The popularity and success of live stream events have far exceeded anything we thought possible even a year ago. And virtual events have become a game-changer for brands looking to broaden their reach. Even smaller businesses have the capacity to organize everything from an international conference to a global expo while still staying within budget. What’s not to love, right?
However, despite all the perks of hosting a virtual event, there are specific steps you need to take to ensure you and your audience get the most out of your live stream event. Use this article to guide you in organizing a virtual event that will optimize your audience’s experience while maximizing your ROI.
Related: Event Planning Guide: Hybrid Style
The Benefits of Remote Global Events
The benefits of hosting virtual events are convincing more and more brands to re-strategize their event planning approach, the most notable being the dramatic increase in attendance rates. Since anyone with an internet connection and a computer or smartphone can attend from anywhere around the world, live stream events are attracting ten times more participants than strictly live events.
A second major perk to going virtual is the money you’ll save on marketing and operating costs. Overall, virtual events require less expenditure than live events. All the materials you need to design and print for in-person attendees can be produced and distributed online. You also save a substantial amount of money previously required to secure a venue, cater your event, hire service staff, arrange travel and accommodations … the list goes on.
Virtual events can also eliminate many of the stressors that come with the logistics of a live event. Instead of running around managing people and logistics, you can focus solely on delivering a seamless experience for your attendees. And you’ll also be automatically receiving data that will help you assess what worked well and what didn’t so you can make your next event even better.
Planning a virtual or hybrid event? We can partner with you to produce the best presentation and engagement strategy to support your event goals. Visit Van Wagner to learn more.
How to Create a Remote Global Event
Creating a successful streaming event may seem daunting, but with a bit of planning, you’ll be surprised at how manageable the process will be. Here are a few questions to help you lay out the foundation and steps to planning your event:
- What is the overarching goal of your live streaming event?
- What is the theme or topic of your event?
- Who is your target audience?
- What do you want your audience to achieve from the event?
- Will you include vendors and sponsors in your event?
- What is your budget and intended ROI?
Now it’s time to outline your event schedule, curating the sessions, topics, and speakers around your overall theme, so they build off and strengthen each other. Decide which sessions you want to offer pre-recorded vs. streamed live (a combination is best) and what supplementary handouts and resources you will need to give your audience the richest, most engaging experience.
Just like a live event, you need to market and sell tickets ahead of time, utilizing all of your networks and social channels. Make sure you have a dynamic event landing page set up to send people to quickly register and learn everything they need to know about the event.
How to Choose a Virtual Event Platform
Your virtual event platform plays a significant role in the success of your event. Here are a few essential things to consider to ensure your streaming solution has the functions and features you need.
First, you want a system that is simple for you and your attendees to use, can withstand the volume of participants you’re expecting, and can easily update and transfer data from your other tech tools needed for the event. And, make sure your live stream production company support is available throughout every stage of the event so you can quickly remedy any issues that might come up.
One of the essential features to ensure your virtual event’s success is the capacity to create plenty of engagement and networking opportunities for your audience. Chat room and breakout sessions should be a given, as well as in-session features like live polling, quizzes, social sharing, etc. You also want the capability to record both pre-recorded and live content, so you have the option to distribute them on-demand once the event is over.
And don’t forget those who make it all possible! Research customization options for incorporating your sponsors and exhibitors into your programming, as well as features available to promote your own branding throughout the event.
How to Live Stream an Event
Regardless of which streaming platform you choose, it’s important to understand the basics of how to live stream an event.
The basic live streaming equipment you need to host a virtual event include:
- Professional live streaming camera & lighting equipment
- Encoding software/hardware
- Audio capturing equipment
The first piece of live streaming is video and audio capture via a built-in webcam or video camera. If you opt for a video camera, you’ll need an encoder to compress the audio, video, and metadata files. When streaming with a camera, you usually need a capture card to properly convert the content, which you simply install on your computer and connect to your camera.
If your head is already spinning, don’t panic. Most virtual event software providers have all of these tools already integrated and will manage all the technicalities from their end. This is why it’s worth doing your research when shopping for streaming platforms. And although it’s tempting to try to save a buck, your virtual event software is not where you want to cut corners. The better the provider’s capabilities and support, the better the event experience will be for you and your audience.
By now, you have a solid understanding of all the ways your brand can benefit from taking your live event virtual. Even better, you have a gameplan for taking your virtual event to the next level.
Design your event programming around the experience you want to deliver, maximizing the ways you can connect and engage your participants on your virtual platform. You will see how rewarding and lucrative a virtual streaming event will be. Better still, you can package and share your recorded content to extend the reach and revenue stream of your event for years to come.
Is your company planning a hybrid event? We work for some of the biggest names in the business. We ensure successful events through professional executive and unique experiences. Contact Van Wagner today!
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