Everywhere I go online I see a new live streaming event. Given the current global pandemic it is not surprising that everyone seems to be trying his or her hand at creating a live streaming event. In the past I have written about creating a live streaming event and now is a good time to revisit this subject.
“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
Henry David Thoreau
These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself when creating your next live streaming event.
What Is Your Objective?
I am all in favour of an impromptu live streaming event but even that event should have a purpose. Just because you can do something does not mean it is a good idea. Every event you plan online should have a definite objective. What is it you are trying to achieve? Your objective must always be about providing value for your audience.
What will success look like? This means you need to be able to define your objective, preferably in one simple sentence. Success needs not to be defined but measurable in predefined metrics.
Where Are Your Audience?
The type of event you have will depend on who and where your audience are online. There is no point in launching a complicated technical live stream if your audience is only expecting a brief light hearted introduction to the subject. Tailor your event to audience expectations on the particular social media platforms you propose to use.
How Do You Intend To Deliver Your Event?
Planning delivers results and the better your planning the better your results are. Think about the structure and format of your event before you go live. Are you going solo? Do you intend to have guests? Will you use an a expert panel format? Are you going to deliver your message followed by a Q&A session? Are you going to allow questions as you deliver your message? Think carefully about the format you are going to use and be clear with your intended audience at the start of the event what structure you are going to follow. Always allow time for a quick summary and a “call to action”. When you pick your structure stick to that structure or your guests will become confused about your structure.
Do You Need Help?
Sometimes you may have no choice but to go solo but it is always better to get help with live events. Get someone to monitor the questions and social media feeds associated with the event. The more interactive you make the event the more value you give your audience who take the time to attend live. Technical help is always appreciated at live events where technical things can often go wrong. Having somebody able to step in and rectify technical problems while you concentrate on the event delivery can often be invaluable.
Have You Tested Your Equipment?
Equipment can and will fail so you need to test it before every live event. Pay particular attention to your camera, sound and broadband. Test the social media platform you plan to use and if you have help make sure all these individuals have access and know how to work with your broadcasting platform. Check that you can share screens as necessary and everyone involved has checked their audio, camera and broadband. Every aspect of the proposed live streaming event should be tested before you go live. If possible do a live run before your event.
How Long Is Your Event?
Time is the most valuable human resource we have. Everyone has a limited time span so you need to respect your audience’s time resource. Plan your event carefully and only use the minimum time necessary. Well planned events do not run overtime and your audience wants to know in advance how much time they need to allocate for your event. When you have guests be clear with them how much time they have and be prepared to enforce that time restraint if necessary. If you run events on time your audience will trust you when you offer future events, they will know you will not waste their time.
How Are You Going To Promote Your Live Streaming Event?
Sometimes I hear people saying they are going to run a live streaming event and then nothing until they do it. Events needed to be heavily promoted, it is not a case of “doing it and people will come”. Promotion is about creating a demand based on a perceived value that people will get from watching your live streaming event. Social media is ideal for generating a “buzz” about your proposed event, also use all your other networks to promote your event and mention to people you interact with offline as well.
Navigating A Live Streaming Event
“Begin – to begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished.”
Know who your audience are and where they reside. Be clear on what value your audience will get from watching your event. Keep your event well structured and be respectful of the time constraints your audience will have. Most of all make your event entertaining and educational and provide an interactive environment that provides the added audience value that live events generate.