In our blog, Six Ways to Up Level Your Event in 2018, we discussed trends in the event industry that would take 2018 by storm! One of those trends was live streaming. Brands such as Buzzfeed, Martha Stewart, Airbnb and more live stream announcements, sneak peeks and other important moments that they want their audience to be a part of in real time! With more event professionals starting to see the benefits of using video for events and marketing, we wanted to offer them tips and tricks on how to successfully live stream their future events!
Marketing your live stream to get an audience: Increase your viewership by marketing your live stream on social media and your event page ahead of time! When you share details about your event, mention that it will be live streamed and let followers know when, where and how they can tune in. Continue to post reminders as the event approaches and don’t forget to post on the day of the event to drive real-time traffic to your live stream! If you’re using Facebook Live or another social media platform, include a hashtag to go with your event and stream. By adding a hashtag, you create buzz around the event, bring together the audience and also make it easier for followers to interact with your event/brand!
Connect to a reliable wifi network: Regardless of how well you market your live stream, if the video is bad quality or constantly buffers, your audience won’t continue to watch. There never seems to be a way to completely avoid this issue because connection can be one of the biggest challenges. However, in an article by Livestream, they recommend using a dedicated internet connection, meaning you are connected via Ethernet to a network that is not being used by any other system or device to make the connection more consistent. If this option is not available, you can stream with Wi-Fi or 4G, however, this creates a bigger risk of connection failure. No matter which option you choose, make sure to check your internet speed before you go live on sites like speedtest.net!
Make sure you have the necessary equipment: A successful live stream can’t be accomplished without certain equipment that produces clear video and audio! Depending on the scope of your event, one camera could do the trick, but you may need a few cameras, GoPros or a videographer that’s working the room! The most important part of a live stream is the video switcher that allows you to switch between cameras and put computer inputs like powerpoint presentations, subtitles and logo overlays onto your stream. The video feed that the switcher handles is sent to a computer and that computer sends the video out to a live stream platform! When it comes to audio, a podium mic may be required at a corporate conference or multiple mics for a performance! An audio mixer is necessary in order to send the professional audio into the video stream. Even if you’re just doing a simple stream with one camera, be sure to test your equipment and stream before the day of your event to ensure everything is running correctly!
Clean up your stream with titles and graphics: Adding titles and graphics can create a more seamless video experience for viewers. They can also be an opportunity for you to use your brand colors and logo. You don’t want to overwhelm viewers with a lot of text, so limit titles and graphics to the beginning and end of your video and when introducing a new session or speaker!
Engage with your audience: Your streams viewers may have questions or comments while watching a specific presentation or session. Help them to fully engage with your brand by having a member of your team respond to those questions to keep the conversation going. If there is a Q&A at the end of sessions, take online questions as well so audiences will feel included in your event! Boosting the significance of your live stream by making audiences feel immersed in the experience pays off with future ticket sales, 67% of live video viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to an event after watching a live video of that event or a similar one!
Leverage the live stream: After your event is over, don’t let the live stream go to waste! Make sure to record a copy so you can repurpose the footage and use it in your marketing plan. Create teaser videos for future events, post clips of your video on social year-round or create a sizzle reel for your website! Another important way to use the recorded live stream is to share the video as soon as the event ends to make it easy for any viewers who joined late to catch up on what they missed, or allows participants to go back and revisit parts of the event again.