Event Tech of the Month: Twitter Walls

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In need of a little event tech inspiration? A Twitter wall could add interactivity, boost your social presence and create sponsorship opportunities.

Lots of valuable conversations happen on social media during your event, so a Twitter wall is a great way of bringing those conversations to everyone’s attention and sharing the insight with your audience. But is it worth the investment or is there a better event tech solution for your event? Here’s the Noodle Live event technology guide to Twitter Walls:

What is it?

Twitter walls gather tweets that use a certain hashtag or Twitter handle and display them on a giant screen for everyone at an event. Pretty simple, but it can be very effective.

Several companies offer Twitter walls for events. They can be set up in a variety of ways to display tweets about or from the event itself. Although they’re traditionally known as ‘Twitter walls’, many companies also include options to display updates from other channels too, including Instagram, Flickr and YouTube.

Users are encouraged to send social updates using nominated hashtags or tagging the event organiser. An algorithm them pulls all relevant updates and displays them in real time, creating a sense of instant feedback and bringing the audience’s voice in to the conversation.

Early versions of Twitter walls were primarily text based, but more modern examples include plenty of visuals and graphics too. Some companies specialise in creating animated displays to help capture the audience’s attention and to reflect the theme of the event. Most companies will offer white label packages which allow you to use your own branding and design.

Depending on budget you can either employ a company to create a Twitter wall for you, complete with an account manager to help on the day, or you can use online software to set up the wall yourself and then project it to any screen or display area you chose. If you’re not sure which company to opt for, we recommend TweetWall, one of the first companies to offer the technology back in 2008.

What do delegates get?

The chance to interact instantly with the event and to see their thoughts and opinions being relayed live. In other word: they get to be famous for 15 seconds. Advocates of Twitter walls will tell you that this helps create a connection with the audience and makes your event more interactive and accessible.

The tweet wall can also be used for a variety of other purposes at your event. At Noodle Live, we specialise in creating bespoke apps for events that allow #EventProfs to message delegates instantly with any updates. Twitter walls can also be used to help disseminate information to delegates. Simply send a tweet with an announcement for delegates and highlight it on your wall to try to reach more people.

You can also use tweet walls to ask audiences to vote on certain things via social media, or you can ask them to submit questions for speakers during Q&As (not to boast – but we offer both of these features on our bespoke apps for events too). Beats running around with a floor mic! 

What do #EventProfs get?

Twitter walls encourage delegates to interact with your event on social media, making it more visible to a wider audience. With most Twitter walls you can set up search options in advance to tell the wall exactly which tweets you would like to include and which to exclude. You can filter for certain words that you don’t want to display and you can sometimes filter out tweets that reflect negative sentiment too, just in case. If you’re worried about the content of the tweets that come in you can also set the tech to manually approve any updates before they are displayed.

Keep your Twitter wall relevant by using different hashtags for different sessions so that the most recent updates appear throughout the day.

Many companies will provide you with post-event feedback and data that will show you how many interactions your Twitter wall had. You can also see who your influencers were, what your total reach was and how many individual users engaged with your social accounts. For those who can’t attend the event, your tweet wall can be programmed to appear on your website too, giving people an insight into what your up to and allowing them to follow remotely. 

The Noodle insight

We like Twitter walls and we’ve seen them used really well at several events, but we don’t think they will solve all of your event tech needs. If you’re looking for a fun way to engage your audience and boost your social presence, they’re great. If you’re looking for a way to keep delegates informed, spark conversation, offer networking opportunities and create conversation, they may not do enough.

These days there’s nothing new or exciting about a Twitter wall. They’ve become fairly standard, so don’t expect to wow your guests. As with all event tech, our recommendation is to ask yourself what your goals are for each event, and then find the technology that can help you achieve them, rather than the other way around.

Twitter walls look great and they’re fun, but make sure you have a clear strategy for what success will look like. If you want to drive more social engagement then you could consider displaying some kind of leadership wall and adding an element of gamification. Rank your favourite tweets or your biggest influencers. You could even offer a prize for the best social coverage of your event.

Our top tip: Always opt for a Twitter wall that will continue to bring up tweets if the internet stops working. Event Wi-fi can be tricky to get right and you don’t want to get stuck with a blank display.

Can it be used with Noodle Tech? 

There’s no reason why not. A tweet wall is a great piece of additional event tech, although a lot of the cool things it does are already covered in our event tech packages. Our bespoke apps for events can send out announcements to all of your delegates or specific individuals, field questions for speakers and poll audience members. They can also offer personalised schedules, rich profiles for delegates, speakers and exhibitors and they can help delegates to network with instant messages and social media links.

One reason we prefer event apps over Twitter walls is that they keep conversations and details private to those who attend the event. Social media is a public forum so anything you say about event logistics and organisation will be seen by a wide audience who may not find it relevant and may un-follow or disengage.

Having said that, Twitter walls may not be the most effective communication tools, but they do create a great piece of entertainment and a nice way to thank guests for their comments and thoughts.

Never invest in a piece of event tech just because it’s in fashion. Always set clear goals and objectives for your entire tech strategy first and then find the tech that will help you get there. Confused? Why not book in for one of our totally free event tech workshops? We can help you to navigate the tech jungle and find the right package for you.

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