Social Media for Hybrid Events à la Google

Discover Engaging Ways of Using Social Media for Hybrid Events

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Social media feed display on the stage during Google's Chrome Dev Summit. Social wall example.

Google has been using social media walls for some of its large-scale international events. They set up huge on-site displays, incorporated real-time social streams into their live streams. Let’s have a look at how Google uses social media for hybrid events.

Let’s look at the four hybrid events, which happened in considerably quick succession: Firebase Summit, Android Dev Summit, Chrome Dev Summit and Flutter Live. Google set up one or multiple social media feeds for each of these events, giving us great insights into the many ways you can use social feeds at an event.

Displaying a social media wall on location

Something Google did at all of these events was to show their social media wall on a screen on location.

The social media wall on a gigantic screen onstage during Chrome Dev Summit. displaying the #FirebaseSummit social wall on the stage.

The social wall on stage at Flutter Live.

The social wall on stage at the Tensor Flow Dev Summit.

While all four events had social media displays as part of the stage setup, it doesn’t always have to be the biggest screen ever. Smaller screens or TV screens also work really well. You can display social media feeds anywhere you want, even at the coffee station:

Source: Twitter

Branding matters

As you can see, Google adapted each social wall to fit the event. The live stream at Android Dev Summit was branded to fit the typical green colour of Android.

Source: Twitter

Branding your social wall to go hand in hand with your brand’s CI helps set the mood and create a continuous experience. makes branding your social wall fairly easy. With the custom feed design, you can not just customise the colour scheme but even add custom CSS code to style your wall. Of course, you can always upload your logo or a fitting graphic as a header as well.

Live stream your social media wall (great for both hybrid and virtual events)

Google has been very diligent about making sure there is a live stream for all of these events. And they made the social wall part of the live stream, often showing it in the breaks between the individual agenda items.

A live stream, especially when it shows the social wall as well, is a great way to make an event accessible for everyone and goes a long way towards making people feel included, even when they can’t be at the event in person.

It’s also great for people who want to come together for a viewing party to experience the event together.

Source: Twitter

Pick the theme you need gives you a choice of themes to pick from and we absolutely love that Google didn’t just stick to one theme but tried out a bunch of different ones over the course of their events. They even changed the themes throughout the events, as is nicely demonstrated when looking at the live stream recording from Chrome Dev Summit.

Screenshot from the Chrome Dev Summit showing the event’s social wall on a big screen with the Fluid theme layout (multiple posts nesting against each other on the social wall).
Chrome Dev Summit started out with the Fluid theme in the morning.
Screenshot from the Chrome Dev Summit live stream on YouTube showing the event’s social wall on a big screen with the Kiosk theme layout (one post at a time, shown big).
Then switched to Kiosk later on.
Screenshot from the Chrome Dev Summit live stream on YouTube showing the event’s social wall on a big screen with the Map theme layout (posts are shown popping up with pins on a geographical map).
And finally, showed posts on our Maps theme.

Seeing the social media posts pop up on the geographical map is always really exciting and delighted the Chrome Dev Summit audience as well. Similarly, the Map theme appealed to the Android Dev Summit audience as well, especially with those tuning into the live stream from far-away locations.

Source: Twitter

You can always switch themes in your dashboard to go with the theme that fits your purpose best. If you don’t want to switch or are planning to show the same wall in different looks on different screens, you can override the theme for each display using modifier URLs. Check out our help article on URL modifiers.

Custom avatars initiative created buzz on social media

Hands-down one of the coolest things we’ve seen a social display used for was this awesome collection of custom-created avatars at Firebase Summit.

Virginia Poltrack, an artist working with the Women Techmakers team at Google, created avatars of anyone at Firebase Summit who wanted one done. The portraits were all uploaded as native posts to a social wall, which was then displayed on stage in an attempt to showcase the diversity at the Firebase summit.

Source: Twitter

And here is the awesome social wall full of custom avatars on the big screen.

Source: Twitter

People clearly really enjoyed getting their portraits done at Firebase Summit.

And many can now be seen using them as their actual avatar on social media:

Screenshot of the Twitter user @DenisValasek’s profile, showing a tweet and, in the background, the avatar drawn at Firebase Summit is set as the user’s profile photo. The tweet itself shows a photo of the event stage and audience at Firebase Summit, with the social wall displayed on a big screen on stage. The tweet reads: “Yesterday's #FirebaseSummit was amazing! Many new features, lots of new information and many more! Also new cool profile picture! Thanks, @Firebase! #BetterTogether”

Ready to start using social media for hybrid events the way Google does?

Create a social wall in less than 5 minutes!

Google used for all the social media displays, including the one for the custom avatars. Start creating your own social media feed for your physical or virtual event. You can try it out with the free trial.