Live streaming for virtual events

Convert your event to a live stream and connect with your audience directly, even during a global pandemic.

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When the global pandemic of COVID-19 hit we saw a sudden change in the way we communicate with strict lockdown restrictions put in place. 

Offices were forced to shut and the UK became a workforce of remote workers overnight. Zoom quickly became a household name and virtual meetings, networking events, and conferences became the new normal. 

Whilst it was fun at first seeing everyone in their living rooms, the novelty has well and truly worn off. 

As lockdown restrictions ease over the following months, we’ll start to slowly get back to normal life as businesses reopen and workers return to offices. 

Strict social distancing rules, however, will likely restrict gatherings, networking, or anything deemed as an “event” - so it looks like virtual events are here to stay. 

But how can we take events from the living room to the board room? Live streaming. 

Why Live Streaming 

Live streaming has boomed in popularity over the past few years thanks to Facebook Live and Instagram Live. In fact, a staggering 80% of people would rather watch a live stream than read a blog

80% of people would rather watch a live stream than read a blog. 

Live streaming allows businesses to connect with their audience in real time. It increases brand loyalty in customers on the stream and FOMO (fear of missing out) in those not. 

The number of live streamed hours rose by 65% in one year and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down.

How can I use live streaming for my business?

Some people only associate live streaming with video games, and whilst that is where the craze initially grew, it’s far from the only use source. 

Live streaming is an event. In today's world of everything on-demand, to have something that’s “watch it or you miss it” is very powerful. 

Live streaming can be used for all sorts of communication and events. To name a few:

  • Panel discussions
  • Conferences
  • Product launches & demonstrations
  • Q&A
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • AGMs
  • Behind the scenes

The reason we’re seeing such an uptick in live streaming is all down to one thing: engagement. 

Increased Engagement & Trust

No other form of content lets the audience engage with the broadcaster live in real time. 

Compared to regular videos, live streams are watched for a significantly longer time. This gives you the opportunity to engage on a deeper level with your audience. 

All forms of traditional content are monologues, we’re speaking to the audience. We can engage with them in the comments section but it never feels like a real connection. 

Live streaming is the only form of content that’s a dialogue.

Live streaming is the only form of content that’s a dialogue. The conversation goes both ways - and that level of engagement creates trust and loyalty in your audience. 

We’ve learnt in 2020 more than ever how important human connection is. Live streaming is the closest you can get to being in a room with people, without actually being in a room with them. 

Other Benefits of Live Streaming Events

We know why live streaming has seen such a rise in popularity, but beyond engagement and trust, what are the other benefits of live streaming events?

Unlimited attendees:

There are always limitations when it comes to traditional events that limit the number of attendees. These could be budget, room size, geographics, or perhaps a global pandemic. 

With live streaming however, those limitations don’t apply. You have unlimited reach. Anyone, from anywhere in the world, can tune in to your event and engage with you live.

Anyone, from anywhere in the world, can tune in to your event and engage with you live.

You’re not restricted by a physical space, you’re not restricted by geography, and whilst live streaming isn’t free, it is cheaper than paying for a venue and catering. Speaking of being cheaper…

Reduced Costs:

As previously mentioned, traditional events come with limitations and one of these is budget. Hiring a venue, staging, catering, staff, travel are only some of the costs associated with traditional events. 

With virtual live streaming events, a lot of those expenses are no longer factors. Professional quality live streaming can be done by a production company with a small crew at a fraction of the cost. 

Increased reach:

All platforms use algorithms to promote premium content and make sure their users are seeing the best of the best. Live streaming is a form of premium content. 

In fact, Facebook Live broadcasts received almost double the reach of traditional video posts in a study by Biteable. 

In their simplest forms, algorithms are feedback loops. The more people that engage with your content, the more people your content will be shown to, resulting in more engagement. 

That’s how content goes viral. 

COVID-19 went viral for a very different reason that I won’t be going into in this post (interestingly I actually have a degree in infectious diseases, but it’s been a while since I graduated). 

What this translates to in practice is the more live streams you do, the higher platforms will rank your content and the more people it’ll show it to. Thereby increasing your reach - nice!

How to Go Live:

You can go Live in one of two ways:

  1. DIY mobile phone approach
  2. Professional production company

The DIY approach works great if you’re wanting a casual live stream such as a behind the scenes or a Q&A. 

The production company approach works best for all other uses such as panel discussions, conferences and product launches / demonstrations. 

For the majority of people, video quality is the most important factor when watching live streams. 

Production companies (such as ourselves) can provide live streams that feel more like traditional broadcast TV than DIY live streams with multiple cameras, text overlays and video cutaways.  

If you wanted to live stream a panel discussion of 4 people talking, you’d be restricted to showing one angle and poor audio. With a production company, we’d be able to use multiple cameras, cutting to the different speakers, show slides, graphics and event virtual guests for Q&A. 

Hiring a production company to work the live stream allows you to focus on engaging with your audience. 

Hiring a production company to work the live stream allows you to focus on engaging with your audience. 

Live Streaming vs Zoom

What’s the difference between live streaming and Zoom? A good question, especially if you’ve been using Zoom for the past 2 months. You might be wondering why you’d need to live stream instead.

Zoom works great for online meetings, you can have up to 100 people on the free plan and even more on the paid plans. 

When you create a Zoom call you need to send the link out to the attendees. When you Live stream to a platform such as Facebook or Instagram, the stream is on your profile so anyone connected to you can join without needing a link. 

The great thing about both live streaming and Zoom calls is that you can get the benefits of using a production company for both.


Last Updated:
July 2020
Matt Eastland-Jones
Matt Eastland-Jones
Director & Founder of Story Ninety-Four
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