While nothing beats an in-person experience, more and more organizations are utilizing a livestream to enhance their on-site events. A livestream paves the way for a larger audience to participate and also serves as a marketing tool for future events. Here are five ways to get the most out of your livestream:
Make it shareable.
Create social media images and posts that can be shared before and during the livestream to direct potential audience members to view it. These should be easily accessible and shareable. Take it a step further and send invitations to companies or organizations, encouraging each to gather their teams to watch as a group. Present it as a teambuilding or professional development opportunity. Virtual participation parties will also help broaden awareness of your brand and message.
Engage in real time.
Seize the opportunity for two-way communication with livestream participants. “Keeping up real-time engagement with your livestream audience is key,” says Duran Willis, executive producer at Catalyst, which uses social media to accomplish this goal. “With unique hashtags and channels dedicated to our Catalyst Live audience, we can track questions and comments, host giveaways, run polls and even give our online viewers the opportunity to engage with our hosts and speakers during interviews.”
Keep the energy level high.
Short segments and efficient transitions are key to holding attention of virtual viewers, says Betsy Garrett, who has planned and executed The Orange Conference livestream for the past eight years. “Don’t allow dead airtime while new guests on your livestream are getting settled, or get stuck trying to fill time while waiting on the next segment,” she says. Instead, hire an engaging emcee who can improvise and keep the online audience’s attention before cutting back to your presenter, video or interview.
Think about next steps.
One goal of every event should be to point to what’s next, either for the event or for the organization as a whole. The livestream should help accomplish this, even if it means creating a segment that’s different from what’s transpiring in the venue. It should also inspire the viewer to take some sort of action. This could be registering for a program, purchasing products or making plans to attend the subsequent event. Think through these steps well in advance, and devise ways to track and evaluate them for success.
An event planner’s job doesn’t end when the livestream finishes. Strategize new ways to utilize the hours of content you have, which may include releasing individual sessions online at once or over time; hosting a condensed highlights broadcast; or including clips in blog posts, emails or social media throughout the year.