Taking your real-world event online

In-person events can have a huge impact. We greet old friends, meet new ones, see face-to-face just what an impact we’re having.

But that doesn’t mean the online world can’t play a part – in fact, it can help your in-person event reach a whole new audience, not to mention enriching the experience for the people who attended.

Here are seven ways to take your face-to-face event into the digital world:

  • Create an event page on Facebook (or whatever social network your community likes to participate in online): It can become a hub not just for invitations and RSVPs, but also questions and answers and generating buzz.
  • Have a speaker booked? Use your online channels (FB, SC blog, your own blog) to ask people for their questions, and select some for a live Q&A at the event.
  • Bring the web to your event: It’s getting easier to create a mobile Internet connection anywhere with cell phone coverage (for instance, you can connect a Mac to the Internet with an iPhone). So, for example, you could create a photobooth with a superhero cutout that people can pose with; charge a few dollars for each photo, and upload it to a site like Flickr.
  • Be sure to have a hashtag (those #keywords you’ve probably seen) so people talking about it on Twitter will be able to follow the conversation.
  • Report on it: Liveblogging the event – writing and updating a blog post reporting on the event as it happens – can help people share in the excitement, even if they can’t be there. And afterward, a blog post, video or photoset from an event can share it with a much broader audience, as well as capturing the experience for your participants to go back to.
  • Invite contributions: Encourage anyone who took pictures to upload them to your Super Community page, or share them on Flickr or your team’s Facebook page or event page. Tagging the photos with the people who were in them draws people in – we’re all curious to know what our pictures look like – and can help bring new people to your group.
  • Make a movie: Feeling more ambitious? Interview people at the event, and get some video of a few highlights. Edit it all together in an inexpensive program like iMovie and put on YouTube. (Be sure to let the people you shoot know you’ll be doing that!)

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