You’ve been hired to do LIVE social media coverage at an event and you’re not sure where to start. Keep in mind that events are fast moving. There are no do-overs. Once you miss something, you miss it, so it is important to be prepared. Take a look at these 6 important tips.
Tip #1: Be clear on what the event is about (i.e. objective, expected attendance, etc.), so you know what the coverage entails and the size team you need. You can get this information from the event planner or point person.
Tip #2: Have the proper equipment. Know which technology you are using – mobile phones, tablets, video stabilizers, professional equipment. To be the fastest and most nimble for social media coverage purposes, you should be using mobile devices. The exception is if you have a professional camera that has WiFi capability and you are sending photos to a team member. Most importantly, have portable chargers in case your device batteries run low.
Tip #3: Create an event hashtag. Be sure there is a unique, event-specific hashtag to easily search your event posts. Feel free to use others, but that unique hashtag is key. It makes it easier to find your attendees’ posts rather
than sifting through an existing hashtag. Imagine how much fun that would be to sift through a popular hashtag when you’re moving at a fast pace. I can still search the event hashtags for my clients’ past events and look at the story told.
Tip #4: Tell a story. Your coverage from start to finish should tell the story of what happened at the event.
- Get a program from the event planner in advance for two reasons: (1) so that you know what to expect throughout the event and (2) to develop your event coverage strategy (i.e. what to cover and when).
- Find out any key moments expected to happen that may not be listed on the program. Explain that you will keep the information confidential but you would like to be in position to get the best footage.
- Get notified of any special guests or dignitaries attending so they can be captured.
- Request to be included in any arranged photo ops so that your coverage can be live.
- Be on the lookout for spontaneous, cool things happening that will set that event apart from others. That may be creative elements of the event or the way the attendees are interacting.
Tip #5: Create FOMO for the next event. Viewers should look at the coverage and feel like they missed out on a great event. Strive to recreate the essence and vibe of the event through your social media posts.
Tip #6: Collect footage for the next event. Whether there is a professional photographer onsite or not, social media coverage should be capturing key moments that spontaneously occur. There are things you will capture that neither photographers or videographers are equipped to get. Remember, you are nimble, fast-moving, and have a creative set of tools you’re using. Leverage those things.
Bonus: Figure out how to co-exist with photographers and videographers on site. Be sure you get what you need; that can be done with assertiveness and consideration.
Suzzette Turnbull is a social media speaker and trainer. Also, author of The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started with Social Media.