One of my favorite things about being an active Twitter user is live-tweeting. From sporting events like the Olympics to conferences and other big events, Twitter allows everyone to share their impressions and knowledge, whether or not they’re able to attend an event in person. (Just make sure you avoid sharing TOO much, lest you land in Twitter jail.)

As a public relations professional, I’m lucky to attend myriad conferences, networking events, and panel discussions. Typically, I tweet about the event from both my personal Twitter handle and from our Solomon McCown handle if the topic is relevant to our clients. What makes an event a success from a live-tweeting perspective? Here are a few best practices to consider when planning your next event:

Develop your hashtag in advance. Want to expand your reach into the wider community that’s interested in your event? Make sure you have a hashtag planned well ahead of time, and include it on marketing materials. Let your speakers know about it. Tag your Tweets with it in the run-up to your event. It will generate more buzz in advance of the meeting, and those who can’t attend will know to monitor that hashtag.

Display relevant Twitter handles during the event. The panelists, speakers, or organizations at your event are your main draw and attendees want to give them credit for their insights. Make sure the Twitter handle of your speakers is displayed prominently—be it on a slide or projector or in the program. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to dig up Twitter handles once an event is underway.

Your organization’s handle should be a part of the conversation. At a recent event I attended, the host organization’s Twitter handle was silent throughout most of the discussion. In an era when politicians Tweet as they’re giving a speech, everyone knows the head of your organization isn’t actually manning the controls during a big event. But someone should be sharing insight, inserting your group’s point of view into the online conversation, and retweeting the best insights from those Tweeting along. When Solomon McCown hosts one of our SM& Presents panel discussions, we discuss who is responsible for keeping an eye on the Twitter conversation long before the event starts.

Encourage social conversation. Got a social-averse crowd? Incentivize them to follow you. When Solomon McCown’s digital team gives a presentation, we’ll often warn the audience that they’ll want to follow us for a reward. We’ll Tweet out during the presentation, “First person to stand up and shout ‘I love Twitter’ gets a $10 Starbucks card!” It breaks the ice, gives your organization a boost in followers, and causes the crowd to pay closer attention.

What’s worked for your organization? Let us know in the comments.