Are you holding a conference or seminar to which the public or professionals are invited to attend? If you use the internet in any way to publicise your events, or you want to, consider what advantages Live Blogging the event might bring.
Five reasons why Live Blogging Matters
Live blogging enables you to
- find a larger audience for your event;
- give real value to event promotion for people online;
- make each event last beyond the day;
- encourage online discussion and raise the profile of your online accounts; and
- reach further as a lasting social object both during the event and afterwards.
1. Find a larger audience for your events
Some people won’t be able to attend your event. Some will not be able to come because you’re holding it in another country, or at a time when they can’t get away. Some will not be able to afford to pay for it, or won’t be able to give up the travel time or a full day away from the office.
Perhaps they just don’t know whether the event is for them and can’t take the risk with the limited information they have. If you don’t share your event online, these people are lost from your sphere of influence. Live blogging gives them an opportunity to be involved and to receive your messages.
Of all the people you tell about the event, only a small fraction will be able to attend in person. Live blogging creates a means by which a larger audience can attend, if only in a partial way. Have a look at your target audience and consider whether a section of them would benefit from viewing the event in a live blog instead of attending in person. What advantages would this bring you?
2. Promote your event with real value
When an event is live blogged, people who can’t commit to attending will see some of the value in being there. The live blogger can give a flavour of the discussion, but viewers can only participate in a limited way.
What they do get, however, is a clear sense of what the event is like without attending, and can work out with relatively little commitment, whether they should attend the next one. The live blog becomes a gift to your future audience, something useful they can share, and will want to share.
If you want to grow your events, Live blogging is a cost effective way to promote them both before, during and after they take place.
3. Make your event last beyond the day
A live blog is a real-time record of an event, but it also creates an archive of the event for people to view in future. A good blogger will be able to provide a commentary on the event whilst incorporating materials you provide them in advance – slides, screenshots, links to associated information about your speakers and their topics, photography, as well as contributions from the audience either in person or on twitter or via the blog itself.
All these elements can be brought together to make a compelling, informative record of the event that can stay online promoting your events long after the actual event is forgotten.
If you hold annual or quarterly events, a live blog archive becomes a great way to revisit the event before the next one, refresh your memory of what happened and re-energise your audience as you prepare for the next event.
4. Encourage online discussion
Social media is by its nature interactive, and live blogging is no different, though it is largely a one-way medium with contributions from one person or a team of bloggers. If you would like to encourage lively discussion about the event as it happens, this can be achieved most effectively by providing viewers and attenders with a range of ways to contribute, including commenting on the blog itself, emailing the blogger, or on twitter using a #hashtag tweets for future reference, providing a lively ‘backchannel’ to the simpler narrative of the blog itself.
Much lively discussion at an event is lost between the participants, and live blogging and twitter, together with encouraging attendees to write about the event online afterwards, can encourage richness and a continuation of themes well into the future.
5. Reach Further
Live blogging enables an event to be heard about by more people, attended by more people, and shared by more people. A live blog becomes a ‘social object’, which your advocates can use to demonstrate ideas and put your case to third parties. It can act as a recruiting device for speakers who will see their message carrying further than the room and find new readers on their blog or website. It can give your event a life beyond the room and the day it happened.
Live blogs have recently become quite a popular means of following popular breaking news stories. Recent research by the Reuters Institute suggests that many users see them as more balanced than news articles. You can read an article about the research here (pdf – page 85-88).
For more information about the Just Practising Live Blogging service, including evidence of the possible reach of my live blogging, or to book me for Live Blogging, see my Live Blogging services page.