As every event planner knows, the days spent working onsite can be fast-paced and exciting, as well as crazy and chaotic. Therefore, it may be difficult to take even just a few minutes to focus and complete any behind the scenes tasks – answering emails, addressing minor crises, sometimes even just eating a meal! But if there’s anything to make a priority during these precious moments it’s creating onsite content for your event community.
Onsite content can include social media posts, of course, but also daily wrap up newsletters, blog posts, live streamed interviews, and much more. Not only is it good to develop this content to engage your attendees while they are onsite, but you can use much of this material to promote your event for future years to come.
While working at conferences and events ran by a magazine publishing company, I was personally involved in creating a lot of this content along with my many other responsibilities. Here are my top tips to getting your onsite content tasks done!
Create a strategy and assign jobs ahead of time
About one to two weeks prior to your event, have a meeting with your marketing team and any other staff involved in writing and/or collecting content while onsite. Assign specific tasks or roles, such as social media manager (as well as managers of individual channels), blogger, interviewer, email creator, etc. This is also the time to discuss how your goals or event themes should be kept in mind when sourcing content. Perhaps your theme is “innovation;” then you can tell your staff to take extra notice of things going on at your event that exhibit that quality. This will help create a fluid narrative throughout your content story, no manner the channel it’s displayed on or the voices of the many authors contributing to it.
Deadlines are good for just about any task, but it’s extra important when wanting to, say, put together a daily wrap up email during your conference. You don’t want to be staying up late during an already busy couple of days! Create and distribute a schedule of important days and times for submitting content to the right people ahead of time. Your staff can put this information on their phones and set alerts to help stay on track.
Incorporate creating/sourcing content into everyone’s schedule
Have someone monitoring a popular speaker session? Have them take notes and send out Tweets of important quotes. Have staff checking in on sponsors in the exhibit hall? Have them take a few photos of the displays and attendee interaction to use on Instagram. The point is, try to kill two birds with one stone with the capable staff you already have. By asking them to post on social media, write down a powerful quote or snap a photo here and there, you can gather a variety of content in a more efficient way.
Create a quiet staff space
Simple, but effective, having a space to escape to during meals/downtime to type up notes or check social media feeds was a godsend when I worked at conferences. Whether it’s a table in the back of the room during an award’s show or meeting, or a private staff room for a multi-day event, having a designated space for developing content will help keep staff focused at the task at hand.
Have your attendees help
Finally, use sourcing content as an opportunity to engage with attendees. With social media, there are unlimited ways to get them to do (some) of the hard work for you: hold photo contests to get them to submit images, ask them to Tweet you their favorite moments or speaker quotes, or ask loyal, returning attendees to write a blog post or two. Attendees often want to see content from their perspective, so asking their peers to share theirs makes for a great addition to your onsite content strategy.
What kinds of content do you create onsite? How do you make sure it gets done efficiently? Share in the comments below!
Written by: Lauren Williams