Live Blogging: How to get the Most Out of Conferences and Events

5 Live Blogging Tips to Enhance Your Blog

Live blogging is a specialized form of blogging where bloggers transmit the information from a live event or conference. Ideally, it’s done in real time or on the day of the event.

To get the most out of attending a live event, have a plan. As a blogger, this means review the show’s agenda, outline the potential columns you’ll create from the event’s content, and decide where you’ll incorporate them into your editorial calendar. Also, make a list of people who you’d like to meet at the show and any questions that you want to ask of them.

5 Types of live blogging

Here are five approaches to live blogging. While they differ, understand that one approach isn’t necessarily better than the others.

  1. Provide verbatim text. Think of a court stenographer who takes down every word. These bloggers get my admiration since I can’t type that fast! A strong verbatim blogger delivers the core of what was said in the presentation.
  2. Summarize the presentation in your words. This is the Reader’s Digest approach to live blogging. You give readers a short synopsis of what the panel or talk was about including who participated and links to find out more about the panel and other materials available online. Here’s how Digitas’ blogger conveyed the show’s content at Digitas’ NewFront 2011 conference.
  3. Showcase the salient points. The blogger curates the content by deciding which of the points presented are most important for their readers.
  4. Integrate the main highlights with your opinion. This is the combo meal of live blogging. It delivers the presentation’s significant learnings and the blogger’s point of view. Lisa Barone does a great job of this. Here’s Lisa’s summary of BlogWorld New York Day 1.
  5. Synthesize the presentation in your own words. After listening to the presentation, the blogger organizes and integrates the content with his knowledge and perspective to provide insights for his readers. This is the way that I blog about events since I like to think about what I’ve heard and distill what’s most important for my readers. For example, here’s 7 Business Blogging Tips from BlogWorld Expo New York.

5 Ways to enhance your live blogging

If you’re blogging at a conference or other live event, chances are that other bloggers are covering it as well. Therefore, think about how to make your blog posts unique so they stand out.

  1. Include video clips. While this may seem obvious, understand many shows may have restrictions on recording content if they’re live broadcasting or have other plans for the content. So get permission from the show coordinators and the individuals involved before recording.
  2. Offer a sense of the setting with photos. Here’s where a good camera and a clear view of the speakers are needed. Smartphone photos may not cut it. If you take photos, consider adding a few shots to the show’s Flickr or Facebook pages.
  3. Interview for unique content. Seek out the speakers to get your specific questions answered. It’s a good idea to think these out in advance, rather than on the fly. Here’s where a video clip can be the basis for a blog post.
  4. Spotlight a special slide from the presentation. Often speakers have to submit their presentations to the show where it’s open for attendees. Check whether you can use a specific slide for a blog post.  It provides a visual focus for your post and allows you to expand on the topic. Here’s how Lee Odden of Online Marketing Blog used one of his slides from BlogWorld New York.
  5. Highlight other attendees’ tweets. Follow the event’s Twitter stream to locate some gems and get a sense of how others perceived the event. It can also provide a counterpoint to the speaker point of view and comes in handy in case you miss a key phrase or point.

Attending conferences and live events are great sources for new blog content. It helps to plan ahead to maximize the opportunity to create additional material for your blog and meet new people in real life. But don’t be so over scheduled that you can’t take advantage of impromptu meetings.

Do you have any suggestions to add to this list? If so, please include them in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some related articles about conferences:

photo credit: pasukaru76 via Flickr

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