I’m not flying to Miami from Kansas City for your event. Not that I wouldn’t like to, if I had the time, if I didn’t have family responsibilities, if my budget to attend conferences was unlimited. Can I just watch it online somewhere?
Is it better for you to have me entirely disengaged from your event, from your brand, than to give me a different experience?
This is the year for streaming video
Twitter purchased the Periscope streaming app in January of 2015 for $100 million. It may seem like a paltry sum in tech buyout terms but bear these three things in mind:
- Periscope was bought before it launched.
- The company had only been founded 11 months earlier.
- The idea hadn’t even occurred to the founders until just 2 years earlier.
That’s how much streaming matters these days.
Facebook Live reported that people will watch live video 3x longer than prerecorded video and comment 10x as much. They are part of the moment without being in the area.
How much time do your kids spend watching videos on YouTube vs. reading? What do you think the Netflix to books ratio is for people’s time now? To put that in event streaming terms, how often do you go to the theatre versus watching something at home?
Now what do you need to do in order to make live-streaming work for your event?
There are so many ways to stream an event that I won’t even get into details other than to say there is always a way you can go live from the event floor, whatever your budget. Money isn’t your issue. Let the increased ticket sales from next year’s event worry about what you’re spending on streaming this year. Worry about planning your content.
Don’t pull a Mariah Carey. You’re going to be vastly increasing the reach of your brand. Be ready for it. Greater reach will increase a few risks but there is no risk so debilitating as fading into obscurity. The real risk is boredom. Plan your streams so that there’s always something for your audience to watch. Don’t stream dead time.
Consider switching up styles. Maybe you can change between well-shot, two camera segments and some more guerilla man-on-the-street interviews done with a phone. Find a way to include some peeks behind the scenes. It’s a great way to make the viewer feel special and replace some of the experience that can’t be conveyed through video.
What will streaming my event accomplish?
Build prestige – Don’t worry about streaming cutting into your event attendance. It will engage a lot of people who weren’t likely to come. Once they’ve gotten proven value from the stream they may be more likely to attend the next one.
Engage the online community – It’s important that you’re live-tweeting and commenting on Facebook. Wouldn’t you rather have people who aren’t at the event be able to really picture what you’re talking about? Give them more than the occasional snapped still. Make them feel like they’re there.
Promote next year’s event – You’re sending out emails and setting up websites, trying to give people an idea of how great this event is going to be. Why don’t you just show them with a two-minute highlight reel from last year’s event? Easy to put together if you’ve recorded your live streams.
Reinforce the experience of attendees – Did you ever buy the concert film for a tour you went to see? Did you ever talk to somebody who was at THAT EXACT SHOW!!!! THEY FREAK OUT!
Okay, don’t expect that level of excitement but there is a significant connection to an event someone attends. As they use video on demand replay to casually relive their experience and make notes, you’ve got one more chance to showcase brand value.
Generate reusable media – If you are capturing high-value content for your live events, you’re going to end up with quite a library of useful information. You’ll have a SLEW of little clips to keep your social media feed full of sharable content from your brand.
Don’t create and gate a whitepaper that puts people to sleep. Use the content you have to make a subscription service of video content they can sign up for. Once they’re passively absorbing the content they want, they’re expecting your update emails. With a big Call to Action on new video elements, your audience has more reason to go on and read the secondary CTAs – offers, surveys, other events, etc.
Cisco predicts that more than two-thirds of online activity will be watching videos by the end of this year. YouTube just launched a revenue system for creators who stream. Facebook is also looking to a near future that is mostly video. Even media as stodgy as newspapers are ramping up their video departments to meet the coming demand. Be ready for this shift. The future is now. Conveniently, live-streaming your event is the very epitome of now.
Let us help you jump into the stream.