Live streaming is nothing new. The sports industry has been using it for decades. The Superbowl XLIV is the perfect example of how a live stream can get millions of viewers hooked at the same time. The match between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks reached an audience of 114.4 million viewers.
Although sports events are the most common when it comes to live-streaming, many other industries and companies also use this medium to engage with viewers. One company that leverages very well the power of this media is NASA. Its live stream of the joint NASA-SpaceX Demo-2 launch broadcast had an astonishing 10.3 million concurrent viewers. But NASA does not live stream only big events. It has a daily stream schedule where you can check out images from space in real time or learn how people work in the ISS.
But we are not here to talk about multi-million dollar productions. These are just examples of how engaging a live stream can be if done right.
Luckily for us, live-streaming technology has become way more accessible these days. Anyone with a smartphone and internet connection can start a live stream and distribute it through several different channels such as Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch, Periscope, Vimeo, and many others.
Whether you are planning an internal event in your company or a public conference, a live stream has many advantages. In this article, we will talk about 13 reasons why (pun intended) you should live stream your next event.
Reach a wider audience
The first advantage is well represented by the numbers shown in the introduction of this article. Physical events have a restriction on the number of attendees it can have. Even if you manage to get a huge space for your physical event, there are only so many people you can successfully accommodate.
Having a hybrid event, which is a combination of on-site and online live stream, can significantly increase your audience. There is no such thing as a maximum viewer limit when it comes to online events. Only if you decide to limit it yourself.
Increase attendance of your on-site event
Many people have the misconception that live-streaming their events would result in a decrease in attendance of their on-site event. If you can watch it online, why would you bother paying for a ticket and going to the physical event? Makes sense, right? WRONG!
Having a live stream could be just giving the viewer a sneak-peek of your event. One of the biggest advantages of a physical event is getting to know other attendees and speakers personally. Connecting with others on a more personal level. This can’t be easily done virtually. This is why 30% of people who watch the live stream of an event will attend the same event in person the following year.
Provide a unique experience
What differentiates a live stream from other types of video content is that it is actually happening in real-time, live. If you make a mistake, you can’t cut it out in the edit. That makes the whole experience unique.
This makes the attendees feel like they are part of a community of like-minded individuals. Which can strengthen the bond between them and the event, or even better, the brand.
Engagement and Interaction
This sense of community that people get from watching a live stream also translates into more engagement and interaction. According to Facebook Live, people spend 3 times longer and comment 10 times more on live videos compared to standard, pre-recorded videos.
A great way to interact with your audience in live videos is to host Q&A sessions. This gives a chance not only to engage your viewers but to explain how your product, service, or brand can help them, which builds trust and authority in the topic.
Increase Brand Awareness
Live streams are also a great way for people to find out about your brand. People most often search for topics, not brands specifically. If you are talking about a topic that is interesting to the viewer, and they feel like the information or knowledge shared is valuable, there is a great chance that they will share with friends.
This can be a great way to get people to learn more about your product or service and makes it more relatable. Increasing the chances that your brand is the one they will refer to when someone is in need of the solution you provide.
By the time of the writing of this article (a.k.a. Corona times), this is almost a standard in the event industry since the events are mostly being held online. But this hasn’t always been the case.
Live-streaming your event also gives you the opportunity to have remote speakers who otherwise would not be able to attend. Even if the speaker wants to take part in your event or conference, their busy schedule might conflict, especially when attending your event requires them to move from another city or country. Being able to give their talk from the comfort of their home or office, is a lot easier.
As mentioned in the previous point, sometimes having a certain speaker/guest at your event might sometimes require them to travel from another city and find an accommodation, which you'll most often pay for. This can get costly very fast.
An advantage of live-streaming your event is that you can share it with as many prospects or potential business partners as you want with a simple share of a link.
Increase in Revenue
52% of marketers named video as the content type with the best ROI. This means that people know the power of video as a marketing tool. Live streams open up the possibility of partnering with other players in the industry to help promote both the topic and event.
Because the event is online, it can be broadcast worldwide, which also means that you can go after sponsors and partners for your event from anywhere in the world, helping to cover its costs.
The power of live videos isn't limited to the live event itself; it can have an impact even before the event starts.
Doing a live video of the behind-the-scenes in the venue that the event is taking place in or hosting a Q&A session about what is coming up is a great way to engage your audience and build some hype around your event.
Create a virtual community
We talked about how to hype the audience before an event starts, another great way to leverage a live stream audience is creating a virtual community of like-minded people who attended your online event.
In this day and age, there are many tools you can use to keep the community that took part in your event engaged. You could create a Slack group or a Discord channel and keep in touch with your audience even after your event has come to an end.
Communicate your message effectively and efficiently
Every year Apple broadcasts an event to present the features of their new products such as the iPhone or iPad. Hundreds of thousands of people tune in just to see what is new in their brand-new flagship phones.
This is a great example of how you can use a live stream to communicate your message efficiently to your customers. However, this can also be used internally. Imagine for example that your company has a new strategy for the following semester.
Live-streaming your message to all your employees at once will not only put everyone on the same page, but also give each individual employee of your company the opportunity to ask questions and make sure everyone is clear on the new strategy. This also prevents any misunderstanding about the message you want to communicate.
Archive your event
Although the whole uniqueness of a live stream is that it happens in real-time, you can also record your broadcast and use it later in many ways. The recording can be used internally to learn what can be improved for the next events, or also used to build up interest in upcoming events.
Recordings of your live stream can make great marketing material, which brings us to our last reason.
If you are a marketer, you probably know how creating content is an integral part of the marketing strategy. We always need it. Sometimes coming up with ideas for new pieces of content can be a hard task. The great news is that your live stream can be used as a content fountain later on.
There is so much happening in an event. Many talks, maybe different products or services being presented, a number of speakers talking about different industry-related topics.
Well, guess what! All of these things can be repurposed as pieces of content to be used on different platforms. You can tweet the most impactful sentences of a talk, share video snippets on Instagram or LinkedIn, share specific talks on YouTube, or create a blog article with the main takeaways from the event.
I hope this article was helpful and showed a couple of benefits of live-streaming your event. If you are convinced by the idea of broadcasting your next event and want to take action, the first step is to figure out the requirements and see if you can handle it yourself or would be better off leaving it to professionals.
Beazy let you focus on the event’s program, speakers, and all the important stuff while we make sure to provide you with all the gear and talent you need to broadcast your next event. Our different live stream packages will suit your every need! Whether you're only looking for the gear or a professional crew to set up a high-quality multi-camera live stream for you.