Going Live for Events
At one point, the concept of live-streaming at an event was considered futuristic. It seemed something only possible for big brands with bigger events with even bigger budgets. You’d hire a big box AV company, pay for a high-profile streaming service and charge remote participants to tune in.
And then technology evolved. Social media evolved. The way we connect evolved.
With apps, attendee generated and driven engagement puts the power in the hands of the user. The frequency and reach of event content goes as far and wide as the user’s following.
When Snapchat emerged on the scene in 2011, it was pushed aside as a silly messaging app for millennials. Fast forward to 2016, with almost 100 million daily active users, it has become major player in the world of live streaming for events. Snapchat can be used before, during, and after an event as a method of marketing and attracting attendees. Using branded Snapchat GeoFilters and the “our story” feature, allows attendees to contribute content that can be curated for your own promotional purposes.
By the time Persicope was getting ready to launch in 2015, it had been purchased by Twitter. The reported $100 billion deal, seems to indicate that investors understood the potential of user guided live streaming and what that meant for big brands. Because of its ease-of-use and broad social reach, the live-streaming app has gained popularity with experiential marketers. The same is true for #EventProfs. We recognized quickly the power of the app, and it has become the go-to live streaming app for events.
With 1.65 billion monthly active users – more than Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, combined – Facebook is the latest social media platform to jump into the live broadcasting arena. With the ability to “Go Live” from personal, business, group and event pages, the platform provides the opportunity to connect with your audience based on different types of interests. Say you’re hosting an event, going live from the event page shares the experience with users who indicated that they were interested in the event, but did not attend. Going live gives you the opportunity to promote an upcoming event or broadcast a Q&A with a featured speaker on-site. Unlike its counterparts whose videos disappear after 24 hours, Facebook’s live streams become part of your public video gallery like any other shareable content.
Experience Is Everything.
With Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook Live, most moments can be turned into a marketing opportunity, only now your marketing will have a more “humanized” approach. You get the benefit of a virtual “event ambassador” telling the exact story you want to tell.
Live streaming is ideal for capturing the moment and can be used for behind-the-scenes glimpses of events, how-to’s, quick interviews, live demos, and breaking news.
So as this world of live streaming and its impact on the event industry continues to evolve, keep in mind a few things:
1. Live streaming events complements the live event experience. Not only do you get to include the remote users, you have the opportunity to engage them.
Pro tip: Field audience questions from your broadcast audience and have live presenters respond during the broadcast. Likewise, get your audience and speakers to greet all of those tuned it. Voila! Instant engagement!
2. Beware of copyright issues. In general, no copyrighted material may ever be recorded and content creators should always be aware of the potential for violating intellectual property rights.
Pro tip: Be sure to obtain written consent from speakers to use their images and materials in your live broadcast. Include this language in performance contracts.
3. Check your internet connection. Nothing kills the vibe faster than a slow internet connection. As a host, you want to be sure any content you or your guests are streaming comes through flawlessly.
Pro tip: Ask your venue about internet speeds, connectivity and bandwidth restrictions. Negotiate for a higher bandwidth for events with heavy internet usage and video streaming.
4. Yes, you have to market it! Invite your followers to participate in the live streaming experience. Promote the event hashtag, encourage live broadcasts and remind those who can’t participate that you will be live streaming.
Pro tip: Capture the content to use in future promotion.
5. Live streaming is not a fad. Live streaming gives attendees and followers real-time access to brands, companies and events, creating more transparency and authentic engagement. This type of connection is exactly what they want and they will expect more of it.
Pro tip: Include live streaming as part of your marketing and event strategy. Dedicate resources – financial, staffing, etc. – to enable your organization to make the most of the opportunity.