Real-time reporting from nonprofit conferences and events requires an advanced skill set, training, and a lot of practice. Tailored for social media managers, this webinar below was presented on October 9 highlighted which skills are necessary for live reporting, which online tools work the best, and outlined a 6-week plan that includes pre-event planning and post-event follow-up. To register for future free webinars, please see the Nonprofit Tech for Good Webinar Schedule.


The Trend of Live Reporting During Events

  • According to the 2017 Global NGO Online Technology Report, 52% of nonprofits worldwide have used social media to report live.
  • Conferences, fundraising events, marches and protests, online events, TV broadcasts, and updates from the field are ideal for live reporting.
  • Live reporting from nonprofit conferences and events requires an advanced skill set, training, and a lot of practice.

Top 3 Live Reporting Tools

How Often to Post, Tweet and Stream During Live Events

  • Facebook: Due to the limitations of the algorithm, the best practice is to share three posts daily and use Facebook Live at least twice when live reporting. Videos secure the most reach at 12.17% of total audience.
  • Twitter: During live events, the ideal tweet rate is once every 8-10 minutes. Tweets can be text-based, images, graphics, or live streaming on Periscope.
  • Instagram: Again, due to the limitations of the algorithm, share photos or videos clips three times daily and live stream a story at least twice per day.

Before the Event: Get Organized

  • Staff Planning: On the day of the event your nonprofit will need at least one staff person whose sole purpose is to tweet, post, share, photograph, record, and stream.
  • If you plan on conducting interviews, you’ll need two staff people – one to conduct the interviews and another to record/stream.
  • Equipment: You’ll need a laptop and smartphone and easy access to charging stations during the event. In addition, you’ll need a selfie stick and possibly a tripod.
  • Hashtags: If your organization is hosting the event, create a short hashtag for the event (#PolarPlunge). If it is an annual event, such as a conference, then add the year to the hashtag (#PMDMC18).
  • Use hashtags on all pre-event promotional materials i.e., conference brochure, Facebook Invite, event landing page, social media promo graphics, etc.
  • Your event hashtag should be used in every tweet, post, and graphic leading up to the event, during the event, and after the event.

Before the Event: Content Strategy

  • Write a minimum of five call-to-action and 10 stats posts/tweets with sources in advance that can be easily copied-and-pasted during the event.
  • In addition, write daily introduction tweets/posts.
  • Create social media graphics for your posts/tweets.
  • Create keynote and session graphics in advance.
  • Create at least three quote graphics in advance.

During the Event: How to Tweet Effectively During Live Events

  • When live reporting in real-time on Twitter, only tweet the most interesting quotes and stats presented by event speakers. The goal is not to repeat verbatim all that is being said in a sessions, but rather to share the most impressive highlights.
  • At conferences, takes notes and write tweets first in Word. This helps avoid tweeting bad grammar, misspellings, and incorrect punctuation.
  • During session breaks or lulls in the event, tweet/post your pre-written tweets.
  • Embed longer quotes on images and then share on social media.
  • Retweet attendees and speakers who represent your mission and core values that are also live reporting at the event.
  • If you are the host, throughout the day share links to the event agenda and announce new speakers by linking to their bio and headshot.

During the Event: How to Conduct Live Interviews

  • Conduct live video interviews with speakers and attendees using social media.
  • Short interviews with three pre-written questions work best and share the questions with the person being interviewed in advance.
  • Be cognizant of backdrops, sound, and lighting.
  • In advance of the interview, verbally practice your introduction and closing statements.

After the Event: How to Follow-up and Archive Your Event

Resources for Live Reporting

  1. Nonprofit Tech for Good: How to Report Live from Nonprofit Events and Conferences
  2. Facebook: Facebook Live Tips & Tricks
  3. John Haydon: 11 Tips for Getting Started with Facebook Live
  4. Nonprofit Tech for Good: How to Report Live from Nonprofit Events Using Periscope
  5. Social Media Examiner: How to Use Instagram Live


2017 Global Trends in Giving Report

Based upon the survey results of 4,084 donors worldwide, the 2017 Global Trends in Giving Report explores the impact of gender, generation, and ideology upon giving and volunteerism.

How to Report Live from Nonprofit Events and Conferences