As we navigate our way through a very rough 2020, there is beginning to be a glimmer of hope at the end of this long tunnel. We are starting to see lockdown measures relaxed and slowly but surely, life is beginning to turn into a version of normality. Live streaming
One area however that will not see a return to normality for the foreseeable future is events, and in particular those events where large groups of people congregate in indoor settings – conventions, conferences, AGMs, exhibitions.
As the economy kicks back into action there is going to be a real need to recover lost income and momentum, the marketplace will be competitive once again and brands are going to need to find a way to host events, product launches and other marketing activities in order to stay top-of-mind and keep up with competitors.
One solution to the problem is live streaming, and brands that trailblaze in a post-Covid world will be at a huge advantage. An event that, due to government guidelines, can only hold just a few people physically. Live streaming can reach out to thousands of people over the internet.
Live streaming has always been around, but in the ‘traditional’ sense ( the old world) is historically a complicated and resource-heavy operation, requiring a large amount of budget and crew to achieve. The equipment was complicated and very technical, requiring months of planning and highly trained specialists on-site looking after the whole operation. It is then understandable that brands would choose to shy away from live streaming, fearing that an operation that is so expensive may not yield tangible returns, leaving it as an elite activity for those organisations with huge budgets.
It’s a different story today however.
A while before the pandemic , igaming and esports had been gathering loads of momentum and led to a rise in the adoption of live streaming platforms along with a massive reduction in technology pricing to make this happen . During the pandemic everyone was forced indoors. When you’re indoors, your online. Unsurprisingly , this led to an explosion in ‘new era’ live streaming numbers.
Many of the experiences we used to enjoy in person have moved to live-streaming — Zoom lectures, Twitch concerts, and fully virtual book launches. These platforms have become a culturally significant space in the mainstream. It’s meant that more people are watching live-streamed programming than ever.
Technology has also evolved dramatically in the traditional space, reducing the amount of equipment, crew and budget required for a professional, robust and effective, broadcast-quality live streaming service. The playing field has been levelled and now brands can reap the benefits of live-streaming for well under £10,000, having their events streamed either to a secure private platform, or to mainstream social media channels such as Facebook and YouTube to reach the masses for even less investment.
For example, during our recent production of a live gig for UK folk-rock band Noble Jacks, ( pre-Covid!)using a skeleton crew with minimal budget, we were able to produce a live video that looked like something out of a major festival with big budgets like Glastonbury:
The advantage of modern equipment goes much further than just a reduction in costs. Less crew also means far less planning involved and, perhaps most importantly, it also makes it possible for live streaming productions to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing government guidelines.
For businesses coming out of a pandemic, looking to build momentum and stay ahead of the competition, this solution has come at an incredibly fitting time, arriving at just the point where the problem it is solving is absolutely huge.
Over the last three months, online video conference software like Zoom has become the norm, with many organisations using online video calls as a way to communicate internally between teams. This phenomenon has forced people to jump online and as a result audiences that would have before had some concerns or barriers around joining online events, are now completely at ease and embrace the positives of not having to attend an event in its physical form, instead joining in online from the comfort of their own office or home.
It would be a mistake however to simply assume that if you build it they will come. In order for a live-streamed event to be successful, we do need to get the event in front of that keen audience, and this is where digital marketing and online advertising can join up the dots. Once you get this right, the potential for live-streaming is huge, reaching even more people than what the event would have done pre-COVID.
A recent example of how powerful live streaming can be is an event we hosted for one of our clients, Sabio, just before lockdown in London Their regular audience for the event would ordinarily have been around 300 people which they had to cancel at the last minute. But with live-streaming, they were able to reach 1200 people internationally , making this a huge success story for them with a 400% increase in engagement.
Here’s a playback of the event that was an all round success with broadcast quality streaming able to scale to thousands of concurrent viewers
We will talk more about this on a follow-up blog and show you exactly how this can be achieved for a very reasonable budget, ensuring that your live-streamed event has the audience it deserves.
With all the negatives that COVID-19 has brought to the world, there are a few positives that have emerged. One of these positives is that companies will be forced to innovate and find new ways of doing things, and in doing so discover better ways of operating that will be so effective, they will continue to use them long after the virus has gone, with live streaming being a prime example of that.
If you’re thinking of live streaming an event , either across multiple social channels or within a private and secure environment, get in touch and we can help plan a successful event , faster , better and cheaper . A better way .