Betsy Jacoby-Greenleaf is the president of Jacoby Expo & Events, where she specializes in strategic event growth by developing both personal and professional relationships with show managers and associations to best understand their event's demographics and forecasted industry trends.
Using Live Video at Events
Spreading the word has, thankfully, evolved beyond smoke signals and an elaborately dressed town crier shouting “hear ye, hear ye” in the town square. It’s no secret that one of the easiest ways to get your message to the masses is via online social media. And you are no longer limited to text or pre-recorded video. You can record your event live in the all-encompassing networks of social media and it’s remarkably effortless. No campfire or voice projection required, just a smartphone and a little know-how.
Social Media is fast paced and replete with information. To ensure that your video won’t drown in the changing tides of newsfeeds, make sure you notify followers beforehand when you plan to go live. This gives your followers a heads-up to know when to tune in and the opportunity to spread the word ahead of time. You can broadcast live using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, with the help of these basic tips:
Before You Go Live
Always check the strength of the internet connection first before you attempt a live video. It’s not unusual to have an unreliable connection in a large structure, like a convention center, where shows are often held. If wifi or a hotspot is available, consider connecting to it, especially if you plan on going live multiple times during the event. It ensures that you won’t go dark as soon as you attempt to go live.
Facebook serves a multitude of purposes and caters to a wide array of audiences which makes Facebook Live so appealing. Live streaming on Facebook is simple; With your profile up, open up the status bar and click on the live video option, or from your newsfeed just click on the red video camera icon. Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone when prompted and make sure your setting is for public viewing (in case it wasn’t already). A couple of hints: It doesn’t matter if you hold your phone horizontally or vertically. The video will be square either way. Make sure your camera is facing the direction you want it to face. You can also post a brief description to grab viewers’ attention and let them know what they are tuning in to see. And most importantly, engage with your viewers during the event. Show them how much you appreciate that they tuned in!
Succinctly, Instagram is a simplified version of Facebook that focuses on photos and videos. It’s the artsy networking app that is great for marketing. To share a live video on Instagram, tap on the camera icon at the top left corner of the screen (or swipe right), then enable camera and microphone access. Tap Live at the bottom of the screen and then start live video. Voila! It’s that easy. Make sure to tap Save to add to your story so followers can replay it at their convenience.
If you keep up with current events, whether it be written media, or otherwise, you would be hard pressed to hear a report that didn’t include an analysis of some musing or rant by a twitter user. Twitter has permeated just about everything and is talked about incessantly, making it the perfect platform to get your message out. Users can now broadcast live video without needing a separate account with Periscope, a live video streaming app that was acquired by Twitter in 2015 to meet the demands of live streaming. This simplifies the process for users, giving it a broader appeal. It’s a breeze to use; simply tap to prepare a new tweet and click on the live stream video option and then enter a caption to share what’s happening live. Adjust your camera to the proper view if needed and record. To end your live video, swipe down and tap End Video.
For an event manager, there are numerous reasons to take advantage of the live video features in social media applications. If you are still on the fence about whether or not to try live stream, peruse the following benefits to see if it could be right for your event.
- Creates Interaction. You get to interact directly with viewers live and answer questions and respond to comments. Use live video to engage users by sharing educational information or by giving them a tour. You can see who is interacting with you and provides an opportunity for you to ask them questions.
- Insight. Live streaming an event gives others not in attendance an insider’s look at what goes on during the trade show. It can also increase interest in your event and drive up attendance for next year’s show.
- Sneak Peeks. Give previews of upcoming speakers or special workshops so attendees know what to expect and what to be on the lookout for.
- Special Access. Give people not in attendance the opportunity to have live access to all events by purchasing a virtual ticket. When someone registers for the virtual live event, an e-mail is sent to them with the private link enabling special access. It increases the number of people who can experience your event and will add to your revenue.
Give it a Try
People have a strong affinity for live streaming. A whopping 1.2 million people tuned in to watch April the giraffe, at her home in Animal Adventure Park, give birth live. For weeks millions were checking in periodically hoping to catch a glimpse of what would inevitably unfold on live video for the world to see. The popularity of live video can be attributed to many different factors; Perhaps, most importantly, it connects users with the rest of the world while letting their voices be shared and heard, thus bridging the gap in real time. And that is something worth trying.