Whether or not you’ve personally gone live (i.e., streamed video content or posted about an event you were experiencing in real time) on social media, you’ve likely seen others do it on digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Periscope. This relatively new form of online content is also growing within the events world, from news conferences and massive festivals to conventions and small-scale education sessions.
Live social comes with myriad benefits for planners, including increased social engagement, marketable content to promote next year’s event and the ability to give an insider’s perspective to those unable to attend. It also helps amplify a company or organization’s exposure, mission and branding to boot. Four experts discuss the opportunities and give examples for event planners to get started.
DRIVING BRAND AWARENESS
Scott Mirkin, president and executive producer at ESM Productions, says there’s a growing need to livestream. “Now more than ever, we have the opportunity to create a more immersive event that speaks to people on all levels,” he says.
Most attendees are connected to a device during all waking hours, whether it’s a smartphone or a computer, and social media is often the bulk of activities and engagement. Mirkin says the use of social media magnifies the impressions of brands’ and organizations’ messages, reaching beyond those who only attend events in person to those who are part of their network.
Mirkin and his team recently worked with popular electronic dance music recording artist deadmau5 to promote his new tour. As part of the promotion, his team produced a live 30-minute broadcast on YouTube, which attracted thousands of viewers.
Blake Batterson, executive producer of creative services and events at B&B Business Media Productions Inc., is also keen on the growing trend of live social. The Chicago-based business owner says about half the events he works on incorporate live social, particularly where attendees are educated, motivated or entertained.
“You can’t just meet and inform,” says Batterson. “You need to have a variety of activities that stimulate whatever response you want from your attendees. A Twitter wall, for example, gives attendees something fun to do. They love seeing their posts in real time.”
Audiences are getting younger, and engaging with them through social media gives them a platform to market your brand, notes Batterson. A recent report from Ask Your Target Market says live social helps brands boost awareness and get more lift in conversions and engagement. Leveraging your brand is the main benefit of using this type of social media, says Batterson.