I had the wonderful pleasure last Thursday of getting to see @eddieizzard live at the American Airlines Center. Let me just say that if you like history, can handle a bit of naughty language, and don’t mind comedy that makes you think, Eddie is someone you should check out.
While it was a great show, what intrigued me most was what happened before the show began. You know how it goes, you get to a concert early, you always find your seat, and then you get something to eat or just hang out until the show starts. It’s exciting on one hand, but on the other hand, waiting for the show to begin is the thing that drags on and on, with nothing to entertain you. Eddie changed this up a little. He live streamed his Twitter feed on two big screens. Anything with @eddieizzard showed up on the screens.
The plus side? It was something to watch and it helped to pass the 30-45 minutes before the show started. It was also exciting to see that there were so many people around the world who were watching Eddie’s twitter feed. The buzz grew inside the arena. Posts from those who could be sitting across the arena to the person who could be at the end of the row expressed excitement and anticipation. One guy even proposed to his girlfriend.
The downside? Well, some people just want to be seen or, in this case, read. So there were a lot of really pointless tweets that made it into the stream, some didn’t make sense, some were just plain offensive, so you had to weed out the bad and pay attention to the good.
How can this help you? Share a web browser on your next conference and set up a Twitter page. Get someone to man the page and refresh the replies page. Are you using a hashtag? Search for the #text on Twitter web and watch the tags roll in. People always join conferences early; why not give them something to check out while they wait for everything to begin? Not only are you providing some entertainment, you’re also getting everyone’s mind focused on what you have about to come. Tweet some teasers, you know, if you’re about to unveil something amazing. Let the buzz gather and follow the topics of conversation. Address questions before your participants even have to answer them.
How can you use a live Twitter feed during your conference to make it better? What scares you about opening that door?