People can’t get enough of live video these days, making it an event technology you can’t afford to ignore. Livestreaming offers invaluable benefits to event planners. Forty-three percent of the most-watched live content is of conferences and speakers.
Why bother livestreaming your event?
- Reach bigger audiences, especially those who didn’t make it to your event this time around – One hundred million people watch online videos each day.
- Gain exposure for your event – Ninety-two percent of those who consume video on mobile share it with someone else.
- Use video footage for promotional materials – Of those who watch the livestream of an event, 67% are more likely to buy a ticket to a similar event.
All of this equals more revenue.
How can you harness the power of livestreaming? Here are a few strategies and tools to help you make the most of your livestream and increase your event exposure.
Choose the Right Livestreaming Platform
With so many livestreaming platforms and tools on the market, which do you choose? Your options can break down into two categories:
1. Social Network Streaming
- They’re quick to learn.
- They can be made casual or more professional.
- They don’t require additional recording equipment—just a mobile device.
If you’re only streaming short video clips of your event, social media platforms are an affordable way to start.
2. Livestreaming Service Provider
A livestreaming service provider is a good option if:
- You want your event’s livestream to be a little more professional-looking
- You expect your livestream to be lengthy
- You’re unsure your marketing team can build a livestreaming strategy.
Unlike social network streaming, live streaming service providers, such as Livestream and DaCast, give you total control over your content. You can also call your livestreaming service provider if something goes wrong mid-stream.
The right streaming option for your organization depends on your budget and goals. Social media networks offer livestreaming capabilities for free. But in terms of reliability, quality, and bonus features, livestream service providers can’t be beat.
Build a Livestream Strategy
Check out these tried-and-true tips for forming a livestreaming strategy that will keep viewers glued to their screens (and more likely to register for next year’s event):
Promote Your Livestream Early
Like your event, your event livestream must be promoted early and often to get people to tune in. Start spreading the word about your livestream at least a week in advance of the event, using your email and social media channels.
Pro Tip: Give your audience a compelling reason to tune in. For example, create a teaser video of your event and hint at exclusive, behind-the-scenes interviews with special guests.
Give Your Livestream Structure—but Don’t Stick to It
Stay organized during the event by creating an outline for your livestream. This will keep the person in charge of the stream from getting too distracted and ensure they know what’s important to capture.
That being said, people love the authenticity of live video! It could be why they tend to spend eight times longer watching it than on-demand video. Take advantage of unexpected opportunities that arise, like the appearance of a high-profile guest or a particularly lively Q&A session.
Take Viewers Behind the Scenes
Give viewers a virtual VIP pass, taking them backstage for a behind-the-scenes look. Your audience will enjoy experiencing a unique part of the event that few others—even ticketholders—get the chance to see.
Leverage Interactive Technology
Interacting with your live video audience is key to a successful livestream. Here are a few ways to make your stream a two-way conversation:
- Create an event hashtag, and read tweets aloud on live video.
- Hold a Q&A, responding directly to questions submitted by viewers.
- Use live audience polling to keep viewers engaged and get their feedback.
- Offer free resources to download during the event; for example, a free guide or template.
Choose an Engaging Host
A fun host enhances viewers’ experience and helps you make a great (first) impression. Choose your host wisely, and practice going live in advance to ensure they’re a natural livestreamer.
Pro Tip: When it’s time to go live, the host shouldn’t forget to introduce themselves to the audience!
Capture the Highlights of the Event
Many event managers fear that showing the highlights of their events on livestream videos discourages people from attending them in person. On the contrary, it can create FOMO (fear of missing out) in the people who are watching from a distance.
Coachella has leveraged the power of livestreaming since 2011 to create FOMO. Considering how tickets for their 2018 festival sold out within three hours, it looks like their livestreaming strategy has found success.
Once your livestream is over, make smart use of your video content by embedding it on your website. By allowing people to view your video footage at any time, you can build excitement for your next event.
Invest in Livestreaming Equipment
Anyone can livestream from a mobile device. To ‘wow’ your viewers and give them a good impression of your brand, you need the right recording equipment for the job:
Professional HD camera – For beginner video production, a single camera setup works. As you become more skilled with livestreaming, consider upgrading to a multi-camera setup to make your stream foolproof against any mishaps.
Microphones – Nothing loses viewers quicker than seeing a mouth move with no (or delayed) sound. A high-quality microphone makes you sound professional and gives listeners a better audio experience. If you’re going to use your livestreams for interviews, invest in a professional microphone that reduces background noise.
Tripod – A tripod keeps your camera stable during live events. The last thing you want is to annoy viewers with irritating shakes.
Encoder – Video encoders convert your video file from one format to another to achieve the best possible playback on any device (mobile, desktop, tablet). Livestream encoders come in two main types:
- Software – Many livestreaming services come with software encoders built into their platform. This integration makes it easy for beginners to customize their streams and get running at a relatively low cost.
- Hardware – On the other hand, hardware encoders are usually reserved for professional broadcasters and come at a steeper price point. For this reason, most livestream productions stick to software encoders.
High-speed internet connection – We all know how frustrating it is to wait for a video to buffer. Don’t let this happen to your viewers! With a fast and reliable internet connection, you can keep your livestreaming running as smoothly as the event itself.
Livestreaming an event requires some education and preparation, but the payoff can be huge. With the right tools and strategies, you can maximize exposure for your event and build a massive audience online and at your next event.
Looking for help incorporating a livestreaming strategy into your overall event strategy? Let our expert event planners take care of some—or all—of your event tasks. We’ll keep your corporate event or conference running smoothly and looking great in person and on a screen.