Liveblogging is never easy, but capturing a conference is an art. Depending on the number of speakers, demonstrations, and presentations, it is easy to become overwhelmed by distraction and end up missing crucial points. This quick guide will help you build a comprehensive strategy to ensure that you are able to provide the best event coverage without all the stress.
Know The Event; Outline Your Content Goals
Get a copy of the event schedule as soon as you possibly can. Talk to the event organizers to find out how much time you’ll have to finish posts between each speaker and demonstration. Take some time to think about the questions your readers want answered the most, and think about the best content strategies to satisfy them.
Will you post video or voice recordings? What kind of updates are you going to send to your social media streams, and which topics are a better fit for full blog posts? You will not be able to cover everything in real time, so save some of your ideas for after-conference follow-up updates.
Different audiences require different content strategies – prioritize the needs and wants of your readers, but keep your eyes open for ways to attract fresh visitors looking for information about the event topic. Try to find other livebloggers planning to go to the same event and search around their comment sections to get an idea about the buzz surrounding the conference.
Bring The Right Equipment For The Venue
Start with your essential recording material. This will include your laptop or tablet and keyboard for typing, a voice recorder for quick clips or reference material, a video recorder to capture live-action coverage, a camera (your cellphone might work just fine depending on its quality) and trusty pen and paper.
Do not forget the chargers for each tech item! Pack spare batteries if you can. You may even want to include a “power strip” to extend the number of outlets – power outlets are always in high demand at a conference.
We suggest packing along a lap desk just in case there are no tables available. A minimalist liveblogger may get by with just a smartphone, but you’ll still want a safe place to rest your materials when your hands are full. If you are bringing a full laptop, make sure that the lap desk has an integrated cooling pad.
Bring a waterproof carrying bag to protect against the potential for rain and spills. Make sure that it has enough room for all your gear but strive to maintain a small footprint so you can tuck it under your chair or beside you. Take up too much space and your sensitive electronics might get kicked by a distracted neighbor or passerby.
Start Promoting Your Liveblogging Coverage
It is never too early to start letting readers know about your plans! Publish the event schedule to your blog so that your audience knows when to tune in to catch the speakers or demonstrations that interest them the most.
Include links to the social media pages and photo streams you’ll be using so they can subscribe early. Speaking of publishing platforms, make sure that your accounts are constantly in logged-in mode. Nothing is more frustrating than hitting “publish” only to see an “application timed out” message.
Make sure you’re equipped with a quick and easy photo editing tool like the new Snapheal PRO to make sure your coverage shots are polished before you share them with your audience.
Last but not least, make sure to let your fellow bloggers know that you’ll be covering the event live so they can share the good news with their own readers. This is an effective way to extend your audience. You may even want to connect with other bloggers planning to attend so you can collaborate to provide the best coverage possible.
Get excited! Liveblogging is an awesome way to give your readers the front-row, real-time experience – even if you cannot cover every single angle imaginable, your unique insight is sure to please your readers and may even attract a fresh audience.