Welcoming a virtual audience to your next event via a live stream can provide a wealth of benefits: it can increase exposure, extend the lifespan of your event messages, provide valuable audience insight and data, generate a buzz around your brand or product, it can even increase physical attendance at future events. But just like any form of production, it requires careful planning and preparation, so here’s our top list of do’s and don’ts for live streaming your next event.
DO ensure you have sufficient bandwidth
Successful live streaming relies on solid connectivity. You want your remote attendees to remain engaged, not be frustrated by slow speeds or poor connections, so it’s crucial to deliver a live stream that offers the same fluid and flowing experience your live audience are party to.
The best way to avoid any potential pitfalls is to take the appropriate measures to ensure sufficient bandwidth and stability. Avoid Wi-Fi at all costs – this can lead to interruptions, causing your stream to freeze, buffer or drop out entirely, particularly in larger venues where the Wi-Fi is often shared across the entire site. The best option is to acquire a dedicated wired connection, paying particular attention to the upload speed.
DO use the right equipment
In addition to smooth and consistent connectivity, the audio visual delivery of your stream will have a significant impact on the experience of your remote attendees. So don’t scrimp on your equipment. Use a camera with a high video resolution, but don’t rely on its built in microphone to capture audio. External microphones will deliver a far better quality of sound to your remote audience. Regardless of whether your attendees are there in person or in a virtual capacity, your event messaging remains the key component so make sure it can be heard loud and clear by using the right equipment to ensure a professional quality broadcast.
DON’T leave it to chance
Preparation is key for any live event, so apply the same approach to your live stream. Make sure you carry out a detailed risk assessment pre event, making note of and preparing for every possible eventuality. Have back up equipment to hand and rehearsed contingency plans in place.
Conduct full test runs prior to the event with your AV team, preferably in the venue from which you intend to stream, and ensure plenty of time for technical set up, equipment testing and rehearsal immediately before the event.
DON’T assume engagement
Possibly one of the biggest challenges of live streaming is ensuring that your audience are engaged. Just because your remote attendees are tuned in, don’t assume that they are actively involved with what’s going on.
A well-crafted agenda and compelling content are obvious musts for engagement for all events but where there’s a virtual audience involved, interactivity should become a prime consideration. There are a multitude of streaming platforms that allow for live question submission from remote viewers and real time polling that allow those watching from afar to be part of the conversation.
DO record and repurpose your content
One of the many benefits of live streaming is the ability to extend the lifespan of your event by recording the stream and repurposing the content. Many platforms will allow you to archive the stream in full enabling attendees to revisit or those who were unable to attend the chance to view the event as it was witnessed live.
Recording your stream will also provide you with valuable content for future promotion. Consider editing the footage into a highlights video, condensing key moments into snippets for social media, or reworking the content into new formats such as blog posts or podcasts.
DON’T forget the data
Live streaming your event provides a great opportunity to learn more about your audience and how they respond to and interact with your content. All platforms should offer insight into viewing figures and audience retention, but beyond that, if your platform allows you to upload event related materials and conduct live Q&A’s, this can provide valuable insight into the attendee experience and the particular elements that they interact with most.
If live polling is available on your platform, use this to strategically capture feedback on the elements most relative to your objectives. This information will not only help to demonstrate the success of the event in question, but allow you to tailor future events to audience preference.
And then of course there’s the lead capture element. Providing your virtual attendees provide you with the relevant permissions, you could extend your marketing pool substantially through the audience data captured from your live stream.
The Presentation Group offer full technical production inclusive of live streaming for standalone virtual events and hybrid meetings. Contact one of our experienced Producers today to find out how we can help extend the reach of your next event.
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