If you’re attending a live event, creating a blog/vlog about your experience, can be a great way help you reflect on your experience and share what you’ve learned with your own audience.
But how do you put together a follow-up blog post? What should it include? How long should it be? And how can you make sure it's widely read and shared?
Read on and find out:
1. Plan your content
The best time to start working a follow up blog post is before you get to the event. Look at some some examples of post-event blog/vlogs. What do you like about the way the content is organised? How have they used different types of content e.g. written, visual, video?
Think about how you’re going to structure the content. Are you going to write a straight ‘review’ of each session as John Espirian did in this fab write up about You Are The Media 19 - in which case, plan to get pictures of all the speakers (ideally with you in them). You might prefer to write a more general review of the event as a whole as Jo-Anna Francis does in her blog - what's it's like to be on the other side - about ATOMICON 19. You may even decide to write a preview piece setting out your intentions for the event, like lifestyle and craft blogger Eleanor Rae-Nickerson Smith’s preview of Blogtacular 2017 (in this case, you could write a follow-up post on how the event delivered on your expectations, as Eleanor does with her biggest Blogtacular takeaways).
Decide if you’re going to create written, video or audio content - or a mix of all three (the latter is generally the most effective). But don’t stress about it; do what you can in the time you have available. If you’re planning to create a written blog post, a minimum of 1000 words is best for SEO.
Remember none of this is set in stone - you may well change your mind when you get to the event and that’s fine. But starting out with an idea of how you want to cover the event, will ensure you have the right kind of images, audio and video clips, should you need them.
2. Make sure you have all the kit you need.
A smartphone with a decent camera is all you need, but if you want to go more ‘pro’ you might consider taking additional lenses to get a greater variety of shots and/or lighting.
If you have a digital recorder you might like to grab some audio comments from attendees and speakers. If you don’t have one, download an app like Voice Recorder (iPhones) or Smart Voice Recorder (Android) to your phone.
3. Gather images for your post
Make a list of all the pictures you think you might need to take during the event. This might include:
- Pictures of all the speakers/event organiser
- Selfies with the speakers and/or event organiser
- Pictures of the inside and outside of the venue
- Pictures of the event workbook/programme
- Pictures of the food and/or goodie bags (if there are any)
- Pictures from the evening socials (if there are any)
Asking the event organisers for the event artwork ahead of the event is also a good idea. For delegates that attend my live events we create a shared folder which includes the event logo, promotional artwork and pictures of speakers (although it’s better to get your own speaker pics, on the day, if you can). We add extra images to the folder in the run up to the event and on the day.
During the event, participate in the social media activity as much as you can and screenshot interesting tweets, Facebook or Instagram posts you think might be useful for your follow-up post.
4. Schedule time to create your follow-up post
Attending a live event is inspiring. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, motivated and ready for new challenges. But when you get back to your desk, you’ll undoubtedly be busy catching up from your time away from the office. That’s why it’s important to schedule time to create your follow-up post - before you get there - otherwise it may not happen.
It’s much better to create a follow-up post when the event is fresh in your head, so it’s best to schedule this immediately after the event if you can. If you have a long train ride or plane journey to get home, you could even get started then.
6. Share, share and share again
Creating a follow-up blog post can be a great way to get more traffic - and traffic can turn into sales (freelance technical writer John Espirian picked up a client almost straight away from his review of CMA Live 2017).
So don’t be afraid to promote the hell out of your blog post. Here are some places you can/should share your blog post.
- On all your relevant social media platforms, using the event hashtag. #2020 Sorted’s is: #2020Sorted. Remember to tag in the speakers, event organisers and other delegates wherever relevant
- In any relevant online communities (#2020 Sorted has a dedicated Facebook group, for example, which includes the delegates AND the speakers)
- With your email list (if you have one). Just remember to make it clear what’s in it for them
- On your podcast or YouTube channel (if you have one)
- On a Facebook Live broadcast
- With the event organiser. There’s a good chance they’ll be creating their own post-event round up and will be keen to include yours.
Finally, don’t be afraid to share your content more than once - particularly on a platform like Twitter where content is scrolling through to so fast, it’s easy for your followers to miss something. And it’s fine to share it on a consecutive number of days and weeks. If you think you’re sharing too much, you’ve probably got it about right.
Want to find out more? Here's why it's a good idea to blog about your event experience...