Host an Online Event

Twitter Chat: has some great lessons on hosting a Twitter chat. We’ve shared a few below.

Observe first – You may want to participate in a chat before hosting your own. This will give you the chance to see what they’re like and learn a little more about your community and audience on Twitter.

Choose a theme – What topics are relevant to your online audience or local community? Consider others in your community who might also participate in this topic.

Pick your hashtag – Use a hashtag to help your participants follow along by picking something that is easily identifiable. May we suggest #NDAFW?

Plan your questions in advance – If you have others participating as panelists, it’s also helpful to provide the questions to them ahead of time, so they can be prepared. Our NDAFW toolkits can provide information on specific drug and alcohol-related topics that you might want to use for your Twitter chat

Prepare your Twitter chat team – Some Twitter chats can become tough to manage if you have a lot of participants.  If you are able, consider asking members of your team each taking a specific role to help keep things organized. At NIDA, we like to have at least one person post content and one additional person to keep an eye out for audience questions.

Promote your chat – Don’t forget to let people know about your chat ahead of time! Promote your chat on your social media and any other channels you use to reach your audience.


FB Live:

If you’re hosting an event with speakers or panelists, you may want to consider livestreaming on Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform. You can also host a Q&A on Facebook Live, either as a follow-up to a lecture or on its own.

Here are some tips from for hosting a Facebook LIVE Q&A session. For more tips, check out their blog.

Before Your Event:

  • Plan out your content- Create an event that your audience will want to watch by drafting a script or run-of-show that roughly outlines how your livestream will take shape
    • Prepare your presenters and make sure they talk to the audience, not just each other
    • Build in opportunities to pause and assess or answer any questions that might come from the audience
    • Promote your Facebook Live event before, during, and after the stream

During Your Event:

  • Stay social- Facebook live is more than a broadcast platform and you should incorporate two-way communication into your script
    • Say hello to viewers who are participating in the event
    • Encourage viewers to leave comments or questions in the comments section
    • If possible, respond to viewer questions in real time

After Your Event:

  • Review your analytics to see how well your live video performed
  • Create your own lessons learned to use during your next event