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Event Planner’s Toolbox: Event Storytelling With Storify

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Event Planner’s Toolbox (EPT) focuses on software and services that enable you to reach your full potential as an event planner. They are handpicked, loved, and trusted. We try to keep them free, but free is not always the best option. However, in the age of freemium, services became more and more reliable while costing users nothing but time to learn how to use it. Each article focuses on one area, covering it in depth to make sure it solves the problem. You’re more than welcome to leave your suggestions in the comments.

Event Storytelling

Storify
Just drag and drop story bits onto the storyline.

Every event has a story. Your attendees are the characters. The plot of the story is the main focus of your event. It needs to be told, yet many event planners fail to do so.

The story begins during the event and ends with post-event buzz. The story becomes a living testimony of the successful event. It becomes the marketing collateral used to attract new attendees to your next event. Also, it adds more interactivity to your event by allowing your attendees to talk about your event through the social media.

Storify is a free storytelling service that allows users (you) to curate stories they create by utilizing the power of social media and the Internet.

It’s a very simple and free service, yet it's very powerful at what it offers your event. The concept is simple: Your attendees will tweet and blog about your event. They'll post photos and videos online. This sort of marketing is great, but it lacks focus and is spread all over the Internet.

Using Storify, event planners can search through Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Google search, links and RSS feeds for your event. The curator (event planner) then filters the results and begins creating a story by dragging results to the storyline on the right. Text, images, and videos can be embedded within the storyline.

“We offer manual curation and believe that having a real person select elements to place in a story is how we add value,” said Burt Herman, Storify co-founder and CEO. “Journalists, bloggers, brands and others want to control what's going on their site.”

The curator has full control over the narrative and direction the story is heading. Custom text can be inserted anywhere in the storyline, which you can consider as the voice of the narrator in the documentaries. Add thoughts, questions, realizations and anything your mind desires.

Storify offers more flexibility and diversity over live blogging because it offers curators the ability to use the public’s buzz about your event to lead the narrative. You’re not saying it — you’re showing others what people at the event think of it. It’s an instant review!

The storyline can be embedded within your event website. The ideal option would be to embed it inside your homepage so visitors would see the story as it unfolds instead of static content that doesn’t offer anything of value.

In order to fully maximize the narrative’s potential, you would have to delegate this task to a staff member or volunteer to do it throughout the event. Don’t let it sit untouched.

TIP: Create a unique Twitter hashtag for your event and begin using it as a part of your marketing efforts. Your attendees should know what it is, so they can mark tweets about your event on Twitter. This way tweets about your event are easily available within Storify, so you can spend less time looking for them and more time narrating the story of your event.

Also, Storify has a new feature to display stories in a form of a slideshow, which is not yet publicly announced. Each story bit is displayed in a form of a slide, which you can go through one by one when you use arrow keys on your keyboard.

This is a free tool. There’s no reason you should not try it out. Your event will greatly benefit from the added value the story brings to the table.

Below is the embedded sample story created around a popular Twitter trend, or you can visit Storify page where this story was created. Enjoy!



What story did you tell with Storify? Share in the comments section.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Viktor –

    I know I’m a few years late, but I just wanted to say that this writeup on the Storify platform is dead on. I most connected to your focusing on the benefits of telling an event’s story. I’ve recently started pursuing my own venture as a company that provides event correspondent services. Even in 2013, its still seems a little challenging to get people to see the value in hiring someone to tell an event’s story.

    What do you think?

    Thanks for sharing some great content.

    -Trina King

    • Hi Trina,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you’re right. Even now the benefits of social media, for marketing and engagement, are not something many event planners understand. The lack of hard ROI on social media and the barrier to try something new keeps them from using it to its fullest advantage. The key is to communicate benefits and ROI of your services to the event planners. This can be done easily with past events you’ve done, so you can show them instead of simply telling them about it.

      Hope that helps.
      Viktor

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