Nowadays you see Twitterwalls popping up on a lot of events. The basics of a Twitterwall is a big screen or projection where attendants' tweets with a specific hashtag are being display.
But what's good to know when you decided to setup a Twitterwall at your event?
1. Free vs paying
You will find a lot of free tools, but be sure to check them in advance. There is no free lunch, and that's also the case for Twitterwalls: some will display the logo of the software, other will displays ads… You might want to avoid that and that's when you should use a paying version.
Commercial tools often are easy to personalize: you can define your own set of colors, use you own logo's, alternate the wall with a sponsor page, ... he extras that you will spend will definitely change your professionalism for the better.
Moderation means that you want to display specific messages more often, and hide other messages. OK, it doesn't seem to agree with the principle of social media where everything is public and transparent, but as an event organiser it's coming down to showing relevant content at your Twitterwall.
Imagine your hashtag -by coincidence- being a foreign expression or user on the other side of the world: your Twitterwall would get "polluted" with non-relevant content. You can search for any similarities when choosing your hashtag in advance, but you'll never be sure.
Moderation is useful when you want to highlight specific content: when you boost nice qoutes of speakers, organisational messages, great pictures, … your Twitterwall will get relevant, and nobody will miss a thing.
Twitterwalls come in all kinds of flavours, each with their specific functionalities. You can limit yourself to Twitter, but there are tools who also integrate Facebook updates, Instagram pictures and Youtube videos. It definitely will enhance the experience but realise that you also have more to moderate.
Some tools offer nice and interactive possibilities: a voting engine via Twitter for instance that publishes the results on your Twitterwall.
Installing a Twitterwall is not sufficient: be sure that your attendants realise there is a Twitterwall, and that they know how to get displayed on it (what's the correct hashtag?). If your event has speakers or presentors you can ask them to mention the Twitterwall.
It depends on the audience ofcourse, but sometimes displaying the Twitter account of each person on his badge is a nice 'conversation starter'. Especially with networking events this can break the ice, and result in a lot of spontaneous tweets.
5. Live coverage
Don't underestimate the amount of work you'll have during the event! Besides moderating the incoming messages you should keep the interaction high: attendants ask questions, you might want to report on or quote speakers...
Live coverage means that 1 person is paying attention to the speaker, writing and publishing tweets and answering on questions via Twitter, which could be quite hectic. A simple tip is to ask for the speakers presentation in advance, and prepare some tweets. It's not that you have to publish them, but it sure will get you more responsive.