Social reporting

Brief Description

Social reporters at the ShareFair 2009
Social reporters at the ShareFair 2009
"Social reporting is aimed at people organising a face-to-face event and who want to use new social media for both capturing moments of the event and for stimulating different types of conversation. Events provide good opportunities for social reporting before, during, and after the day. They push you to think about reaching people "in the room" and those people who could not make it[...]Equally important as the new ways of publishing is the growing recognition that many insights and learning that happen at face-to-face events take place during informal conversations and not necessarily in the formal presentations or sessions. Social reporting aims to try and stimulate and capture some of these improvisational conversations as a way of bringing more voices to the table and of surfacing some of the stories that help give context to the event." (Source: Social Reporting Toolbox, December 2008 )


The term “social reporter” was launched in 2006 by David Wilcox and Bev Trayner. In recent years, "the idea of social reporting has been growing in response to two important changes in the organisation of today’s types of events. The first is the explosion of new and free online tools that opens up communication and the publishing of information of different types (such as text, photographs and video recordings) in different ways and to different types of people." Numerous events nowadays use social reporting as integral part of the event so that this is becoming the 'new normal' for event organizers.

When to use

"Social reporting from events provides a unique opportunity to reach out to a wider community than just merely the people present at the event. It allows you to use mass social media to bring out your key messages, as an awareness or advocacy tool to a broader audience. [...] But it goes further than that: using event participants as social reporters enables a more active engagement of the participants themselves." (Source: Social Reporting from Conferences, Workshops and Other Events, March 2013)

How to use

The guide Social Reporting from Conferences, Workshops and Other Events offers practical suggestions for efficient social reporting setup, before, during and after an event. In a nutshell, the guide identify the following steps for successful social reporting:
  • Define roles and strategy of the social reporting team
  • Agree on ground rule, coordination and communication mechanisms
  • Focus on pre event activities to engage with social reporters and build an audience d engage your readership
  • On site, organize the team; identify daily task division; monitor quality, engagement and outreach
  • After the event, organize a wrap-up meeting to evaluate the efforts and learn from mistakes and achievements

Tips and Lessons Learnt

  • Have social reporters work in pairs when you have a group with different level of familiarity with social media tools
  • Make sure at the venue there's a dedicated area/room for social reporters to work
  • If you want to do video interviews, make sure you find a quite corner, with enough light and a nice background to record your interviews
  • Quality is more important that quantity!

Examples & Stories

Who can tell me more?

  • Pier Andrea Pirani (pier [at]

Related Methods / Tools / Practices

More Information/References/Related Resources


Photo or image credits