It’s been less than two decades since the Internet got to see the first-ever live stream video webcast; they were tired of showing up to an empty pot of coffee, a couple of university scientists decided to rig a camera to monitor the flow of caffeine. The camera would grab 3 images per minute and a code would allow them to run the images on their internal computer. Though it wasn’t anything more than a coffee pot dripping its daily dose of caffeine, it was the beginning of a new era of innovation in video streaming; popularly known as live streaming these days.
From fashion shows to corporate events, live video webcasting has become an easy solution for streaming real-time events across the world. Video streaming technology has evolved to such an extent that we can now stream an event to millions across the world in real-time. Factors such as increasing globalization, changes in work culture and the COVID-19 pandemic mean more and more organizations are going live and hosting virtual events to reach and connect with people.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why you should live webcast certain events, the technology required to do a live stream and how to make sure your webcast is a success.
We also have an article written on the different live streaming solutions in the market, where we compare YouTube live with its alternatives. You can read more in this article about how to choose the right live streaming solution for your event.
What is a Virtual Event?
A virtual event is any event involving people interacting in an online virtual environment instead of at a physical location. Whether it’s a small Q&A session, an organization-wide corporate webcast, or an international fashion show, virtual events are an innovative solution to modern needs to connect with people across large distances. Live video webcasting has enabled viewers all the way on the other side of the world to attend events in almost real-time.
Why Should You Live Video Webcast Your Event?
There are many reasons to hold virtual events. The most primary reason is to make sure your event gets the maximum coverage possible or reaches all the people intended. There are several reasons people may not be able to attend an event in-person, such as time constraints, high costs, health or physical issues, or having to deal with other commitments. This way, organizations lose a significant portion of their potential attendees.
But if you can’t bring the people to the event, why not bring the event to them?
Hosting virtual events has become as easy as deciding where and when to host them. Here are some examples of why and what kind of events your organization might consider live streaming.
How to Live Stream Your Event and Make It a Success
Streaming live events can be challenging and needs some forethought. Here’s how to better prepare and avoid any slip ups to make sure live event video webcast is a success.
Pick the Right TimeChoosing the right time to launch your webcast is very important, regardless of whom your audience is.
- Do a little research to find which day, date and hour is appropriate and likely to get you the most attendance.
- Make sure your event doesn’t conflict with any holidays, celebrations or other events that might lower your audience.
- If you have an international audience, time zones should also be taken into consideration. Try to find a time that best works for your viewers.
- Make sure to record the stream so those unable to make it can still watch the stream as an on-demand video webcast.
Create a Plan
Whether it's a large-scale event or a small event with only a few attendees, you should always have a clear concept about how the live stream should run.
- Find your chief goal and create a strategy based on achieving the goal.
- Begin planning early so you have time to revisit your ideas and decide whether you need to make any additions or revisions.
Promote Your Event
Spread the word about your live webcast to as many people as possible to generate the largest attendance possible.
- Communicate your event in a way that piques your audiences’ interest and makes them more likely to tune in.
- Find the key selling point of your webcast to appeal to your target audience.
- Promote your event on social media platforms, websites or other networks to make sure you reach all potential attendees
Be Prepared for Technical Issues
Make sure your live video webcast does not run into any problems due to glitches.
- Run a test stream before you begin and identify any issues beforehand.
- Make sure you have a reliable Internet connection.
- Create backups for documents and presentations in case the files end up missing.
Make it Engaging
Try to make the live stream as inclusive as possible.
- Speak clearly and use language that is easy to understand.
- Use large fonts, appealing graphics and good color contrast for documents and presentations.
- Provide supporting material where required, such as FAQ’s and details about the webcast.
Examples of Virtual Events Organizations Can Live Stream
What are corporate events? Basically, any kind of event such as product launches, conventions, seminars, or any social activity organized by a business entity. Corporate events can have target a broad range of target audiences, including employees, customers, partners and other stakeholders. Live streaming corporate events allow organizations to reach a larger number of stakeholders who may otherwise not be able to attend the event.
