Best Practices for Using Facebook Live At Events

You know that going live on social media is powerful because when you get a notification on your device or laptop you stop what you are doing to watch. Imagine if you wielded that power for your event?

The effect on sales before the event, the engagement during the event, and the promotion for future events could really move the needle of success for your marketing efforts.

People spend an average of 54 minutes viewing live video versus 6 minutes viewing on-demand video. Facebook reports that live streaming garners 10 times more comments.

 

Why Should You Use Facebook Live At Your Event?

A recent article from Eventbrite revealed that 30% of the people who watched a live stream video during or about an event attended the same event the following year. Buoyed by the popularity of live streaming, Livestream, a platform dedicated to the media, enables over 6 million events each year broadcast live.

I am writing this after spending three days at Social Media Marketing World, an annual conference that draws over 3,000 attendees. This year they added an entire track of 11 sessions that were all about how to use live video.

I sat in two sessions at SMMW to get tips, tricks and techniques to master live video on Facebook. One session presented by Joel Comm, known as the Wizard of Live Video, began with a video of him making breakfast. The video chronicled bacon frying, placing the cooked bacon on paper towels to absorb the grease, whisking eggs, frying eggs, plating — you get the picture! The thing though, was this was shot without any narration or the appearance of Joel’s face in the video.

The 12-minute video of making breakfast (sped up for viewing) was broadcast on Periscope (Twitter Live) and garnered 1,344 views of the live feed and 1,506 views of the replay.

Consider this 20-Minute Facebook Live video from the mega-conference, SXSW, that had over 26,000 views with 155 reactions and 15 shares.

Another example of a 4-minute video from SHRM that resulted in over 2,400 views and 54 reactions.

 

[Live streaming] provides you with an expanded reach that is not
available through traditional marketing methods.

 

The reason why you should go live should be obvious: It provides you with an expanded reach that is not available through traditional marketing methods. Consider also that you can monetize virtual attendance via the live streaming of specific keynotes and sessions.

 

Create a Plan for Live Video Integration

Start with a plan of what you will share from keynotes and breakouts, presentations and performances. Include what you will stream before and after the event. There are 5 things to consider when planning:

Scheduling

Before the Event

  1. Go live the day registration opens and use a visual tool in it to encourage registration.
  2. Go live from the event venue to encourage people to book accommodations.
  3. Go live to announce speakers.
  4. Go live when you hit a certain number of registrations.
  5. Encourage speakers to go live and share their topics.
  6. Go live to promote incentives to boost registrations.
  7. Go live with a tour of the event venue.

During the Event

  1. The emcee or host broadcasts live from the registration area.
  2. Go live with attendee interviews.
  3. Go live before the opening session to draw attendees to the auditorium.
  4. Go live with speakers before their session begins and have them talk about what they’ll share.
  5. Go live from a panel discussion
  6. Go live from parties.

After the Event

  1. Go live to thank attendees, share stats and encourage registration for next time
  2. Go live to ask attendees to share feedback.

What platforms will you use?

Facebook Live tops the leaderboard for live streaming from events. and is the focus of this article. You can learn about other options via a great article by Joel Comm: How to Choose the Best Live Video Platform.

How will you ensure that the quality of the in-house experience will match the online experience?

Designate a team of three who are familiar with using Facebook Live. One person interviews the subject of the video. Another sets up the shoot and handles the phone or camera. The third oversees quality control for audio, lighting and editing. If you have the budget for it, you can contract a professional service.  Using professional tools like Livestream.com, OBSproject.com, Wirecast.com, Fullscope.tv, Belive.tv, Crowdcast.io, immerss.com and busker.io for music events can help you to do this, with costs ranging from a shoestring to big brand budgets. If you don’t have the budget or the time to handle production among your team, connect with local trade schools or college intern programs to help.

Technical tools necessary for high-quality live streaming:

  1. Camera
  2. AV cables
  3. Tripod/stabilizer to prevent shaky video
  4. Encoders
  5. Switchers
  6. Microphone
  7. Lighting

Facebook just made it possible to stream live from your desktop or laptop, providing another way to communicate.  I recommend against this because it could compromise the attendee experience.

Get Photo Consent

It’s wise to obtain a photo release to film. Since this is a cumbersome task, simply include a general consent photo release notice on the event website, event materials and event signage. If an attendee does not want to be photographed give them a visible element on their badge to alert video staffers not to capture their presence.

Test your stream and layout your live video

  1. Build anticipation for your live broadcast by promoting it at least 24-hours before the event.
  2. Check your signal strength – speedtest.net is a great tool for doing this.
  3. Check and double-check the preview before pressing the go live button on Facebook.
  4. Respond to all questions asked by viewers. You can see these in your live feed.
  5. Length of your live stream matters. Plan on a duration of 10-30 minutes.

 

Prepare for the perils of live streaming

Sometimes you will lose your stream. Having an evergreen video that is germane to the subject matter on hand to drop in if you lose the live feed.

Know the time limits are for the platform you are using. For instance, YouTube has an 8-hour limit, which should work for most conferences. Decide if you want a YouTube channel or embed video stream option.

Finally, you if you need resources that more fully explain how to implement live streaming let me suggest 2 options:

Ultimate Guide of Live Events e-book

Why Live Streaming Can Grow Your Event and How to Do It (webinar)

 

Good luck going live from your next event!


Sherry Hayes-Peirce is a SoCal-based social media strategist helping organizations and churches inform, inspire and engage their communities. As a speaker, blogger, coach and trainer she shares strategies and tactics for effective communication in our mobile world.  LinkedInFacebook.

Sherry Hayes-Peirce