With virtual and hybrid events on the rise and demand for live-streaming platforms going through the roof, there’s been a race to bring live-streaming capability in-house. At present, the market is full to the brim with Frankenstein products that are buggy, time-intensive, expensive, and “added” to the platform, instead of being built-in.
It happens time and time again - speakers at your event participating in countless dry runs, only to get hit with a, “Sorry, it seems our speaker is experiencing some tech issues” on game day. Or, “Sorry, a replay of this live stream isn’t available…Mark forgot to press record.”
If you’re looking for event live-streaming tech that will make your life easier, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive right in!
What is event streaming?
Event streaming is when an event is streamed, or broadcasted, to an audience in real time. Instead of attendees interacting with speakers and exhibitors in-person, they interact with them online via a live broadcast.
Benefits of live-streaming events
There are many advantages to live-streaming events, but here are six key ones:
- Increase your reach:
Live streaming is an excellent way to reach attendees who are unable to attend an in-person event or simply don’t want to. Research shows that 80% of consumers prefer to watch a brand's live video than read a blog, and 82% would rather watch a brand's live video than read their social media posts.
- Lower the cost of your event:
On average, virtual events cost 75% less than in-person events. Organizers pay for venues, exhibitors pay for floor space and booths, while speakers and attendees must often factor in hotel and transportation costs.
In the aftermath of the global pandemic, and with many countries experiencing an economic crisis, businesses are more conscious than ever about how to save money. Streaming content to your attendees no matter where they are in the world is a cost-effective solution.
- Increase your ROI:
In the e-commerce industry, businesses that use live-streaming services have conversion rates that are on average 10x higher than businesses that don’t. Higher conversion rates mean a higher ROI.
Additional opportunities to increase the ROI from your hybrid or virtual events is to offer sponsorship opportunities. Sponsors pay an agreed sum of money in exchange for exposure before, during, and after live streams. Another way to increase the ROI at your next event is to turn your live streams into exclusive content that's only available to premium members.
Nowadays, attendees are choosing easy-to-access events that can fit their busy agendas. On-demand content allows your audience to consume your content when they want, how they want (meeting in a onesie, anyone?). When we looked at our data, we found that more than 10% of content views occur after the event through the on-demand library. That means you need a platform that gives you the flexibility to save, upload, edit, and host on-demand content.
Achieve strong engagement rates by implementing high-engagement tools during or after your live streams. People Matters’ TechHR (Asia's largest HR technology conference) employed live discussions with polls and Q&As during their sessions to keep their audience engaged and to make room for more meaningful interactions. Other popular engagement tools include breakout rooms, virtual games, and virtual selfie booths.
- Enhanced analytics:
Data is key in helping you build a better event experience for attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors. It’s also vital when demonstrating ROI. With event live streaming, it’s easy to track data. The best live-streaming platforms will provide real-time viewer data and analytics.
How to choose the right event streaming provider
There are so many live-streaming platforms out there and it can be a nightmare trying to decide which one is right for you.
Here are the six things you should consider when choosing your live event streaming platform:
- Video content management system (on-demand library)
Events are content powerhouses. A single event can generate enough content to educate, empower, and entertain your community for a long time. Unfortunately, storing, managing, and distributing this content can be a very time-consuming and labor-intensive process.
When looking for an event streaming tool, we highly recommend going for one with a built-in video content management system.
- Key features to look for would be:
- Automated recording and transcribing of events
- Unlimited storage of event streams
- Customizable on-demand library
- High-quality audio and video during live streams and replays
- Stream quality and stability
“Sorry, looks like our speaker is frozen…again” is not a good look. Research shows that viewers are 10%-20% more engaged with high-quality video streams than with low-quality versions.
You can have the best speaker in the world, spend your entire marketing budget for the year promoting your event, and get thousands of registered attendees, but if the audio or video quality of your stream is anything short of perfect, your attendees won’t stick around.
To avoid live streams that are more pixelated than a zoomed-in photo taken on a Nokia 7650 (ahh, the good old days), choose a live-streaming platform that offers high-quality audio and video streams. Invest in reliable event technology that helps you do dry runs before the big day.
- Attendee and speaker experience
High-quality streaming audio and video are a great start to a top-notch experience for your attendees and speakers, but it doesn’t end there.
For attendees to enjoy your virtual event experience, they need opportunities to connect with exhibitors and other attendees. It’s no secret that networking is one of the core reasons why people attend trade shows.
As virtual events offer fewer opportunities for organic networking amongst attendees, look for a platform that allows your audience to connect with other professionals that are registered for a live stream. Some platforms even offer AI networking to facilitate these crucial connections.
Another key component of a top-notch virtual event experience is its engagement features. Opt for a live event streaming platform that offers high-engagement features such as live chat, polls, and breakout rooms.
For speakers, a great event experience is all about simplicity and efficiency. Speakers and moderators don’t want to invest time learning how a live-streaming tool works. They want intuitive technology that is easy to learn and won’t let them down when they go live.
- Monetization opportunities
Live streaming and the repurposing of content from live streams are excellent opportunities to generate additional revenue. One option is brand sponsorship, where you promote brands at events in exchange for an agreed sum.
Another option is incentivizing your audience to pay an additional amount to access a live stream, or saved content in your on-demand library. Some platforms offer a gated content functionality that allows you to choose which user segments can access exclusive content.
- Stream analytics and data
When choosing a live-streaming platform, look for one that captures, and allows you to access, a wide range of analytics and data from your attendees. Ideally, your live-streaming platform will present your event analytics in a centralized easy-to-view dashboard.
At a minimum, we recommend tracking these data points:
- Streaming views
- Most popular session
- Number of active users on the platform
- Number of meetings booked
- Attendee duration at sessions (did they stay for the entire event or drop off early?)
- Engagement metrics (e.g. poll participation, messages sent during live discussions, and attendance at roundtable discussions)
- Number of users who have made at least one connection
This data helps you build a content library that delights your audience, creates engaged communities, follows up on leads, runs effective marketing campaigns, and demonstrates the ROI of your events.
If you’re planning to go with popular social media platforms that offer event streaming services (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), it's important to keep in mind that these platforms are not events-focused and typically withhold individual viewer data.
- Branded streaming
Some live-streaming platforms allow organizers to fully customize their live streams to match the event graphic charter. Customization options include overlays, background images, logos, and speaker details such as name and title.
- Value for money
Save time and money by opting for an all-in-one tool that’s easy to use and has a responsive support team for those moments when you need additional guidance.
Looking for an event streaming tool that allows you to take advantage of all these benefits and more?
Introducing Live Backstage: headache-free live event streaming
Live Backstage is Swapcard's in-house tool that allows organizers to power live streams in seconds, at no extra cost.
Live Backstage by Swapcard allows you to:
✅ Stream like a pro
With Live Backstage, your attendees and speakers experience the best in video and audio quality thanks to our HD low latency stream RTMP protocol. Whether you’re organizing a live stream for a small conference, a large trade show, or an exhibition for thousands, going live is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
✅ Take full control
No need for expensive third-party tools and complex integrations. Record and add live streams to your on-demand library, moderate live sessions in real time, and more. The power is in your hands.
✅ Delight your community and speakers
To delight your attendees and speakers, Live Backstage takes care of the details. From the quality of the live streams to the seamless transitions between speakers, to the high-performing web and mobile app that allows attendees and speakers to choose how they would like to join live.
Speakers will be blown away by how easy it is to use the platform - all it takes is a click on a smart email in their inbox, then they’re redirected to a waiting room where they can perform quality checks on their audio and video equipment.
Live Backstage is the easiest way to stream your events.