Some tips about how to get the most out of live-tweeting from a conference or event.
This week it is the epic Institute of Fundraising annual conference. Three days, 100+ speakers, a festival of fundraising best practice, shared learnings and inspiration.
This year the #IoFFC programme is huge with ten different streams (such as digital and philanthropy) and sessions graded by level (intermediate or advanced). If you are there, it must be impossible to choose which sessions to go to. If you are not there it is pretty hard to follow the busy hashtag as there are sometimes nine sessions going on at once and hundreds of tweets coming out each day.
Thank goodness for the handful of live-tweeters, working hard to share key points and their top takeaways in a way that is easy to follow (examples at the end).
How to get the most out of live-tweeting
If you are at a conference or event and planning to live-tweet, here are some tips about how to do it.
- Sit at the front. You’ll take better photos of slides which will be easier to read.
- Use threads. This makes it easier for everyone to follow the whole session you are at. Whether you are live-tweeting every important point or just one or two key takeaways, do it in a thread.
- If you are at an event with more than one session, start a new thread for each session.
- On the first tweet, include the name of the session and who is presenting, including their @names if they have one. Include a screenshot of the title slide or something else to make the tweet stand out.
- Don’t worry if you miss an important point. You don’t have to cover everything. It can be quite stressful to try and keep up.
- Include the event hashtag in each tweet.
- If you are including images, especially of slides, use alt text to describe what the image is showing. If this is text, transcribe it (or better still include it in your tweet). If it is a graph or chart, try to describe the meaning. Make your tweets accessible to everyone.
- RT the first tweet from your thread(s) at the end of the conference or the next day when people are back at their desks and wanting to reflect on what they have learnt. Your thread(s) will help them.
(NB Some people don’t like using threads because individual tweets can’t be included in a Wakelet or equivalent later. Personally I think it is more important to live-tweet in a way which helps someone follow everything you have shared. If you fire out lots of individual tweets, some will be missed.)
Why not have a go!
Live-tweeting isn’t for everyone. You may prefer to make your notes using a pen and pad to write or draw, or like to type longer-form notes. Or just sit and listen. We all have different ways of taking in new information. You need to get the most out of the event you are at.
But if you are confident on Twitter it can be a great way to take notes in a way that builds your profile and benefits others at the same time. If you can listen and tweet (and photograph) all at the same time you are good to go. Get on the wifi with your phone, tablet or laptop and start sharing.
You may find that having ready-made notes in this format, makes it easier to turn them into a blog post or report later. At the least you will have a thread (or series of threads) which you can look back on and / or share with colleagues.
Here are some examples of people live-tweeting or sharing their takeaways from each session they go to, from day one of the conference:
- Richard Sved – for example this thread from Jo Kerr and Roderick Morgan’s session about virtual reality
- Howard Lake – eg thread from multicultural in-memory and legacy fundraising session by Meg Abdy and sketchnotes from lessons from the frontline of resistance session by Paul de Gregorio and Michelle Ehrhardt
- Ruth Smyth – take away summary from how to lose a supporter in 10 days by Nikki Bell and Viki Hayden Ward
- Robin Peake – eg supporter experience: less talk more action by Lesley Pinder and Charlotte Forrest.
Can I help you?
Get in touch if I can help you with content planning, training or strategy. I work with charities of all shapes and sizes. I can help give your comms or digital processes a healthcheck and ideas injection.
I also live-tweet at conferences and events. If you are a conference organiser, don’t assume that there will be delegates who can help your expertly curated event reach a wider audience. I can help. Please get in touch.