Smart Content Creation on Events


Kevin Van der Straeten
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Today I am talking to Oliver de Leeuw about content, marketing and social media. We discover how you can share really interesting things before, during and after an event. And also how you can use your events to create content for an entire year.


Hi Oliver, welcome to our studio.


Thank you.


We have been talking a lot in the studio about social media and how to do that, but now we are going deeper in how to create real impact with your social media present. And then the question is, how do you do that?


Well, the long answer would be, “It will take you eight years to gain the experience to get that far”. The short answer is, “We think we know the answers for some types of clients”. So, what I think is important is to plan ahead. If you plan your content you can create 364 days of interesting social media from your event. So I think there is a big key to the success of your social media if you are an event manager.


And in what kind of content is it that you create?


How we see events is as a very special moment, a unique moment in time. Maybe the once a year that you see all the people that you want that are relevant for your target audience together. So, what we could do, for example, if you have an event in June, why not create a Christmas photo card, from the Board of Directors of your event or association, right. Because it’s the one moment where probably everyone is together. And it makes a great opportunity to create things for the rest of the year already.


Okay, I understand that, but how do you make the balance between, you have of course, during the event, you have to send out some content, you have to do something. And what kind of content do you use then afterwards?


Right, so let’s start with the content during the event, right. What we would like to dois work with student reporters. They would need to have some training and they need some guidance along the way. But soon reporters give a great vibrant energy to your event. It’s a really nice addition. What they can do, for example, is they walk around with just their phones, maybe a selfie stick, and they ask visitors “What have you learnt?”, or, “Would you recommend somebody else visiting next year?” To really low key, maybe rough content that you can share immediately. Then the other layer is where we create more professional photos and videos. For example, the professional videos are an after movie or interviews with professors. Or with speakers that you have alreadyasked to come and share their knowledge. And those interviews or other types of knowledge sharing, they really allow you to make the peak of your event last longer. You have even more impact with the people that are relevant for you.


And what about, when you are organizing an event you have, of course, your hash tag, and you want then not only to publish content yourself, but you ask also to your visitors to publish some content, How do you make balance between those?


So, I think it is important that you have a balance between the rough content and professional content that you are creating. But that is still pushing content out. And then obviously you want your visitors to share things as well. So that is what we call pool social media content. A very simple hack, for instance is, show the hash tag everywhere. Every time you prime someone with a hash tag, and if you have screens where all the messages fly by, it really stimulates your audience to share the knowledge that they have gained there as well.


But now you are focusing on knowledge; when I see pictures of a lot of events, it is just me in front of a nice wall, or something in the audience, but how do you make sure people share their knowledge?


So let me first say, it is really important to have fun at events on social media of course. So photos on a photo wall, selfies in the audience, speakers making videos from the stage, that’s really awesome content. But, for example, if you are in a very specialized session in a workshop or maybe even in a plenary opening, it is just really wise when the host says “Please use the hash tag to share your knowledge”. What we always try to do, also beforehand, is to raise awareness with visitors that they actually have a task to share knowledge with their peers. And no matter what industry you are in, an offline event is always limited in terms of audience. So I think it is important to know that whenever you share something on your Twitter or LinkedIn, Facebook, wherever, that doesn’t really matter to me,you help other people get smarter as well.


Yes. But make sure you have a good hash tag and make it visible then?


Very much. The more visible the better.


Okay. We’ve been talking about video content, but you also mentioned photographs of course. How do you handle that in a correct way?


A correct way... I don’t know about that, there are so many waysto be active with photography. And also there we make the distinction between before, during and after. And what we like to do at an event is to have live photography.


What is live photography?


That means that you have instant access towhat is happening on a photographer’s camera. Especially handy if you are organizing a large event,a large conference, you have maybe three or four photographers running around. If you have instant access, well, to their memory card basically,how the system works, you can see all the photos coming together in the cloud. You might send it to a photo editor in between. But usually within one or three minutes you have fully professional footage that you can use instantly online.


And that is of course interesting when you have, for example an award, or something, and once had those people on the Twitter account immediately.


Actually what we do once is with a pop music event. Obviously the organization knew who was going to win a certain award, but it has to be kept a secret. So backstage there was a whole team, the marketing manager, the PR manager, a copywriter. Everything was ready to send out the press release with the name of the winner, very secretive. And then within three minutes they had a choice of professional footage from the stage from different angles, because there was a team of three photographers, they selected one photo to edit within 60 seconds. 60 second later they were able to send out the press release with a fully professional photo that then appeared on news websites all over.


But it is all about planning like you said?


Yes. So what I think is important is when you think ahead and you can plan your content for the next 364 days up until your next event. We like to help in creating a strategic content planning up until the point where we think about which hash tags to use on Instagram.


In your opinion, which event is an example for everyone in the matter of social media?


Well, an example of many ways, but also in their conference is the next web for me. I really like how they handle their different channels. Each one has a different tone of voice, but all of them together are very distinctive, the next web. They really show their brand personality there. So I am kind of envious of what they are doing.


Okay, we should all have to look at what they are doing. Oliver, thank you very much for coming over.


Thank you.


And you at home, thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next week.