Who doesn’t want a bigger audience for their event? Live streaming lets you take your event state-wide, country-wide, or global. Suddenly, your awesome conference speakers can present to thousands of people without being limited by venue space. In fact, you can spread the live impact of any big event. Or not-so-big event.
Live streaming lives on, too. Besides the live feed, you can post the video on your website, distribute all or parts of it via social media, or email it to key stakeholders to get even more bang for your buck. Hot dog!
Obviously, live streaming can boost your audience, but how can you make the most of that opportunity? We have some tips.
Ignore the nay-sayers
Worried that no one will come if they can watch from elsewhere instead? You don’t want to simply trade live attendees for invisible ones. And you won’t!
You know that no matter how carefully you plan your event, there are folks who can’t be there. Your event is a sellout and there’s no more room. The timing is wrong. Or they can’t muster the funds to cover all the expenses of attending live. Or – and this is vital for the future success of your event – they aren’t sure if making the effort to attend in person will be worth it.
Live streaming lets every one of these people say yes instead of missing out. That’s good for them, and it's good for your presenters, entertainers, and sponsors. Not to mention your own brand. Besides, as great as it is that people can attend from afar, nothing really compares to being there. Live streaming delivers your key content, but it cannot deliver the one-on-one networking, conversations around the lunch table or in the bar, the camaraderie, and the atmosphere. It’s a pretty good experience, but it's not the whole enchilada.
However, it does hint at all those things, so it acts as a teaser. Between your great content and the promise of an even more excellent experience in person, live streamers become live attendees next time around:
- 67% of millennials say watching a live stream concert makes them want to be there in person next time.
- In another study, 30% of live stream viewers said they’d attend in person next year.
- Salesforce multiplied their annual conference audience 75x with live streaming.
We’re guessing if you could double the audience at your business conference or fundraiser you’d be thrilled.
Promote the Heck Out of It
Forget the Field of Dreams. The only way to get a live stream audience, and get the biggest audience possible, is to market it ahead of time just like you do the “real thing.” You promote the fact that you have multiple workshops or entertainment stages or whatever, so promote the fact that you also offer multiple ways to attend. Pull out all the stops to entice both types of audiences. Make a big splash on social media with posts that include video clips or pose questions to get the buzz going.
Make It Easy to Join the Party
Sending out a live video feed is Basic Live Streaming 101. Anyone can tune in and watch, though you’re smart to require registration. After all, you want to capture viewers’ emails so you can connect with them to follow up and keep next year’s event top-of-mind with them. But you’ll boost attendance and make them glad they tuned in by engaging with them during the event itself:
- Do live interviews during the breaks with speakers, popular exhibitors, sponsors, or even attendees.
- Include remote attendees in Q&A sessions or discussions.
Talk up all these opportunities as well as your core content in your advance marketing.
Use This Year to Boost Next Year
Whether you live stream only key elements of your event or the whole thing, record it, too. Post the video on your website (via YouTube) so more viewers can catch the action. Send the video to your "did not attend" list (and possibly the attendees themselves, depending on the type of event). Use tidbits to highlight after-action social media posts and to promote next year’s event. Use them to attract more sponsors, too.
You work hard to produce an exceptional event, whatever its size or purpose. Of course, you want to share that experience with the most folks possible, and live streaming lets you do just that. If this is new to you, relax, we have you covered. That’s what experienced AV partners are for. We’ll help you choose a set-up that fits your goals and budget, so you can reach more people than ever this year.
Who knows? Maybe next year you’ll have to find a larger physical venue!