25th July 2013 London, UK

It’s not just about tweeting links | Part 2

In my previous post, we looked at creative ways to use digital channels when organising event. Specifically we focused on how digital could help us from the planning stage to the point of promotion. Now, I’m going to continue the theme looking at delivery through to after the event and monitoring your success.

Delivery

It’s tempting to think that once people start walking through your door you can stop with the digital work and focus on the face-to-face stuff. But there’s still lots that digital can offer on the day of the event.

The most common is using a Twitter hashtag to live tweet during the event. This is a great way to allow people outside the room to see what is going on, and also to amplify the message. If you tweet, you’ll be reaching all your followers. But if your attendees tweet as well, they’ll be reaching all of their followers and you reach is multiplied considerably.

But it doesn’t have to be just text. If you can, why not encourage people to take pictures and share those? Instagram is all the rage, but simply sharing via Twitter or TwitPic will do the job.

And why just broadcast via Twitter? Why not broadcast the event itself? Google gives you free live broadcasting through Hangouts on Air. Why not use that to stream key speeches, or your round table discussions? Or just video them for broadcasting later. Which brings us to….

After the event

How often do we run events and then simply move on to the next project once everyone has gone home? Or at best we maybe write a new item for the website with 30 pictures of people giving speeches and a list of all the people who attended? That’s a shame, because there is so much more we could do.

You could start by publishing all your presentations to Slideshare so that everyone who didn’t make the seminar can still get to see them.

Then you could edit down those videos into a short 2.5min video on the highlights of the event – then  package that up with your press release and tweet it all out to your media contacts so they can put it on their news site.

And you can build on the outcomes of the seminar. You can produce a working paper that you can publish as a publication on the website. Or even better make it a collaborative document that your contacts can feed into on an ongoing basis – the FCO used Read and Comment on their Overseas Territories Consultation last year.

Want to drum up involvement in that collaborative process? Back to LinkedIn and your Groups – where by now you are becoming a key influencer because you’re so active.

Your HMA should almost certainly blog to go through the outcomes of the event and why it was a valuable exercise to go through. And if you can get some of the speakers to write guest blogs as follow ups, so much the better.

Monitoring success

We talked about making the objective of your event measurable. So now you need to find out how well it worked.

Your first step will be to monitor activity on Twitter. Use a tool like Tweetreach to see how many people you reached over the course of your event and its planning. This will also give you some insights into RTs and audience engagement.

Facebook insights (assuming you used Facebook) will also give you some good stats about which updates were more popular and got most circulation. But we could also do more detailed analysis.

You can use SurveyMonkey to run a survey of all the people who attended and ask them what they thought of the event. You could even go further and start regular public surveys with the same tool to monitor business sentiment to doing business in Turkey over the next 12-24 months. Changes won’t be just down to your event, but you’ll be monitoring results all the same.

You should also monitor the comments on any blogs you posted. This is especially useful if you can do before and after comparisons that may show changes in attitudes or opinions of your audience either side of the event.

And once again, go back into your LinkedIn groups, ask people what they think – did they hear about the event, did they see the tweets, do they feel any benefit. It’s not just about numbers.

Feed it in

And of course, everything you have learnt, heard and understood throughout the process should feed into your policy discussions and reports to ensure that you continue to shape and adapt your policies around genuine needs and a real understanding of the issues.

This is a single example of how digital can add value at every stage of a public diplomacy process. Opportunities will vary depending on the exact activity you are carrying out, but hopefully the above will inspire people to think more broadly about how digital can help – beyond simply tweeting a link.

Download

This has been a lot of information spread over two blog posts. So for those who prefer everything in one place, I’ve pulled both posts together in a handy PDF guide – enjoy!

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