Everything You Need to Know about Live Streaming an Event in 2021

Live streaming and video content has gained significant popularity through social media platforms. The reason is simple – video content is just more appealing! People seldom have the time or inclination to read a blog when they can “look” at the gist of the matter in a couple of seconds. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

According to a survey:

  • 96% of people admit to watching explainer videos for information on a concerned product or service.
  • Companies that use video content have been known to generate as much as 41% more traffic as compared to those who don’t.

The trend has elevated to such an extent that a major paradigm shift has been observed in how products and services are promoted these days. Surveys also point out that live streaming is going to be a $70.5 billion industry by 2021.

As live streaming becomes a preferred medium to convey information, marketers and event organizers have started realizing its power. More and more events are being streamed live to global audiences, especially this year when everyone is confined to their locations and movements are restricted because of the pandemic. The move has not only eliminated several infrastructural barriers, but has brought along several other significant benefits.

Business benefits of live streaming events

The inclusion of live streams in corporate events can provide several benefits over conventional implementations.

  • Increased User Engagement
    With nearly 44% people watching less TV as a result of live streaming, it is evident that today’s tech-savvy audience finds videos more appealing owing to a more personalized experience. If you ask someone to attend an event remotely rather than in person, they are more likely to show up.

  • Reduced Cost
    According to a Forrester Research report, financial services companies were able to cut their support time by half with live streaming. And the fact that time saving equates to cost savings in business isn’t news!

  • Increases Return on Investment (ROI)
    Believe us, when you provide the front row seat to all your remote audiences, they will be more than satisfied. According to LinkedIn, video ads earn 30% more engagement than non-video ads which is proof enough of the power of videos and live streaming.

Most popular Live streaming platforms

There are several live streaming solutions currently being used to broadcast large scale events. Here’s a list of best live streaming platforms that offer a standalone free version.

  • Facebook Live
    This platform allows users to tap into the existing user base of Facebook. Anyone who has a Facebook account can join an organization’s live feed using a smartphone or any portable device that has a built-in webcam. The power of Facebook Live is evident from these statistics:
    • The view count for FB Live videos has crossed the 2 billion mark.

    • In 2018, the number of FB Live broadcasts reached 3.5 billion.

    • FB Live videos produce 6 times as many interactions as traditional videos.

    • FB Live users watch live videos 3 times longer than pre-uploaded videos.

  • YouTube Live
    Video sharing and hosting website, YouTube came forward with its live streaming feature with a wide range of broadcasting capabilities. A platform that allows you to utilize the search potential of YouTube, it can host anything from individual performances to full-fledged product launches.
    • YouTube Live is used by more than 1.9 billion people.

    • Almost 70% of YouTube users watch videos to help them make purchase decisions.

  • Instagram Live
    This is a feature of Instagram stories that allows you to broadcast events to a diverse audience. Quite similar to Facebook live in terms of user experience and functionalities, the beauty of this tool is that it allows you to tap into the creative user base of Instagram that’s always hooked for such creative experiences.
    • Instagram has over 1 billion active monthly users.

    • Instagram can generate 4 times more interactions on Instagram as compared to Facebook.

    • Instagram helps 80% of Instagram users decide to buy a product or service.

  • Other live streaming platforms worth a mention here include Twitch, Periscope, and Stage IT.

Features to consider when choosing a live streaming platform for business

Choosing the right live streaming platform can become troublesome for few, given the choices available. You need to make sure the features you select suit your requirements. We have outlined a few must-haves that you should look for in a good live streaming platform.

  • Professional video hosting services:It must offer professional hosting services that align with your business category.

  • Video-on-demand archiving:Determine the ability of the platform to record and upload your live streams as video-on-demand.

  • Video Analytics: There are few video analytics features that all platforms should include like number of viewers, engagement analysis, and impressions.

  • Monetization:Live-streaming platforms today offer many integrated ways to monetize your video.

  • Video Embedding:The platform should allow you to embed the video or live stream to your website or other social media platforms.

