5 things your event can do to grow your event's viewership and attendance through your live stream.
So, back in the day (but not too far back in the day), having a live stream from your event was a pretty big deal. It was cutting-edge, industry-leading, perhaps even revolutionary (and other super old-school buzz words).
These days however? A live streaming option is pretty standard, and even kind of annoying if an event doesn't have one. So if there are a ton of live streams happening all the time, how do you get yours to stand out? Fear not... for here are a few things we've seen different events do that made a BIG DIFFERENCE in their viewership.
1. WHERE IS YOUR AUDIENCE
Are you advertising a healthcare-related symposium on Facebook? Buying LinkedIn ads for a live sporting event? It may seem really obvious, and may be somewhat extreme examples but we've seen it done time and time again. Promoting just for the sake of promoting is a waste of your money. Stop and think about who your audience is, and where they spend their time.
It's also important to know the context of where you're promoting. How you promote on Twitter is not how you promote on Instagram.
Know where your audience's attention is, know the context, and be there early.
2. BE EARLY
So many organizers don't advertise until the week before the event, or even DAYS before. Give your audience a chance to schedule time to tune in. They're as busy as you are, and you have a better chance of not just getting their attention when you give them time to plan for it in their calendar, but also to look forward to it as you release teaser content along the way to build anticipation.
3. BUILD ANTICIPATION
A continuous slow drip of content leading up to the event can build anticipation and interest around your event. If you've invested in a keynote speaker, perhaps release some shout outs from them along the way. Have some of the athletes for your live sports tournament do some features or simple promos that you can upload via the event's account and tag them in the post. They all have their own circles of influence and peers. If you're not leveraging that, you may be missing out on thousands of potential viewers that will have a vested interest in watching.
Put out highlight reels from last year's tournament. Let your audience (and potential audience) get a glimpse of the excitement coming their way. Release clips of valuable content from last year's event that might be relevant to some of the topics being covered this year. You can even treat each topic almost like it's own mini-event.
4. MINI-EVENT MENTALITY
One of the biggest things missed by a lot of events is that they think of their remote audience the same as their in-person attendee. Try to think of each of your sessions or keynotes as their own mini-event, with their own audiences. Many of the viewers online may only be interested in one topic or talk, which is why they aren't spending the time and money to be there in person. Back to the previous point, ask the speaker to help promote their talk on their platforms, including other live streaming platforms.
5. LEVERAGE OTHER LIVE STREAMING PLATFORMS
It's amazing how many events are not utilizing Facebook Live, or other live stream platforms to go live during parts of different keynotes throughout the conference or event to drive more viewers to the full program live stream. Especially if your event is charging for viewership, give some of the content away to prove it's value. Go live on Facebook for 5 minutes during a great keynote. Facebook is still currently massively promoting anyone who does go live. You'll pick up a few more viewers once they see it's worth watching. You can even consider offering half price Pay-Per-View rates halfway through the event. Obviously this depends on your speaker and any agreements you have signed with them.
Those are just a few effective ideas we've seen utilized. Live streaming can also grow your in-person numbers once the event has proven to be worthwhile. The majority of people will always choose to be there in person if they are able to. When they know the content is worth while you have a better chance of them making the trip to be there physically next time.
Have you seen a good ad or promotion for an event that caught your attention? Stop for a moment and think about why it stuck out to you. What other ideas have you seen used, or used yourself to promote a live stream?