A question I often receive from colleagues and readers is “how can I gain more visibility for my event?” and I usually respond with a question of my own…Have you tried live streaming your event?
That’s usually when I hear crickets. Just kidding (kinda).
But all teasing aside, a live stream can be, shall we say…daunting at first. But once you learn the ropes, it can become one of your greatest tools for outreach.
My first instinct is to do it all. Go big or go home, right?
I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade but unless you are already a seasoned live streamer, you might want to start small.
What I am not saying is to live stream one demo with the first platform you run across. But what I am saying is that you don’t need to live stream every speaker and give in-depth behind-the-scenes to have a successful first live stream.
It’s important to note that not all content deserves to be live streamed.
It’s OK to limit yourself to specific content that is in higher demand and that meets YOUR objective.
To get started, create a plan with small realistic goals – like streaming a lively Q & A session or giving a quick tour of the showroom floor- so you don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do it all.
Make Good Investments
One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make is the lack of consideration when it comes to the equipment they use.
If you want your audience to stay tuned in don’t use antiquated technology. Sorry, it had to be said.
It doesn’t need to be high end, however, it does need to be reliable and of good quality – never underestimate the value of a good microphone.
Here is a basic list of what you’ll need to do a quality live stream: a video camera, tripod, microphone, encoder, streaming service, and WIFI.
And FYI, nothing is worse than going live only to experience technical difficulties. If your internet speed can’t handle the bandwidth of the live stream, then none of the above matters.
Check and then double check that you have the internet connectivity that you need.
Anyone can do a live stream simply with their smart phone (like Facebook Live), so announcing that you are going to be doing one is cool, but it’s one in a million. The freshness that was once the live stream has worn off some, which means more effort is needed to promote it right.
You want to be strategic when it comes to targeting the right audience with advertising. There is so much out there competing for everyone’s attention that you need to be purposeful in your approach.
Do you want it to be free or are you interested in the possibility of making it a new source of revenue by having a company sponsor it?
First, you need to identify your goals, then make a plan, and lastly promote it like there’s no tomorrow, including hashtags, a brief teaser video, and graphics.
And just when you think you’re done, you aren’t. Building hype isn’t over until the show is over.
A designated team member should be interacting with viewers in real time to keep the engagement going; It encourages viewers to tell others about your show and makes them feel like they are a part of the live event.
A Positive Investment
According to Eventbrite, 30% of people who watch a live streamed event will attend the same event next year.
That’s a pretty good ROI considering it doesn’t cost much to get set up.
Afterward, you can get a good idea of how well it was received and what things need some tweaking by doing a survey of online and in-person attendees. Getting feedback can help guide you on your next live-stream.
And as always, keep the conversation going even after the show is over. Always making connections, always keeping it real.