  • Rights Management:When you stream quality content you should protect it as well. Digital rights management is offered to protect your content for plagiarism and piracy.

Guide to live stream your event

If you’ve decided to hop on the wagon of live streams, you need to do some groundwork in order to succeed. Live streams are just like any other event that need planning and execution for desired results. You would want to have your goals outlined in order to generate the desired numbers. We recommend following below steps:

  • Determining Target audience: Knowing what segment of the population to target helps determine important aspects of your live stream like date and time. Be mindful of small details like time zones and holidays that might hamper your plans.

  • Content: You need to be absolutely sure what category your event falls in. Create an enticing title to rope people in and mention important points in the description that you will cover in your broadcast.

  • Choosing a platform: Where you stream is as important as what you stream. You need to understand that different audiences use different platforms depending upon content. Pick a streaming venue that aligns with your business goals.

  • Promotion: Social media promotions play an important role in driving traffic to your live streams. With various paid promotion features on popular social media platforms, you can make sure every viable candidate knows about your event.

  • Test audio and video with a dry run: A lot can go wrong even with virtual events like live streams. You need to have a backup plan for all the mishaps and this is where a dry run comes in. As you educate yourself to various possibilities, test your equipment as well before going live.

It’s nice to follow up with your audience once the event is over. Thank them for their time and never forget to notify them of future developments and upcoming events that they might be interested in.

Tips for successful social media event streaming

Social media platforms are viable options to live stream given the extensive adoption of smartphones and the internet. Here are a few tips before exposing yourself to the dynamic world of social media engagement.

  • Promotion is a key aspect to look into, as you prepare to broadcast your video. Make your audience aware that your new live stream is scheduled soon. To create hype for the moment, maybe start a countdown on various platforms to get the timing right.

  • Team up with influencers and social media experts to grab more attention. You can opt for collaborative production to leverage the power of your partner’s audience.

  • Make sure the context of the video is clear throughout the broadcast. Chances are, people who will join midway should be aware of what’s going on.

  • Engage and involve your audience, make them feel that they are part of the video.

  • Keep your internet connection and gear in check at all times. You don’t want people to lose interest just because your microphone keeps malfunctioning through the video.

Risks and challenges of live streaming events

Video has become a must-have tool for event organizers and marketers. It allows you to convey information in a more enticing way as compared to other conventional methods. With the rising number of smartphone and internet users, live streaming is set to revolutionize the event industry with virtual events in future. But there are a few challenges too along the way that need to be addressed for better user experience:

  • Assuming that not all events will be streamed for free, live streaming can have an impact on ticket sales of an actual event. Attending the event from home will become an obvious choice for many as it provides them the flexibility of attending the event from anywhere.

  • Live streaming requires enhanced internet connections with large bandwidth. Not all users around the world have the best infrastructure for live streams.

Despite these challenges and risks, live streaming has seen much larger adoption than ever predicted.

Bitpod Events – One-Stop Solution for Live Streaming Events

Bitpod Events is a new-age Event Management platform that lets you plan and execute all operations related to enterprise events through a single interface. Using this platform, you can manage memberships, ticketing, payments, reports, and much more with a few clicks, and that too, completely virtually. Offering an efficient way to handle pre-event, during-event, and post-event activities, this platform is backed by low-code tools that provide you with the ability to easily personalize all event processes.
Bitpod Event offers you the following tools (among others) to plan and execute rich virtual events:

  • Create virtual event microsite to help market the event
  • Registration forms
  • Pre and post event surveys and feedback
  • Sell tickets
  • Track attendees
  • Book appointment for one-one or group virtual events
  • Share event links
  • Send event recording to who have not attended

In addition to this, the platform’s strength lies in the 700+ integrations it has to offer, including:

  • Integration with online meeting platforms such as Zoom, Google meet, Webex, GoToWebinar
  • Integration with video streaming platforms such as YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and more
  • Lead generation and capturing by integrating with Salesforce, Hubspot and 700+ cloud apps
  • GSuite and Office365 Calendar and email integration
  • Integration with accounting software to manage virtual event invoicing and capturing profitability