Originally published June 2016, updated November 2022.
We’ve been inspired by the upcoming National Fieldays to share our best tips for covering events.
Firstly, live event coverage is easy content, and secondly, it can give your audience a behind the scenes look at your business, giving it life and showing your interaction with your industry and community.
You need to have a loose plan in place for covering any event and there’s a couple of stages to consider as well.
The Planning Stage
Depending on the scale of your event, the planning stage can begin weeks, months maybe even a year in advance.
Assuming you’re already established on social media with a good following it’s key to:
- Make your followers aware of the event, and your presence at the event (time, date, location etc). You may even like to create your own event on Facebook to draw your audience’s attention to your attendance. Especially good for Fieldays if you want to include special VIP activity and your site number so everyone can find you easily.
- Be consistent with your imagery for the event and the frequency to which you post them. Increasing frequency of event posts in the lead up to the event helps to build suspense and anticipation. This is where stories on both Instagram and Facebook play a critical role in building awareness and keeping engagement throughout the event.
- It’s a great opportunity to run interactive promotions and competitions - try making an offer on your page which can only be claimed by visiting your site. It’s a great way to measure engagement on your platforms and drive leads for the business!
- Consider using a hashtag to help your audience follow all of the conversation that is relevant to the event or your organisation.
On The Day
Depending on how many ‘hands on deck’ you have while at the event, you may need to grow an extra arm which permanently holds your phone. Or have a team member dedicated to monitoring your platforms at all times. It’ll be an intensive job, but can be very worthwhile and rewarding.
- Be prompt with your interactions. If you have a dedicated person for the job, it’s easier to make sure that your online presence is free of errors or typos.
- Make sure your audience knows when your ‘main event’ is taking place. Make sure any announcements, be it a winner of a competition, or a launch of a new product has gained people's attention before the event and that people want to check it out in the flesh.
- Give regular reports about how the day is going and especially of people you meet be that customers or VIP guests.
- Tag key people and ask them how they’re finding the event, or thank them for visiting your site.
- This is a great opportunity to gather photos, so make sure your social media guru is also snapping photos throughout the day.
- If there is a key speaker or great live action, make sure you try out apps and features like Instagram or Facebook Live. This allows your audience to be there with you, even if they can’t make it to the event. Make sure you’ve tried these tools first - it’s easy to make a faux pas if you’re trying it out for the first time on the day.
The Follow Up
The follow up is important to let people know what they've missed out on during the event. It also creates another opportunity to give your brand a wider reach. If you’ve taken photos with your customers on the day then post them on Facebook following the event. It can be a great tool to broaden your audience by allowing your followers to tag themselves having a great time with your team at an event.
- Go through all of the photos you’ve taken at the event, make sure they’re high quality and professional before posting. Make sure you check what’s going on in the background of the image too, to ensure you have been traditionally ‘photo-bombed!’
- Thank everyone for interacting or coming along.
- Let people know when the event will happen again or when the next event of interest is happening.
- It’s also a great opportunity for feedback, if you want to send out a survey do so.
- It’s also a fun time to do a ‘wrap up’ video. Take a few hours to throw together a summary video of some of your favourite images and video content you gathered - again people have to know what they missed out on by not being at the event and you’re automatically creating hype around the next one.
Grass Roots Media will be at the 2022 National Fieldays on Thursday 1 December. Get in touch with us to organise a site visit, or join us in the Bar & Eatery from 1 - 2.30 pm for a natter. Come say hi and have a selfie with us!