Social media is increasingly becoming an integral part of conferences and other business orientated events in order to extend audience participation. Conferences can also reach a wider audience through the streaming of feeds direct from a conference through Twitter, Facebook and other popular social networks.

Streaming feeds of text-to-screen commentary enables a wider audience participation in events and this then allows companies to collect in depth feedback from the event.

Twitter is excellent for collecting audience questions and feedback on speakers at a conference. If they haven’t already, companies need to take advantage of the Twitter hashtag tool (for example #conference). Any comments about the conference and its speakers are posted with the hashtag term at the end of the comment. The hashtag feed can also be fed live onto the company website to keep people updated with the audience participation. At the end of the conference the hashtag streams can then be used to collate feedback.

However, with social media comes the need to be wary. By using social media at live events, companies are opening themselves up to a bigger network of people where comments and opinions are freely posted. It’s good practice for businesses to make sure they manage it properly.

If you’re using social media streaming at a live event you use pre-moderation, and use the right kind. Have moderators or community managers ‘cherry-pick’ from a hashtag or the live chat tool you are using. You can then select those comments which fit the live action and are editorially balanced.

Another form of pre-moderation is where you are deleting the inappropriate content as it goes past. This would be the best for a Twitter stream at a large conference, or one likely to be controversial.

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