Great events—from concerts, seminars, to even corporate huddle ups—are a welcomed treat. People spend so much of their lives following day-to-day routines that both work and play events are a great getaway. And if the event is engaging and fun? BOOM! Huge added bonus.
Since the turn of the millenia, it seems that the eventosphere (if you will) has blown the fuck up. Festivals, corporate retreats, off-sites, fundraisers, experiential marketing: they’re everywhere! Sure, sure: events like these date back to…well, a long time ago. However, it’s only recently that there’ve been so many, and each one different than the last.
Why is that? Are people looking for more and more opportunities to break from normalcy? Is it simply easier to make far-reaching decisions when you have an entire team collected together? Is this all pure coincidence?
I don’t have the answers as to why events have become so popular all of a sudden. But I do know that they’re effective. I mean, what better way to bring people together and create an engaging experience than through an event?
However, not every important person on your list will always be able to make it to your event. What are you supposed to do when that happens? How can you create a bond and foster an experience when not all the parts are present?
Two words: live streaming.
What Is Live Streaming?
As events of all kinds have increased in popularity, so too has live streaming.
Live streaming is a video production that captures an event and pushes it out to audiences in real time. Live streaming video can be consumed en masse through streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube Live, or Facebook Live, or directed to select viewers.
Both your audience and your platform of choice are directed by the kind of event you’re putting on. For example, bands performing at a music festival might hire a team to film and live stream their set on Facebook live. That way, fans around the world can watch. The band gets tons of exposure; fans worldwide are elated that they can watch even though they missed out on tickets. Everyone wins. Conversely, a group putting on a seminar might offer a paid live streaming option for people who are interested but can’t make the dates. In this case, a more secure platform is essential.
But regardless of these finer points, the fact remains that live streaming is an incredibly viable form of consumer communication. In a society of seemingly infinite options, accessibility is key. And what better way to make your event, your brand, your story as accessible as possible than by streaming it as it happens?
The Benefits of Live Streaming Events
If you’re running an event, and especially if it’s a large one that draws big crowds, you should consider live streaming. Besides its obvious innovative connotations, there are tons of practical reasons why live streaming is good for your event.
1) Live Streaming Shows a Dedication to Customer/Fan Service
Regardless of your audience, target demo, fanbase, whatever-the-fuck-you-wanna-call-it, it’s the PEOPLE who’re interested in your event that really matter. These people are the lifeblood of your business, and showing them that you realize that is very important.
One easy way to demonstrate your dedication to customer service is by offering a live stream video of your event. This small gesture speaks volumes. On one hand, it says “Hey, if you can’t make it to the event, you can still enjoy the experience online!” And on the other hand it also says “We know how important you folks are, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to be a part of this event!” No matter how they interpret the live stream’s availability, it’s great (albeit subtle) PR.
2) Live Streaming Generates Cool Content That Lives Forever
Creating fresh, engaging content is integral to any business. It’s what keeps audiences engaged and what keeps consumers coming back for more. In the rat race of quick-thinking creativity, it’s always good to have some new content up your sleeve.
One great benefit of live streaming your event is that you can simultaneously record the content as well. And what does that mean? That’s right: it means that you have the content forever and can log it for a rainy day. Whether you offer up that video to audiences after the event, or catalog it for online consumption, you still come out of it looking great.
3) Live Streaming Creates New Revenue Streams
Let’s be real for a second: we all know that the bottom line is the end-all-be-all of any business decision. Sure, crafting events around a worthy cause or kick-ass experience is vital; but if that event isn’t financially viable, it’s DOA. As such, it’s only reasonable that you’d want as many opportunities to actually make money off an event, right? Live streaming your event is just one such opportunity.
Say you have an exclusive seminar, featuring a well-known and respected leader of your industry. Attendees have to pay for the event, but in doing so they’ll get insight they couldn’t get anywhere else. Generally, people from all over will clamor for a spot at the table, so to speak. But, as I’ve already mentioned, sometimes people just can’t physically make it to the event. Yet why should they be deprived of this opportunity? By live streaming your event, you both a) give them the experience they so desperately want, and b) retain the cash you would have missed on otherwise.
That said, not all events necessarily warrant a pay-per-view barrier to entry. Which leads me to my last reason why you should live stream your event:
4) Live Streaming Bolsters Exposure
Events are amazing, but they’re short-lived. If you plan on producing multiple successful events, you need to build the brand behind them. The more buzz you can garner, the better. Social media is key here, but that’ll only get you so far. You must cultivate interest wherever possible.
Live streaming expands your audience significantly, creating way more exposure for comparatively minimal investment. Just think: by live streaming your event online, your “attendance” could grow from in the hundreds to in the millions. Anyone who has internet access can peak in on your event, enjoy the experience, and digest the content. And in the chess game of business, if content is king then exposure is a bishop, at worst.
F**k It, We’ll Do It Live…streaming
Live stream video production isn’t anything new or revolutionary. It’s been a staple of American television for generations, and I assume it’ll be viable for years to come. But its proliferation into the events space should not be ignored. On the contrary, it should be celebrated. Giving audiences more access to great events is commendable; and if the event can generate some extra cash from it, all the better.
Here’s the crux of it all: live streaming isn’t going away. In all likelihood, it’ll actually grow in popularity. Getting content out quickly propels one brand ahead of another, and in doing so captivates audiences and consumers alike. Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live — all exponentially more popular now than they were 5 years ago.
So, with both events and live streaming increasing in popularity, the question isn’t why should you live stream your event.
The question is: why aren’t you live streaming already?