It’s pretty amazing to know I can open up my Periscope at almost any given moment and expect to learn something new. Sure, you may have to weed through the #CatScopes and #RefridgeratorScopes in order to find the broadcasts of substance, but when you start following a host of creativepreneurs, your feed will be filled with mini workshops. Hopping on Periscope without providing much notice is great for quick tutorials, FAQs, truth bombs, and brainstorming sessions, but turning your ordinary ‘scope into an event will not only provide more value for your audience, but it will also encourage higher engagement and more quality discussions. If you’re interested in taking your Periscope game to the next level, consider hosting your own workshop event.
Earlier in August, I planned and organized my own Periscope Workshop Event and it was a huge success! Allow me to shed some insight:
Most recently, I had a crazy idea and presented it to three equally crazy (and wonderful!) individuals who said they were all in. As I shared in my recent post on the power of Periscope, I co-hosted a Periscope Power Hour with Kayla of Kayla Hollatz, Chloe of Chloe Social, and Michelle of Bloomology. Together, we discussed Being Your Offline Self Online, focusing on the four pillars of transparency, vulnerability, voice, and balance. We made it fun and light-hearted with signature drinks and each talked for about 15-20 minutes on our topics.
It. Was. Amazing.
I was blown away by how well my fellow collaborators took their topics and ran with them and how engaged our wonderful audience was! We had several HUNDRED live viewers (including those on the web) for each of our broadcasts, several dozen of whom felt comfortable and empowered to comment and share their own stories and opinions.
Not only was my love for Periscope affirmed, but my love for this community and how we can serve one another was, too. It opened the door for a lot of important conversations about why we need to show up as we truly are offline AND online and I look forward to more transparency, courage in vulnerability, stronger voices, and confidence in the balance we’ve established for ourselves. (Keep scrolling to get your FREE planning guide to organize your own Periscope workshop event!)
Missed my ‘scope about transparency and want to catch the replay? Here you are:
If you’re interested in receiving a freebie recap of our #ScopePowerHour and want to stay in-the-know about potential future Periscope Power Hours (hey, a girl can dream), you can sign up here.
How to Organize Your Own Periscope Workshop Event
Ready to take on your own Periscope Workshop Event? Here are six simple steps to making your workshop event a reality, even if you don’t have any idea what you’ll broadcast about. I’ve even put together a free planning guide for you to download because I know things get done faster and easier with a little guidance.
Step 1 | Gather your cohorts
Certainly you can host your own scope event, but when you bring other thought leaders into the mix, you’re adding a great deal of value and increasing interest (and attendance!). Have you noticed some bloggers use #PassTheScope to encourage their audience to head to another broadcaster once their scope is over? It’s the same concept, but on a more strategic level.
Consider people in your niche who can offer a unique perspective and pitch your event idea to them, explaining why you value their contributions and how it might benefit them and their audience. I would suggest capping your collaborators to no more than four, as each of you will spend time broadcasting and it can get rather lengthy. If your collaborators are local, consider scoping together. Fun fact: Kristin and I scoped together in person on our own individual Periscope accounts. It was both hilarious and effective.
Step 2 | Decide on a valuable workshop topic
After I got my first collaborator on board (Kayla), we tossed some ideas back and forth. We established the tone of our event first–fun and lighthearted–and decided that we wanted to take on a more discussion-based format rather than a informative, how-to tutorial. Deciding the tone and style first made it easier to settle on a topic that worked for all of our audiences (and illuminated areas where we felt Chloe and Michelle could really offer amazing insight).
Here are some alternative ways to find topics for your workshop:
- Partake in some social listening during a Twitter chat and find out where people have a lot of questions or a great deal to say on a certain topic.
- Do a quick audit of your blog posts and find the ones with the most comments. Is there an area that lends itself to more elaboration?
- What are some of the frequently asked questions you receive?
- Consider the trending topics in your niche and what insight you can share about them.
