As event managers, we all know that it’s very important to keep up with today’s technology trends. With so many new trends these days, it’s getting hard to keep up with everything, but one of the most recent trends in event tech is live streaming. Whether it’s on Facebook Live or Periscope, everyone is using it in different ways throughout the event cycle. While live streaming can make for a relatively easy addition to your event, you may be asking yourself what’s the best way to use it to truly cater to your audience. Here are a few live streaming ideas I’ve come across to consider at your next event:
- Multi-location events: The FRESH Conference is a large annual event hosted by MDI, and in 2017, they are taking it to the next level by having a multi-city meeting. This means this conference will take place in several hubs at the same time including London, Paris and Barcelona. Each city will have its own face-to-face meeting linked together by a live stream that will make it feel like everyone is in the same place. So whether you have an event taking place in multiple buildings on the same block or across many cities at the same time, live streaming can help connect everything and everyone together.
- Remote keynotes: Have a keynote in mind that can’t physically make it to your event? Why not have them live stream in? Not only does it allow you to not sacrifice top keynote picks, but it saves money on travel costs as well; all while maintaining a high tech event experience.
- Remote attendees: Sometimes a prospective attendee may want to go your event, but are unable to due to prior engagements or registration/travel costs. With live streaming, attendees like these can still connect with your event by listening in to keynotes and maybe even attending workshops. Even though this person is behind the computer screen, they can still learn from and interact with your event. In this capacity, live streaming can also act as a little sneak peak into your event to drive attendance for future years. You can also keep a copy of your live stream on social media and use it for future promotional purposes.
- Make your social media pop: If you want to be more present on your social media accounts, live streaming can definitely help. Posting to your accounts that already offer live streaming features, like Facebook, adds another element to your social media strategy. It’s not just pictures, text and videos anymore; adding a live element can make your traditional social media presence stand out.
- Boost attendee engagement: If you can’t live stream your whole event or any entire aspects of your event at all, you can leave it in your attendees’ hands while increasing engagement at the same time. Encourage your attendees to broadcast their event experience through apps and tools such as Facebook Live and Periscope. If your attendees are live streaming your event on each of their social networks, you are not only increasing attendee engagement, but you are also spreading awareness of your event to other networks you may not be able to reach on your own.
- Use it as a “backstage pass:” Want to make your events or brand feel more personable? Live stream what happens backstage or behind the scenes at your event. Broadcast an interview with your keynotes before they speak or show parts of the event setup and break down to your audience. These special extras give your event a little more personality while connecting with your audience on a different level.
- Cut costs: Budget a little tight this year? Live stream an entire event instead of having a physical one! That may sound a bit extreme, but think of it as a virtual trade show or conference on a more accessible platform, like Facebook. This saves money on almost all event overhead, while saving attendees money at the same time!
How have you experienced live streaming in the events industry? As we head into 2017, what ideas do you have to use it at your next event? Share in the comments!
Written by: Sara Erdos