to augment your live communications.

What to Bring

I know, another thing that seems simple enough, but it's very important. Make sure you've got your tools with you. Bring battery chargers or converters. Get the WiFi password ahead of time. Enable wireless service on your devices. The list can be long, but it obviously saves you time and frustration if you plan it ahead of time.

Have Fun!

Well, that's about all I've got for this one. Most of this stuff seems straight forward, but when time runs short and you don't have all of these bases covered you invariably reflect on something that could have been better or an opportunity that wouldn't have been missed had you just planned for it. 

Thanks for reading!

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