As companies seek new opportunities to grow the value of event investments, live event reporting is emerging as an expert service that mashes up the virtues sought by traditional PR, SEO and advertising agencies. Video coverage is one way event professionals are promoting and amplifying event content.
Limiting event coverage to a video camera on a tripod that records or streams the event live may not bring the optimal outcome needed to grow the exposure of your event. To maximize the ROI for your next event, you can set the stage for success with live video streaming added to the mix of your live event coverage.
Here are some ideas to do so:
Stage the Signage
Position an event sign that appears through the viewfinder and stream at all times. This printed collateral should include the name of the conference, the event hashtag, and date and location of the event.
Similar to a backdrop at a press conference, this branding item helps online viewers and event attendees to promote the event throughout the day through Twitter. This also gives online viewers who watch the video at a later date a clear understanding of the time and place of the pre-recorded conference.
As a bonus, include signage of the event hashtag, sponsors as well as the speakers and their Twitter handles as they present. You can accomplish this by either providing a monitor that displays a screen shot for each individual speaker, or a simple landing page that lists each speaker and hashtag. This information should be easily accessible for the viewers at all times. In addition to these helpful items, a simple printed nameplate that can easily set in front of the speaker and includes the presenter’s name and Twitter handle is helpful.
Give Back to Sponsors
Sponsors are the livelihood to events and conferences. Without sponsors, events are not sustainable. Don’t limit the vendor to a logo on a lanyard. Event promoters must publicly announce their gratitude towards sponsors as much as they can. Help to change the mindset on “vendors are second-class citizens of a conference” scenario by highlighting the benefits the vendors offer frequently and publicly announcing gratitude throughout the event’s lifecycle including prior-, during- and post-event.
If you do allow vendors the opportunity to speak as experts in the industry, be confident that their presentation is not spammy and it provides valuable industry insight. This builds trust in your audience-base, including the online viewers, as you develop your speaker list and grow the number of registrations for future events.
Promote Giveaways Virtually
When vendors provide giveaways throughout the event, and they should be providing giveaways throughout the event by the way, encourage the online viewers to participate by using hashtags and tagging the sponsors’ twitter handles. The sponsors will appreciate this immediate contact and online promotion via social channels.
Remind the audience members, including the attendees and online viewers about the Twitter contests throughout the day. Announce the winner live. Provide a countdown to this “live announcement.” This holds the attention of the online viewers.
Recognize the sponsors, the prizes and the winners prior, during and after the event with photos that can be added to your event web site or other social media channels. The prizes can be the carrots that promote future attendees to register for your events. They can also set the standard of what vendors can giveaway for the next event. The sponsor who gave away frisbees may want to reconsider their prize campaign for your next event.
Give V.I.S. Treatment
Very Important Sponsor treatment can include more than extra passes to the event. Help provide V.I.S. Treatment as you promote your event and sponsors socially through a variety of social platforms.
Similar to product placement, be mindful of sponsor placement when gathering content for social coverage. Snap friendly photos of the industry influencers with sponsors and their promotional items such as logos printed on the event signage or their booth display.
If possible, capture images of the sponsors interacting and networking with the attendees and include Twitter handles, tagging them when you place the photos on social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram or Twitpic so that they can easily follow up directly, if they’d like. This provides opportunity for engagement and leads to added value for your existing sponsors and vendors which enriches the event community ultimately increasing value for everyone.
Create V.I.S. Photo Gallery
By showcasing photos of the networking socialites during the event, the event coverage can be spreadable, increasing the readership and clicks. A digital photo gallery of networking by vendors, speakers and attendees will not only be appreciated in a heartfelt manner, the photos will be revisited and relinked, increasing exposure and awareness.
For increased clicks, create the photo gallery as a slideshow format. This will promote traffic however, it could lessen the spreadability factor.
This key event coverage practice of event photo galleries also attracts the interest of the online viewers who are often isolated, behind a desk and in need of real networking with thought-leadership. The photos of people will pique the interest of the online viewers increasing the odds of them to attend the event in the future.
Scheduled tweets prior to the event and throughout the day can provide a standard promotion of the event through the Twitter channel.
This is a marketing activity that only takes a few minutes to set up and provides added promotion to all of the event’s headliners. After all, if you invest in live streaming video to cover your event, how will you expect people to know about it and “tune in” unless you have consistent stream of announcements.
Do not expect your event team to tweet out these main frame announcements during the event as they will most likely will be distracted. This activity can be pre-programmed to publish at a specific time using a publishing platform like Argyle or Hootsuite.