Bonus Tip: Once you’ve settled on your topic, get creative. What other features can you add to make your event special? We included signature drinks to play on our “power hour” theme and that ended up being a really fun “ice breaker” of sorts.
Step 3 | Choose a date and create a hashtag, a landing page and accompanying graphics
Pick a date and time for your event, write it on your calendar, and stick to it. Often times, we creatives get so excited about collaborations and then we never follow through. Don’t be that blogger this time–you have an amazing idea! Just run with it! We settled in on our date about three weeks in advance (though this could be put together in less time if you’re not swamped like we were!) and put it right after #createlounge so that people could follow us there right after.
Now it’s time to create a buzz around your event. We created a hashtag–#ScopePowerHour–so we could mention it on social media and set up a simple landing page (nothing crazy, just a blank page on my WordPress site, but if you’re fancier than I, go ahead and spruce up that LeadPage or Squarespace landing page!) with an area for people to opt in to a mailing list specific to the event. It included a title, description, date/time, graphic, and email form. You can check it out here. Lastly, I put together some accompanying graphics for various social platforms.
Step 4 | Promote and prepare for the event
As the event approaches, bump up your social media game, write a blog post that links to the landing page, send out a reminder email to your new subscribers, and make it known! Let your audience know what they will gain from spending time with you on Periscope. A few days before the event, I posted about why Periscope is the perfect complement to your brand and it was the ideal tie-in to #ScopePowerHour.
While you’re bringing your a-game to social media, be sure to have everything ready to go behind-the-scenes. My collaborators and I met on Google Hangout twice to go over details, settle in on our topics, and brainstorm tips for during the broadcast. We also did a private practice run on Periscope so we could test out how to transition between scopes. This was really useful for all of us, especially those who hadn’t done their own broadcast yet. We also took the time individually to outline what we wanted to say on our scopes, including a question we planned on asking our audiences at the end of our broadcasts. I don’t recommend to completely script your talk, as that takes away from the live, uncut feel of Periscope, but having your main talking points available is really helpful and ensures that your audience will walk away with value.
Bonus Tip: Make sure you have created an account on Katch.me. This will automatically save your future Periscopes on a website so you can replay them (even after 24 hours) and embed or share the video at any time. (You can “catch” all of my broadcasts on Katch here.)
Step 5 | Go live
Send out a few last-minute tweets and go live on time and with enthusiasm! Spend a few moments introducing yourself, encouraging others to do the same, and explaining how the event will work. Then, get started! Allow the audience to influence your discussions, but be sure to watch the clock so you can #PassTheScope at the right time.
Here are some suggestions for making sure your Periscope workshop event goes smoothly:
- Use the hashtag in your broadcast title and tell your audience to follow it to catch the next broadcast if they get lost.
- Ask your audience to “swipe right” and share the broadcast with their followers and let them know that if they agree with what you’re saying, they can show some love by tapping their screen for hearts. Often times, verbalizing this is a cue for people to actually follow through. It’s kind of amazing!
- Have each broadcaster share the purpose of the event and encourage their followers to move on to the next person. Not everyone will know that this is an event ahead of time, so it’s helpful to restate what’s going on.
- Encourage each audience to follow through to the end. We told our audience that Michelle was going to reveal our special freebie at the end and we were pleased to see the audience numbers stayed strong throughout the whole event.
- While your cohorts are broadcasting, take screenshots of good comments, type out some of their most quote-worthy moments, and keep tabs on the Twitter activity around your hashtag. It’s multi-tasking at its finest!
- Most importantly, relax and enjoy the event! Think of it as a conversation with a friend and don’t sweat it if you lose your train of thought or stumble. People LOVE authenticity!
Step 6 | Follow up
Once the event is over, share your gratitude on social media, again using your hashtag. Additionally, create a simple, but valuable freebie for your email subscribers as a thank you. Finally, take the discussions and use them as a springboard for future content on your blog, in your newsletter, or even for a product. As Regina often shares, Periscope is amazing “testing” platform that can give you a lot of content fodder!