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What I learned from live tweeting Google IO 2016

Reading time: 4:20 min

This week Google held its annual developer conference in Shoreline (Mountain View), California, with a big show on Wednesday and 2 additional days of talks and live streams.
As usual, the live stream was available online for everyone and many places around the world were part of IO extended, organising live streaming sessions, hackathons, code labs, demos …

For weeks and months, there were rumours online about what Google was about to unveil and those included Virtual Reality. I love Tech and innovation so I used to listen to the conference every year but this year I have been involved in the VR community more than ever and I wanted to cover further the event.
So … I managed to get an invitation to Campus London IO extended event (Google campus for startups and entrepreneurs in London). 😋 😎

When I arrived at Campus London, I decided to get ready to live Tweet while many people were having drinks and food. I generally love to socialise during events but this time, I had something else in mind.

1.Let’s get organised 

Before the conference started, I cleaned up my computer. As Twitter is quite demanding for my old Mac, I decided to shut down many tabs and keep only a few:
  • emails,
  • my personal twitter TL (@AmandineFlachs)
  • the direct tweets from #GoogleIO2016
  • and #ioextended (the # for all other people in google extended places)

I like to add some spicy challenges so I decided to live tweet from 2 accounts, my personal Twitter and the Twitter of the VR company I just joined.

2.Do not under-estimate the power of teamwork

During the conference, I decided to stay in the coworking area instead of joining the main room. I had a good spot and didn’t want to risk to leave my comfy table and seat close to a power socket for just a 5 min pitch – at the end, we all end up looking at the screen for the live stream.

In front of me was a guy who was just curious about the announcement. He was a web developer and didn’t plan to post anything online or wasn’t expecting Google to cover any specific topic.
On my right, two guys were working for the same company. I didn’t have the chance to chat with them but as soon as the talk started, I realised they were far more prepared than I was. They manage to live tweet AND live blog the entire event while sharing the videos trailers just after Google unveiled them.
… How? 

Well… they demonstrated an incredible teamwork. When one of them was writing for the live blog on their website, the other was tweeting (ok it’s basic here). But then when the guy who was live blogging did a sign to the other one, he stopped tweeting and get ready to record his screen with the live stream running. This way they could be the first one to share the trailers and videos on their website and social media.

If you ever live tweet an online conference, you may have noticed how difficult it is to share visual content. You can:

  • Take pictures of your screen or pictures of slides, speakers and people around (when you have a good camera on your phone and you arrive early enough to have a good spot)
  • Wait for someone on Twitter to post a good picture and then retweet it (I choose this option).
  • Or you can partner with friends/coworker/ people you just met. This one is far better … but you need to have someone to rely on

3.Know your priorities

As mentioned, I decided to live tweet the event because I like tech but more than that, because I work in Virtual Reality and Google was about to make some announcement in this area. I knew VR would be my main focus and I didn’t expect to be live tweeting with the same assiduity during the non-VR announcement.

The conference had 3 main part: Home applications – Virtual Reality – Android and Dev tools. During the first one, I react to a few announcement, RT some people and interacted with just a few individuals. Then as soon as Google started talking about VR, I shared much more tweets, mentioned influencers in my posts, added as many pictures as position, talked with lots more people and gave my personal opinion.

To be honest, I didn’t really give lots of attention to the last part of the conference as I was exchanging with other VR people online.
And that’s ok. As soon as my objectives were clear, I didn’t have to cover the entire event.
-> I definitely think it’s better to focus on your area of expertise than trying to find something smart to say about a topic you don’t know.

4.Covering an event is not just a 1-hour job

Covering a conference or an event online is quite intense. At the same time, you have to listen to some news, pick up the most important and share it using social media principles and restrictions such as the 140 characters on Twitter or using the right #.
You are certainly 100% into this event but there’s lots of chance all your audience isn’t. To maximise the impact of any live event coverage, it’s important to announce it before and follow up after, and this applies whatever you are online or offline.

>Before the event -> Mention you are going to live share the new with a link to the channel, talk to your friends and coworker about it online and IRL.
>After the event -> Share a summary of the event, reshare some announcements, still you the # of the event as soon as you refer to it, interact with organisers and people you briefly chat with

5.What I want to improve next time

I use to do a lot of networking events where I live tweet about a presentation, I take pictures on site and interact with the small assembly. Live tweeting a big conference occurs less often but is a lot more demanding. I am happy to my live tweet of #GoogleIO2016 but I always want to improve so here is a list of what I want to improve next time:

  • Avoid typos in posts – one of my tweets has been retweeted a few times with a big typo
  • Share more visual
  • If with other people live tweeting, take some time before the beginning to chat and partner (exchange twitter handles, share content…)
  • Have a written list of people (friends and influencers) with their Twitter handles in my field I want to interact with and mention during the event

—— A brief recap of my live tweet checklist ——

– Announce you’ll cover the event
– computer ready with all tabs necessary open (and unnecessary tabs close)
– Take some time to think about your main goal
– Get all the information you might need (links to live stream, #s …)
– List of Twitter friends and influencers with their handles

– Find socket around before sitting down
– Pack food and water
– Partner if possible and chat with people around
– Use visual as much as possible (can also prepare a few template before or take picture of the place)
– Interact with people, mention, answer, react, share
– Have fun

– Get in touch with organisers and thanks them (post picture of goodies or people having fun)
– Share the information during the next week
– Write down a summary
– Stay critic to improve your live tweet next time

—— Any points to add or question?  ——

IN CASE you’re interested in the main announcements at Google IO 2016 conference, check out those recap on The verge, Engadget and TechRadar.
The majors points were:

  • VIRTUAL REALITY: Google will launch in November Daydream – a Virtual Reality platform. To complete the VR ecosystem, Google developed partnerships with well-known content studios and hardware manufacturers.
  • HOME APPS: Google worked on voice recognition and IA to create Google Assistant, a new personal assistant for our home (with a new Google device) and an ecosystem of apps (Allo, Duo).
  • ANDROID: Google will launch Android Wear 2.0 for wearables and Android N for mobile devices with many new features (use app without downloading it, features for car drivers…).
Do you use to Live Tweet during events? How do you prepare and what is your personal technique?
Leave a comment below to share your story or ask any question!!
… And as usual, if you like what you read, please share it now on Twitter / Buffer / Facebook / LinkedIn / or anywhere else!

This post first appeared on Dive In The Crowd, please read the originial post: here

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What I learned from live tweeting Google IO 2016


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