For example, in big organizations with a large number of employees and departments, communication is more difficult. Live webcasting managers to conduct town hall meetings and stream informative webinars. Similarly, streaming live product announcements allows businesses to reach more potential customers, and streaming conventions can help generate more revenue by increasing attendance. Technology such as enterprise video webcasting solutions have made hosting virtual corporate events incredibly cheap and easy.
An international conference is a unique forum that helps bring talented professionals such as researchers and scientists together so they can share their ideas and discuss the latest developments on the topic of discussion. However, it isn’t always possible to take away talented professionals away from their busy schedules and bring them in to participate in a major workshop or conference. Time, distance and other commitments can also prevent them from attending a conference.
Through live video webcasting, organizations can stream high-profile, informative events such as tech conferences to their viewers for learning and educational purposes. Researchers, scientists and other professionals can take part in the conference to share their knowledge and answer questions by audience members through live chat. These conferences can also be recorded and shared as on-demand videos for revisiting or for others who were unable to attend the live webcast to watch.
Fashion Shows & Music Festivals
According to 99firms, viewers are 67% more likely to buy a ticket for an event after watching a live video webcast. What’s more, 30% will physically attend the event the next year. In short, live streaming equals greater ticket sales and attendance. Additionally, restrictions on public gatherings due to COVID-19 also make it difficult to organize physical, public events.
As such, organizers are taking their public events online. Fashion shows such as the Helsinki Fashion Week back in August, and Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2021 fashion show in September had hundreds of virtual attendees. Music festivals such as Coachella and Eurovision are annually live streamed to millions around the world. Organizations such as large brands can also choose to live webcast to more exclusive audiences and platforms, such as to e-commerce websites, premium customers or investors.
Graduation is a big moment for many students. For many students, graduation ceremonies are an important occasion that they wish to experience and share with their fellow classmates, friends and families. Under the pandemic, they are also a cause of concern. Many governments and universities have tried to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic by prohibiting mass public gatherings. This means is that most graduation ceremonies around the world have become entirely virtual events.
Virtual graduations allow students who would otherwise be unable to attend the ceremony due to time or expenses to still be able to take part in the ceremony. Friends and family living far away can also become a part of the experience. Many universities also take advantage of going digital to personalize the experiences for each graduate a bit more through innovative and appealing visuals.
Under conditions that prevent a large physical gathering (such as epidemics or pandemics), live video webcasting can also ensure students are able to experience their graduation, regardless of any restrictions on large crowds or travelling.
For many people around the world, attending religious services is an important part of their lives. Many worshippers regularly attend daily or weekly services at their local house of worship, such as a church or synagogue. Some travel thousands of miles to take part in pilgrimages, religious festivals or addresses by religious leaders, such as the Pope. For people in their old age and those with certain health or physical conditions, it might not be possible to attend these services or occasions. And if an event is being held far away, time and expenses might also not permit them to travel. The pandemic also created restrictions on mass public gatherings.
By live video webcasting religious services, such as Sunday mass down at the church, and occasions, such as Christmas or Hannukah, worshippers and people of faith can remotely attend religious events without any physical limitations.
It’s important for local governments to be well connected with their citizens. They need to show transparency and actively communicate with their citizens to share plans, announce changes in policies and address the public’s concerns. In some cases, they might even be legally obligated to do so; cities like New York have passed laws mandating their local government to webcast video for their council meetings and hearings.
Government agencies can reach millions of people at the same time by live streaming their meetings. In addition to ensuring they fulfill any legal requirements to share their meetings with their citizens, they can also forego the need to organize a physical address and make sure they reach all their citizens, including the elderly and the sick who can’t attend a physical meeting. Officials can also use the live video webcast to have meetings for Q&A sessions with their citizens.
Whether it’s for corporate events, fashion shows or government addresses, live video webcasting is a great way to overcome physical barriers and reach to millions and thousands of people around the globe. By following the tips mentioned above, your virtual event is sure to be a huge success.
As one of the industry’s leading providers of enterprise video webcast software, VIDIZMO can help you create professional live video webcasts for any kind of event your organization plans to host. You can explore the platform by taking a 30-day free trial or contact us to learn more.