So many event planners are exploring live streaming these days. Of course, you likely had to when you focused entirely on virtual engagements in 2020 and 2021. But now, as more clients are venturing back to in-person engagements, you’re still leveraging the virtual hybrid for a more enhanced experience and broader attendee reach. But if you’re live streaming, there are still plenty of improvements you could look to explore. Here are some of the most common live-streaming mistakes you can avoid as you develop a more robust virtual platform.
1. Don’t Forget to Event Plan the Live Stream
If you’re planning an exclusively virtual event, you’ll obviously take the necessary steps to properly plan every detail. However, when you’re planning an in-person event with a virtual addition to the experience for remote guests, you might overlook the official planning for any live streaming. Don’t make the mistake of inadvertently forgetting to dedicate time to planning the live stream as you plan those hybrid engagements. You don’t want the virtual experience or live stream portion to be an afterthought.
Here are some live streaming elements to include in your planning process:
– Length of the Live Stream
– Segments (Different Speakers or Chapters)
– Audiovisual Equipment
– Bandwidth and Upload Speeds
– Distractions (Background Noises)
2. Choosing the Wrong Topic to Live Stream
Depending on the virtual engagement you’re planning, not every aspect of the in-person experience will need to be shared. You’ll stop recording during breaks, and your remote audience won’t care about watching the in-person attendees each dinner, either. Knowing when to live stream is mission-critical to keeping your virtual guests engaged for the duration of your event. A big mistake many event planners make is choosing the wrong moments or topics to cover during those live-streaming sessions. To avoid making similar mistakes, be diligent about the topics you plan to cover ahead of time to ensure they’re relevant, educational, engaging, and entertaining to the remote audiences.
3. Not Test-Driving Your Live Stream
You aren’t going to be able to necessarily rehearse an upcoming live streaming. But you can use a “run of show” to test drive the elements you plan to involve in the live stream. Testing out the live stream will allow you to reduce the risks of equipment malfunction and also gauge appropriate timing for segments. It will also provide you with an opportunity to refine any graphics or other supportive elements. Trial runs are always encouraged, and it would be a mistake to simply hit “record” without testing things out ahead of time.
4. Avoid Poor Audio and Video Quality
This is a big one. Any live streaming you plan to do will only be as engaging as the quality of audio and visual performance. Remote guests might be forgiving for a few mishaps or moments of inconsistency. But if your audience grows frustrated with any audiovisual issues, they’ll drop out quickly. Studies say they’ll bail on a poor-quality live stream in 90 seconds or less. So, pay attention to spot lagging, buffering, and scratchy audio. And be ready with backup solutions to nip issues in the bud before your virtual attendees lose interest in waiting out a bug or two.
5. Forgetting to Incorporate the Interactive Element
Another mistake event planners can avoid when planning a live stream is not prioritizing the virtual guest experience. There should be an emotional engagement element that inspires attendees to join and participate with others involved with the event. If they feel unnoticed or in the dark, they’ll be more apt to disconnect. Make sure you’re imploring every interactive layer you can so your remote guests feel a part of the experience and not just bystanders.
Here are a few interactive elements to consider:
– Chat Functions
– Virtual Guest Polling
– Sharing Virtual Audience Feedback
– In-Person Speakers Addressing the Camera
6. Not Offering a Live Stream at All
Did you know that just between 2019 and 2020, the live streaming video industry grew by 99%? Sure, a good chunk of that growth was out of pandemic necessity. But that’s a lot of live streaming and virtual engagement going on out there. As a New York event planner, don’t make the mistake of abandoning the live stream offering just because you’re going back to in-person. Keep offering the live stream services where it makes sense to do so. It’s an added value proposition that your clients will appreciate, especially because of its ability to reach a broader audience and engage more guests.
7. Ignoring the Live Stream Analytics
It’s a huge mistake if you’re hosting events with live streaming segments without properly harvesting the data and analytics from those live-streaming efforts. You can learn so much about your remote audience by reviewing insights regarding geo-locations and drop-offs. The more you know about your guests, the better you can become at engaging them with live streams and other virtual event interactions.
8. Forgetting to Promote Your Live Streaming Initiative
They won’t join the online community to watch your live stream if they don’t know it’s happening. When you’re planning a virtual event, you’ll, of course, be mindful to share how and when the audience can join. But for those hybrid events, where you might be spending all of your time promoting the in-person engagement, don’t forget to also extend your invitations to the remote audience. And you’ll want to make sure you’re marketing to them about your upcoming live stream as much as you’re promoting the in-person event.
Not all events will warrant a live streaming element. And not all live stream engagements will require the same set of requirements. But, in general, keep these common live streaming mistakes in mind so you can make the most of each interaction you’re planning. And for more incredible insights and inspiration about your New York event planning success, get your tickets to The Event Planner Expo 2022 and 10-Year Anniversary Celebration! You won’t want to miss it!