If you run a public-facing hybrid event, then you should leverage Twitter to foster attendee engagement, information sharing, collaboration and overall goodness. While many great articles have been posted regarding Twitter integration for physical or digital events, we’d like to provide 10 Twitter tips specifically related to hybrid events.
1) Twitter ID’s on name tags and digital profiles
During registration, ask users for their Twitter ID. For on-site attendees, include the Twitter ID onattendee name tags. For virtual attendees, auto-populate the user profile with the attendee’s Twitter ID. Now, wherever attendees navigate within the hybrid event, other attendees will know their Twitter handle, in addition to their name.
2) Build a Twitter List
In addition to your attendees, ask exhibitors and speakers for their Twitter ID’s. Once you’ve collected them all, build Twitter Lists! You may want to create one for attendees, one for exhibitors and one for speakers. Encourage your community to follow these lists, as they’re a great way to get to know people in advance of your hybrid event.
3) Use a single hash tag
No need to create separate Twitter hash tags for the on-site and virtual audiences. A single hash tag serves as the “glue” that binds together the two audiences. One of the most powerful aspects of a hybrid event is watching the on-site and virtual audiences engage with one another.
4) Promote the hash tag
At the on-site event, create prominent signage that includes the Twitter hash tag. A large banner right inside the entrance works well. In the virtual extension, make liberal use of “digital signage” to generate awareness of the hash tag. In addition, when generating tweets from the virtual platform, auto-append the hash tag in the tweet.
5) Promote your own Twitter ID
Your Twitter ID serves as the “host” for the hybrid event, so don’t be shy about promoting and plugging it. After all, it’s your event, which means that attendees should be following you! At the on-site event, the “hash tag signage” should also include a “Follow us on Twitter” call-to-action. In the virtual extension, include areas where attendees can “one click follow” your Twitter account.
6) Promote well in advance (on Twitter)
Leverage your Twitter ID to promote your event well in advance. I’m talking months, not weeks. Generate some excitement and build-up to the event by announcing new speakers, sharing video clips of the presenters and writing blog posts (that you’ll share on Twitter, of course!).
7) Create Twitter Polls
Use a service like Twtpoll to engage with your attendees and ask them for feedback in advance (or after!) your event. It’s a great way to gain valuable input, that you can use towards planning next year’s hybrid event.
8) Promote your other social media channels
The outreach for your hybrid event shouldn’t be limited to Twitter, of course. Use Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, flickr and other channels to generate awareness and engagement. Twitter can then be used to promote your other channels.
9) At sessions, take questions via Twitter
Be sure all of your speakers are trained to acknowledge and interact with the virtual audience. This audience includes folks who are online in the virtual extension, as well as folks who are following the dialog on Twitter (solely). Speakers should ensure that at least 50% of the questions answered come from the virtual audience, leaving the other 50% to the on-site audience. Assign a moderator to each session, who can assist the speaker(s) by reviewing the tweet stream and identifying questions to answer.
10) Run Twitter contests
Run contests that leverage Twitter as the distribution vehicle. For instance, give 5 clues (via Twitter) throughout the day and challenge attendees to find the answers. Instead of running separate contests for on-site and virtual attendees, hold a single contest that all attendees can take part in.
Twitter can be a highly effective tool for events. We’re sure this list can go on much longer, but we’ll leave the rest for you. Leave a comment below to let us know some tips that we missed!
Post contributed by Dennis Shiao