Live streaming events is a great way for event professionals to engage audiences and promote brands. But if you’re not careful, it can also be a total disaster.
Live events are popular because they allow people to get real-time feedback from their audiences on anything from the latest product launch to an upcoming conference talk. If you’ve ever participated in or watched a live stream, you know how exciting it can be (or how excruciatingly boring).
That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips for planning out your live streaming events, so they go off without a hitch!
Whether you’re trying to plan an actual live broadcast or just want some ideas for how to best promote them later on, this article contains everything you need!
Plan to stream, don’t just decide to wing it.
Planning is the key to success (as event professionals know firsthand). It’s one thing to decide that you want to go live, but it’s another thing entirely to actually do it the right way and plan for success. You need to have a plan for how you will stream your event, what you will say during this time period and how you can promote yourself so that people know about your event.
In addition, if you are going live as a speaker or an author who wants feedback from viewers, then it makes sense for them not only watch but also comment on what they are seeing because this helps others determine if they should buy tickets themselves or buy their book/s
You don’t have to wait until your brand is huge and can afford a fancy live streaming service.
You don’t have to wait until your brand is huge and can afford a fancy live streaming service. You can start streaming on a free platform like YouTube Live or Facebook Live now.
You also don’t have to wait until you have a massive audience. At first, it’s just you and the camera—your friends won’t know what’s going on if they’re not watching with all their attention. But over time, people will find out what you’re doing and want to join in!
You also don’t need a big team of producers and editors working behind the scenes before you begin streaming video content (although having them is nice).
When I started my first channel three years ago, I was doing everything from my iPhone. I made sure my background was decent and ordered lighting on Amazon. Boom! I was a Pro (in my POV)! As time went on and my audience grew, I graduated from streaming from my phone to streaming from my Panasonic Lumix camera (highly recommended).
Find a streaming platform that works best for you.
The platform you choose should be based on your needs as an event organizer. If you’re looking to stream your event live to a small audience, a free service like YouTube Live or Facebook Live will do just fine.
If you have a larger audience and want more control over the content and experience, an enterprise-grade streaming solution like Brightcove can be worth the cost. The features that matter most could include:
- A robust feature set
- A strong customer support team (especially if it’s something new)
- A flexible pricing model that fits into your budget
Talk directly to the audience during the live event.
When you’re on camera, it’s easy to forget where your audience is. You can’t see them, so it’s easy to forget they’re there at all. When you’re talking directly to an audience in real time, however, it’s important not only that they hear you but also that they feel like their questions are being heard and responded to.
So, if someone asks a question or makes a comment during the live event, don’t just ignore them and keep talking! Instead: turn around and look at the person who asked the question or made the comment. Hold eye contact for a few seconds—but not too long; remember that this isn’t a staring contest—and then respond with something like “Thank you for asking!” or “Let me clarify what I meant.”
This will make for much better interactions between moderator/speaker and viewer/audience member because people need to know that their questions are being answered before they ask another one or get bored enought o go outside or start playing Candy Crush instead of paying attention (which is devastatingly common).
Use a script (yes, even if it’s a live event). But don’t memorize it word-for-word.
A script can do wonders to help you stay on topic, remember key points and stay focused. It’s also a great way to be organized. The best thing about using a script is that it helps you avoid the temptation of going off-topic during your presentation.
When people get nervous, they tend to want to fill in space by talking about things that aren’t relevant or important at that moment in time. This can often lead them down rabbit trails where they lose their audience and end up wasting time discussing topics that don’t support the main point of their presentation or event (which was probably why they started talking about something else anyway).
What’s more, if you’re using visuals like slideshows or videos then having an idea of what comes next will keep everything flowing smoothly so that no one is left behind when watching/reading through these materials later on down the line (or even during your performance).
Prepare for technical difficulties.
One thing to keep in mind: technical difficulties happen. No matter how much you plan for them, there’s always a chance that something will go wrong. And when it does, you’ll need a backup plan for your backup plan.
Here are some tips to make sure your event runs smoothly:
- Know the requirements of your streaming service. You’ll want to know exactly what type of equipment you’re going to need and whether or not they have an alternative solution if something goes wrong with their service.
- Have multiple streaming services available at all times—and then some more just in case one fails completely!!!
Don’t be afraid to sell your products/services during or after your event streams.
Don’t be afraid to sell your products/services during or after your event streams. Don’t be afraid to ask for money, either!
The thing that many people seem to forget is that you’re not just getting views on YouTube or Twitch; you’re making sales. And those sales can add up quickly if you make sure to let the people who are already watching know about them.
Example: Let’s say I’ve got a new book about how to write better stories for children’s books and young adult novels, and I’m launching it through my own website with some special live-streamed events where we discuss writing techniques and answer questions from readers.
During one of those streams, I might mention that my book is available on Amazon in paperback format or Kindle format (or both!). You don’t have to shove it down their throats—just drop a casual note at some point during the stream that’ll stick in their minds when they go shopping later!
Repurpose the live stream for marketing campaigns later on.
Live streaming events can be a powerful tool for companies looking to promote their brands, but they’re not just for the big-time players. Even if your company is smaller, live streaming events are a great way to engage with fans and build up your reputation. The key is that you have to do it right.
- Make sure the event happens at an appropriate time
- Repurpose the live stream for marketing campaigns later on
If you’re still not sold on live streaming, here’s a little secret: it’s not just for huge companies with massive audiences. You don’t need to be a big name in order to do it, either. All you need is some preparation and planning ahead of time so that your audience can see what they came for—and hopefully come back again!
We’ll be streaming from The Event Planner Expo this year where you can either attend in person or online! Click here for more information.