If you’re not streaming your event, there’s no excuse

Last year we recorded George Negus at an event in Brisbane. He was the MC for a Planning Summit that attracted a huge audience both at the event and online. If you don’t know George, he’s a broadcasting legend…been in the game since Jesus rode a motorcycle.

Have a listen to what he said:

The reason I’m writing this post is to help overcome some fears we come across in the market every day.

So here we are….its 2016.  We’ve been able to stream video over the internet for the last 20 years. There’s some enormous predictions for what will happen next. For example….

  • Cisco predicts that by 2018, nearly 70% of all data traversing the internet is going to be video. That’s five million years of video viewing crossing the internet every month!
  • Facebook announced that it is generating 8 billion video views per day, and Snapchat is close behind with 6 billion.
  • YouTube says 500 hours of video are uploaded every minute, and those videos generate billions of views daily.
  • Periscope has more than 10 million users, and visitors watch hundreds of thousands of hours of video each day.
  • Sonic Foundry (one of our close partners) found that at minimum, a student watches a Mediasite-based video every single second of every single day.

With numbers like that it’s hard to imagine how video can get any more pervasive. But as 2015 becomes a memory, we’re continually baffled why many people still question the value of streaming their events and have a fear that if they do stream the event, people won’t attend in person. Despite the astounding results for online video and the stats that speak for themselves, the fear of cannibalizing attendance is still one of the top reasons why event organisers in Australia & NZ are not providing delegates with access to online videos from their events.

Even though there’s no evidence to prove that streaming events contributes to a drop in attendance, event organisers see streaming as a threat to their traditional business model….bums on seats. For some reason, you’re not allowed to be sitting on a seat in front of your computer or mobile device. Even if you’re willing to fork out some of your hard earned for the privelege. You have to be sitting on a seat in a venue far far away, alongside everyone else that’s being dealt death by powerpoint.

The weird part is, if you ask event organisers if they’ve seen a Ted Talks video they always reply….”oh yeah, sure…we love Ted Talks.” So its OK for someone else to stream an event, just not theirs. Just in case people don’t come. Yeah right! Even wanted to go to a Ted Talks event? Of course you do…you’ve seen the videos, you know what to expect. That’s what drives people to attend their events. Not rocket science is it really?

The next reason why event organisers aren’t streaming their event….lack of budget.

Is that true we ask? Do event organisers really have a lack of budget or a lack of vision? Is it fair to deny loyal followers the opportunity to participate in an event just because the organisers haven’t allowed for the budget to do so? We think its just bad management. Sorry folks…the fact that you don’t have budget for doing something as basic as streaming your event is equivalent to not planning to serve coffee at your event. If you realise you’re going to have to pay for it without budgeting for it in the first place, you’re going to feel that sphincter tighten.

 

So here’s some advice to anyone planning an event.

There’s no excuse for not streaming your event. Plan for it, along with the cream on the scones. You’ll recover the cost in registration fees and sponsorship. Its no different to selling a magazine or newspaper. The bigger your audience, the bigger the pay off. If you’ve never done it before – start small and have some clear objectives. Find a partner that is willing to work with you that can share some valuable experience.

Trust that people will want to attend your event, either in person or online. Most people will want to be there in person. The reasons for attending in person are different to attending online. Attending online is normally a necessity not a choice. If you don’t give people the option, you’re going to find it hard to attract them to your next event.

People will come to your event if you make it engaging and memorable. Its time to evolve your event experience, and streaming can help with the heavy lifting. For instance, if you provide delegates with access to video based knowledge before your event, they’ll have a more engaging experience at the event if you give them the opportunity to use that knowledge at your event. I don’t mean a cheesy highlights video with delegates talking about why they attend your event. I mean choosing a topic that you know is important to your industry and enabling delegates to work together before, during and after your event to bring about change. Get the knowledge transfer done electronically so people can work together collaboratively in the short time they have together at your event.

Most of all….don’t let your fears prevent you from achieving great success. After all, if you had no fear – what would you achieve?

 

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