Every month in Australia alone, 3 million people login to Twitter. There are over 500 million tweets sent every single day.
Large scale events draw, on average, 1.4 million mentions on social media.
These figures are mind-boggling! The great news is that your next event can easily make use of this phenomenal flow of user-generated content. Tap into this flow of freely created data to add a new layer of value for your delegates and sponsors alike.
One increasingly popular way to engage with Twitter content during an event is to install a live Twitter wall, also known as a Twitter stream. How does it work? In short, curated tweets about your event are displayed in real time at the venue whether it be on the exhibition floor, foyer or integrated into the show itself. It has the potential to boost attendee and external engagement, and can be used to strategically shape conversations.
A successful Twitter wall has a couple of key ingredients you need to be aware of. The first is a hashtag, which is a short and catchy phrase. It will become the unique identifier that helps collate every tweet about your event. Usually an event hashtag is the name of the event or a combination of the acronym of the event and the year, for example the Professional Conference Organisers Association utilised #PCOA17. The key is to keep it short, and to research it well to make sure it’s not in use by someone else.
The second ingredient is hashtag promotion. The hashtag should be included in every communication, social media post and email. You can even embed the twitter feed on your event website! This builds event awareness and enables people to join the conversation before, during and after the event. The hashtag should also be promoted throughout the event itself, you could feature it on the footer of the title slides, use it in the wifi network name and integrate into your MC’s notes just to name a few.
To maximise the impact of your Twitter engagement, you will need an app that will search for, collate and curate the tweets so they can be displayed at the event. A quick chat with your Event Manager and AV supplier should clarify how they can make this work for you. Popular apps include Cvent, Hootfeed and Twitterfall. There’s a lot of flexibility and customisation available through these apps. After all, you can’t control what people are tweeting, but you can monitor and filter the posts that make it to your Twitter wall.
For example, a common function of these apps is the inclusion of a profanity filter. You can nominate keywords to filter like ‘boring’ so negative posts aren’t highlighted. They can still be found by anyone searching for the hashtag, it just won’t be displayed on your official event feed. It may be prudent to have a moderator keeping an eye on the Twitter wall, as a form of quality control!
One strategic function we’d encourage you to utilise is the ability to schedule custom posts by the events team. They can be inserted into the Twitter stream throughout the event. Use these official tweets to promote sponsors or upcoming sessions.
Depending on the style of event, a live Twitter wall can be used to increase attendee engagement in sessions. For instance, you could use it for polls or Q&A with speakers. It can be easy to motivate attendees to post, as the lure of seeing their name on the event Twitter wall can be too much for some to resist!
Like all event customisations, you need to ask yourself if it will suit your audience. Will it boost engagement or drive a positive action? We find that millennials love to engage on Twitter, and so do most people in information-related fields.
If you are live-streaming at your events, the hashtag can be a great way to bring external content into the event. Twitter walls are simple to set up, lots of fun and are a strategic way to maximise value throughout your event. For those reasons, a Twitter wall is definitely worth considering for your next event or conference!
If you would like to learn more about how social media can be integrated into your event, get in touch with our Event Coordinator, Ashleigh.