Video livestream is a great way to expand your event reach beyond the four walls of your venue. Not only does it increase your virtual attendance, a Digitell Survey found that up to 30 percent of people attending the livestream of an event attended the actual event the following year. But in order to pull off a flawless livestream a lot of planning and prep needs to happen behind the scenes.
We spoke with event experts from a variety of industries to identify the best practices for streaming — and promoting — your livestream for maximum engagement.
Set Aside Time for Pre-Production
Half the battle of a livestream, similar to the actual event, happens before you step foot in the venue or hit the play button on the camera. Elizabeth Giorgi, CEO and founder of Mighteor, one of the world's first video production companies, explains why spending time on pre-production ensures the livestream goes smoothly and how to do it right.
Giorgi: In order to ensure a successful, professionally produced, and smooth livestream event, a lot of pre-production planning has to take place. Think of it like opening night of a play: if you want a standing ovation, you've got to put the work in so that when the curtains rise, you're not scrambling around."
It's never a bad idea to have a production schedule. Take the time to sit down and plan out every minute of the event. This is also a great way to define roles and responsibilities, just like you would with actors.
Who is going to say what and when?
Who is going to answer questions?
Who is going to record the stream?
Also take the time to make sure that the quality of your stream is going to be as high as it possibly can be. If you are streaming from a smartphone, invest in a smartphone-specific tripod so that your video will be stable and seamless.
Activate the Community
Social media influencers should be a key part of your livestream marketing strategy. Luca Romano, an iOS security expert who livestreams hacking events, explains how getting key influencers involved helps his business ensure a great turnout.
Romano: Before we livestream any event on Periscope, we start by creating some serious hype around it on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook where our target audience hangs out. We get all notable community members and developers to tweet the upcoming livestream details to their followers and likers. This leads to a great turnout at our livestreams.
Make it Interactive
Everyone likes free stuff, and giving away event swag to your livestream audience is a great way to get them involved in the fun. Meg Delagrange, marketing director at Urban Southern, a handmade leather bag company, explains how doing audience giveaways via livestream increased both engagement and viewers exponentially.
Delagrange: Live audience giveaways are effective at getting our livestream audience engaged because they have to participate to win. The more people that comment on a livestream, the more its views are boosted in [Facebook Live's] algorithm. Because of this, we give subtle suggestions to get comments before we do our giveaway such as asking folks where they are viewing our livestream.
Folks also get so excited about the chance of winning that they automatically share it with their own friends which helps our content reach new people. Our livestream with the most engagement was a giveaway announcement that also gave everyone a look at how one of our leather bags are made. It reached almost 7k views.