2 apps that have drastically changed your events (whether you know it, or not)

 In Blog, Featured Story, What's New

meerkat vs periscope for event planners

 Perhaps you’ve heard of them…

Periscope and Meerkat, both mobile live-streaming apps, burst onto the social media scene in March of 2015. By August, Periscope alone had surpassed 10 million users. That’s millions of people who’ve realized just how easy it is to broadcast live video at any time, from anywhere.

It’s a pretty sure bet that of those millions of users, a few will be attending, speaking at or partnering with one of your events.

Are you ready?

What are mobile live-streaming apps?

The concept of live-streaming isn’t new. It’s actually been around for some time now with tools like Ustream and Google Hangouts on Air.

What IS new is the ability to stream live video without burdensome equipment or any investment. And you can now stream at the click of a button from your mobile device. Simple, simple, simple.

The ease in which you can get started is a good reason for the massive growth of Periscope and Meerkat. Never one to let a trend pass them by, Facebook has also recently launched its own tool, Mentions – and there are tons of new brands cropping up each day that are fighting for share of the ‘streameratti’.

How will live-streaming apps impact events?

Have you been to a wedding lately? It wasn’t that long ago when a bride walked down the aisle towards her groom and the beautiful moment was captured by her wedding photographer. Today, every single person in the aisle has their camera out. Every moment, from every angle, is now captured.

Imagine the same concept at your conference. The speaker stands at the front of the room and attendees are holding up their phones to live-stream the talk to their social networks. Or you might just see attendees walking the tradeshow floor, with cell phones in hand, live-streaming exhibitor booths. Or you may see them taking video of their hotel accommodations. The possibilities of what can be captured, and streamed live, at your event are endless.

And, this is making some brands very, very nervous.

  • What if people share content from our event that we charge money for?
  • What if a mistake is made and broadcast immediately…to thousands?
  • What if people capture video that shows our event in a bad light?

How can you leverage live-streaming apps for good?

First, sit back and take a few deep breaths. Live-streaming apps are likely here to stay and pose far more opportunities for your events than risks.

These are a few ways you can integrate these tools into your events:

Hire Roving Reporters

  • Identify attendees, local influencers or media who are using Periscope or Meerkat and invite them to your event
  • Set up preferred seating for them during speaker sessions
  • Invite them to the speaker green room to do exclusive interviews
  • Open up rooms to them before they open to the general public
  • Give them behind-the-scenes tours of the venue or special aspects of the event
  • Advise them of breaking news first

…Basically, turn them into evangelizing reporters for your event by giving them exclusive experiences.

Extend Your Event Content

  • Let’s say you’re holding a conference, employee incentive event, company announcement or any event that uses speakers. Give your attendees a chance to dig deeper and ask speakers questions pre- or post- session by hosting a live Q&A
  • Hold a post-speaker or post-event recap, telling and asking viewers what was learned

Give them a Taste of your Event Before it Happens

  • Announce exciting new speakers or supplementary events
  • Give prospective attendees a sample of what to expect when they register – like what the venue looks like, popular hot-spots, things to do in and around the city, etc.
  • Ask speakers to give a teaser of what they’re going to be talking about in their upcoming sessions

Get feedback

  • Hold polls with prospective attendees, asking them things like: what to name your signature cocktail or which speakers they’d like to see
  • Post-event, ask them what they thought about the event…hold a live feedback survey

Bottom line…Mobile live-streaming apps are rife with opportunities for brands that hold events. They can help you drive awareness, increase attendee delight, create advocates and evangelists, broaden your reach and create exciting new ideas you never thought of.

And those are all great reasons to embrace them.

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