The Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America conference is attended by over 6,000 teens every year, and there are many parents, friends, and other teens who wish they could participate as well. We have always posted information after the conference, but in St. Louis, for the past two years, we've started live-blogging and posting to social networks frequently throughout the conference, driving up traffic to our OYM websites.
Here are some of the things we've been doing to drive traffic and share information live from the conference.
My setup for the first week... watch a video highlighting the gear »
I (Jeff Geerling) ran around taking pictures like mad on my D90 (with some nice lenses), then dumped them into Aperture, processed them, and put some selects up on the OYM's Live Blog. I also snapped a few videos on my iPhone 4, converted them to FLV, and posted them as well. (See a video highlighting my gear). Throughout the day, I posted all my photos to the OYM's Steubenville photo collections on Flickr, then at night I posted my five-starred photos to Facebook and tagged them as best I could.
The Live Blog was set up to allow email posts from iPhones and other mobiles (for this I used Drupal's mailhandler and mimerouter modules), and I set up six different users with this ability—they were posting up-to-the-minute photos from around the Missouri State University campus, with short descriptions and titles.
HootSuite checked the Live Blog and the OYM's main website feed hourly, posting updates to Twitter. We also manually posted tweets from time to time with relevant information, and we tried (and usually succeeded) to get everyone at the conference to use the #steubystl hashtag.
We heavily promoted the live blog, the Twitter hashtag, and other online resources throughout the conference, and had about 300% more traffic this year than last.
Using a combination of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, your own website(s), and other online mediums, especially with a dedicated team of helpers, you can drive traffic and lasting interest to one of your organization's events, if you can share compelling content.