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The benefits of live streaming your next event

January 26th, 2017 by Nathan Mount

benefits of live streaming

Your next event is all set up and ready to go. The guest speakers have their time slots and your attendees have settled into their seats. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a great success and all the people invited will find it rewarding and informative. But, have you ever thought that maybe you could get even more out of your events?

Could you be reaching a wider audience? Is the marketing potential maximised? Are you getting best value from your venue? These are all things that live streaming your next event could help improve.

This medium has become increasingly more popular in recent years and is already being utilised by a wide range of organisations including companies promoting their services, universities streaming educational seminars and start-ups conducting Q&A sessions.

There’s no reason why you can’t do the same and in this blog we pick out some of the big benefits to live streaming your next event.

Increase your reach

One of the more rewarding benefits of live streaming is increasing your reach. Any event you hold will always have physical restrictions no matter where it is. By allowing it to be viewed by anyone who has a stable internet connection, you are giving access to an audience that wouldn’t have otherwise been able to participate. For example, a lecture can now be viewed by all the students on that course module, not just the class that were present in the lecture hall. A live event also has a feeling of immediacy compared to viewing a recording at a later date and because most people don’t like the thought of missing out on something, you can encourage your new, larger audience to watch live – this can work well with an announcement.

Connect with your audience

Audience participation can be an important part of many events such as panel discussions or focus groups. When the speaker is presenting their topic, questions may be invited and it’s a great way to create in-depth discussions and gain clarity on points raised in the presentation.Live streaming audience participation With live streaming, your online audience remain engaged in your event as if they were actually there. Many hosting providers allow you to set up chat boxes where viewers can enter their questions and they can be answered during or at the end of the stream. This can also create a sense of community amongst the audience if you allow viewers to answer questions too. You will find that you will typically receive a higher number of questions than without the live stream, not only due to the larger audience, but because some people feel more confident asking questions remotely.

Make your budget go further

If your budget is tight, then live streaming is also a cost effective way of running your event. The cost of catering for the attendees, venue hire, travelling and paper based materials can all be reduced or even eliminated. Your events can be downgraded in size and become a more intimate experience, picking one location to host them and reducing attendance size as you increase your online viewers. There are many reasonable priced hosting services available to choose from and with a one-off expense for equipment, (live streaming camera & microphone) it won’t take many live stream sessions for you to see the return on investment.

Generate unique marketing content

Throughout the whole process of live streaming, different forms of content are generated that can be used to raise brand awareness, increase engagement and encourage advocacy. From the start of your stream right through to the end, you can populate your social platforms with posts about your event and then finally promoting more upcoming events. Usually your attendees will assist your efforts with their own posts – a lot of people can’t resist the opportunity to gain 15 minutes of social media-fame, so it is a good idea to create a Hashtag they can use. Many hosting services will also provide the stream as a downloadable video once it has ended. There’s so much potential here:

  • Send this video to your attendees so they can watch it again – if they know someone else that would be interested, make it easy for them to share it!
  • Upload it to YouTube as a full video or split it into parts for more focused content
  • Create blogs referencing topics from the event while linking to the video

As you continue to host events you will have more and more content to share and in turn, start to see your live stream viewing numbers increase. This should loop quite nicely back to the first benefit – increasing your reach.

Conclusion

Live streaming is not a new concept – webcams from as early as 2001 were able to do it. Albeit, not at the quality the latest, purpose-built IP cameras can, but it is only recently that people are starting to see its real potential. Consumers want everything now and fast, which is evident through the growing popularity of video services such as Netflix, which will release full seasons on one day. So why should your events be any different?

Live streaming allows you to reach wider audiences, connect with your followers and create new and engaging marketing content. If you’re now seriously considering live streaming your next event, then keep an eye out for an upcoming blog where we discuss “5 mistakes to avoid when live streaming an event”.

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