Examples of these scheduled tweets include:
- event details announced by the week, -day, -hour
- sponsor information
- speaker introduction
- announce networking party details
- provide a next step, call to action (landing page examples include a registration page for the next event, a web site sign-up form, an event evaluation form, a facebook page to join, a book to pre-order, etc.)
Each tweet should include twitter handles, a link to the event landing page and an event hashtag when applicable.
Limit the live video coverage details and link until the morning of the event. Then, try to include the link to the video coverage throughout the day. Depending on the streaming platform used, you will need to consider the benefits of where to host the video coverage and if embedding the content onto your own site is a possibility.
Remind Audience of Video Channel
Throughout the event, remind viewers to visit the landing page. As mentioned, the video may be hosted or embedded to your own web site, or on a third-party streaming platform. Regardless, make it easy and convenient for your online viewers to find the video from tweeted announcements throughout the day. If you are using a third-party service like YouTube or UStream, announce the name of your channel frequently. Encourage viewers to subscribe to the channels prior and following the event for future engagement.
Engage Online and In-Person Viewers
Online viewers can be considered as future in-person attendees and as promoters who help spread the event’s rich content socially. Encourage the event attendees and online viewers to ask questions and share comments via Twitter frequently. Validate with a response to the questions and comments online and in-person at the event. If a question or comment comes in via Twitter or other online chat stream, have the emcee mention it. People love the recognition and it will encourage engagement throughout the event.
Include the twitter handle of the audience member who posted the question or comment. If the question is directed to the speaker on the stage, relay the question and allow the presenter to respond to the question directly either verbally, or through a twitter tag. This is a great way to encourage and integrate engagement through social media during your event. Online viewers watching the recorded video stream may provide residual engagement.
Another exercise to consider during your event is the trusty ol’ “Where ya from?” icebreaker. The emcee should try to engage with the audience members by asking the question, “Who in the room traveled the farthest?” Get the audience members to share and validate their travel investment. Extend this question beyond the people in the room and invite the online viewers to participate. Provide a prize to the furthest traveler in the room and to the viewer online and announce the winners at the conclusion of the event.
Do not limit event coverage to a dull C-Span approach when you use video to capture your event. Try implementing these tips.
Ask online viewers to send a tweet with event hashtag and their location they are viewing from and include their best part of the event so far. This is a social activity that engages viewers, promotes the event as well as elevating the value of the event when others see that attendees invested in the event through traveling a far distance. One example of a prize could be tickets to the next event.
Recently at one of Jeff Pulver’s #140Conf events, he announced during the event the the video stream was reaching 57 countries via UStream. This increased credibility and value for the event for future sponsorships as well as added some excitement to the viewers in the room and online.
Love the LIVE with CAPS
There is a gob of content available online. When event coverage is captured and published LIVE during the event, it provides a higher level of value and relevance to viewers. There is a human attraction to be part of a LIVE event and receiving the hot fresh data being shared industry-wide. When viewers know there is a LIVE event, they want to tune in with others. LIVE coverage appeals to the human need for community and social engagement.
Therefore, remind viewers of the LIVE coverage. Mention the LIVE coverage frequently, promoting the LIVE coverage prior and during the event. Use ALL CAPS with the word LIVE, it gives an importance to the event and allows a little more pop, giving premium to the event’s brand as well as the content provided by the live coverage.
Promote the event by announcing the LIVE coverage and its video watching landing page and hashtag on Twitter. Use the term LIVE before or during but be mindful of the “archived content.” After the content is recorded and available, avoid confusion by including the event description, like the date and location of where the event coverage was recorded.
Share the Video Clips
Following the event, edit the video into individual speaker or topic segments if possible. Be sure to include proper titles and the date and location of when the event was covered. Add tags to each individual video clip for SEO purposes. Event promoters can publicly share each parsed video clip with a tweet to the speaker as a courtesy with a link to each video. Speakers will gain added value from this as well as provide added promotion, elevating the event value.
Repurpose the video content into individual posts and updates on Facebook or Twitter for future marketing endeavors. If future events are being planned, be sure to promote the details for the next event where the audience views the video clips.
This Just In …
These ten tips are just a handful of ways to improve the promotion of your event beyond video streaming alone. Extending the buzz beyond the four walls of a conference room and amplifying the content throughout the lifecycle of your next event provides many benefits. Do not limit event coverage to a dull C-Span approach when you use video to capture your event.
As an audience member, do you have any tips you would recommend event promoters implement to gain more attention and traction? Please share in the comments.