Content Writing Plays an Important Role in Event Recap

03 January 2020

Content, content, content – it’s all we hear these days. It’s the king, the SEO superstar, the social media ruler. But here’s the thing: you don’t have time for it, you don’t know what to write and you’re not sure of what to measure.

After months of planning and preparation—and an insanely stressful event day—the last thing you want to think about is more work. But there are lots of great reasons to take the time to put together post-event content.

Last month, I do coverage for NextICorn International Summit 2019. In that event, my responsibility is to write an event recap. Writing up a great event report means gathering data while at the event. I take the time to write down a few notes about things that particularly impressed me during the summit or panel discussion.

One of the best learning that I can take from NextICorn coverage is don't rely on your memory to keep track of the things that stood out to you and write down as many takeaways from the event as possible. You will not use all of your notes, but the more detail you can provide, the better. Most post-event wrap up reports include the following items, so take notes accordingly. You may not use all of these details, but it is good to have them.

In my NextICorn event recap that you can read here, I try to always cite a quotes from a speaker, such as minister, committee, to start-up/venture capital representative. Good direct quotes are like spice in a dish: they take the readers right there on the spot, give them a sense of the person who is speaking, and lend the story flavor, energy, and music. They also lend authoritativeness and credibility to stories involving public officials. So, great quotes are essential to the fabric of a great story. If the quotes are humdrum and run long, cut and paraphrase.

 

"If you’re wondering what to do now, the answer is simple: start with one."

 

After writing the event recap, I always make sure that the event recap contains proper grammar and avoid spelling, punctuation, and other proofing errors. I try to focus on one big insight, a provocative idea, or a quote from the event that I can’t get out of my head.

When I am feeling exhausted from the event, it’s tempting to put off a writing assignment. But for the best results, I try to get my laptop on the night of the event or the morning after, when the excitement and insights are fresh in my head. The things that I overhead and learned at the event will practically spill out onto the page. The post will be more entertaining and accurate—and it will be more fun to write.

When an enthusiastic newbie writer covers their first live events, they often feel an urge to tell their readers everything; Afraid of missing something important, they cover the event as it happens. This is a classic mistake that most writers quickly learn to avoid. Find the most interesting thing that happened—it might be the last item on the agenda, or the very last thing said—and put it at the top of your article.

There are a lot of content writing styles, and they all have their own superpowers. If you’re wondering what to do now, the answer is simple: start with one. I mean, try to write and publish the report pretty quickly after the event. Whatever the deadline is, make sure that you meet it.

Last but not least, remember, you’re a writer, not a stenographer. You’re under no obligation to include in your story absolutely everything that happens at an event. On the other hand, you are your readers’ eyes and ears—color that gives the reader a sense of the scene can take your story from ordinary to memorable—report with your senses.

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