Have you ever been to an event and wanted to share the experience, knowing that not everyone has time to watch an entire recording (if a recording is even available)?
On the LX blog, we often use written posts to recap a range of events like the end-of-year forum or the quarterly FFYE forums. We also report on external events such as SXSW and panel sessions. In this post, we offer tips and advice for transforming your scrawled notes into a straightforward post that can be easily viewed and shared widely.
Everyone takes notes differently. I have a rather minimalist approach using my Notes phone app, while my colleague Lucy goes for a more expansive visual approach with her mind mapping. As a writer/editor, I can’t help but think ahead about structure and key highlights as I take notes, but you do you – just make sure what you write is legible so you can translate it the morning after.
Sharing the load
One persons’s perspective can be plenty, and it makes for a cohesive read with a clear author voice. But getting to grips with a conference loaded with concurrent sessions can be a heavy weight for one person. For the two-day Indigenous Higher Education Curriculum Conference, the wrap-up was split between seperate day recaps by myself and Lucy. Alternatively, a co-authored post like this ASCILITE recap can provide a variety of perspectives on different presentations.
Tailoring it for your audience
Who is the blog for? Is it benefiting those who attended and want/expect a refresh, or are you trying to capture more details for those who didn’t attend? A successful recap should cater for both. The important thing to remember is not to be exhaustive – readers tend to scan content quickly, so you have to be clear and concise, chunk the content with headings and use links if you want to include more detailed information.
It can be more difficult to convince your audience to commit to watching a video, but videos are still worth including if available. These recordings can provide the full-length experience, if that’s what the reader requires – a blog post should be a ‘best of’ summary of observations, or a selection of one or two key presentations to highlight.
Where to next?
It’s helpful for blogs to end on what’s known in marketing and communications as a call to action. What would you like your audience to do after reading the post? A preview post for an event clearly links to a registration page, as its core aim is to promote the upcoming session. But the call to action for a post-event recap is less clear, unless there is a similar event workshop or event being planned. Instead, you could end on a clear summary of the day – the vibe/attendance, a thought-provoking quote or a key takeaway would work well.
We can help
If you’re not used to writing blog posts, it can be hard to know where to start – and even though the LX content team do this regularly, all of us still benefit from having editors to proof our work. If you’re interested in writing up your experience of an event in a blog post, we can assist with developing, editing and sharing your work – email us your idea at LX.firstname.lastname@example.org.