How to successfully live stream your event
Benefits of live streaming your event
There are a number of reasons why live streaming your event could be beneficial for your business:
- Build your brand
By live streaming your event, you’ll build your brand at the same time. You’ll increase your reach and be able to facilitate more attendees than a physical event, which naturally presents more scope for brand awareness as you promote your event online.
- Connect with your audience
Contrary to what some may think, live streaming can actually create an incredible connection with your audience, almost more so than if they were physically at your event!
Many attendees will be tuning in from home, fully locked into what’s on-screen and engaged with your content, without distractions. This is a great opportunity to preface your live stream with a personal introduction to any virtual attendees!
- Be more convenient
Live streaming your event is infinitely more convenient for a substantial percentage of attendees. It will appear to be a far larger geographical area than a physical event and may entice those who wouldn’t be willing to physically attend an event, by allowing them to watch from the comfort of their own homes.
Gareth from The Barn Theatre Club told us live streaming their events has enabled them to reach audiences across the globe:
“An unexpected benefit of live streaming has been that our audience reach has greatly increased with people tuning in from as far as Australia and the USA to watch our productions!
4. Generate more revenue
Depending on which platform you use, live streaming your event presents you with an additional revenue stream, allowing you to charge for exclusive digital tickets to attend the live stream.
Being able to accommodate a much larger number of attendees than your physical venue space can generate more revenue for your event than you would from physical ticket sales!
In the future, we hope to continue to provide a live stream option whenever possible as the past 18 months has demonstrated this not only increases our audience reach, but also provides a much-needed revenue stream for the theatre during challenging times.”
Online tools for live streaming
When it comes to facilitating your live stream, there are a number of free online tools and platforms available:
YouTube is one of the most popular video-sharing platforms on the internet. Hosting everything from how to’s to music videos, it has the advantage of being easy to use and being well known too.
Once you’ve set up your YouTube profile, which is attached to your email address, you’ll be able to utilise YouTube Live, its live-streaming functionality.
Benefits of YouTube:
Create an event in advance and generate a URL that you can use to promote the event online.
Your live stream will be automatically saved to your profile when the event is finished, allowing your audience to enjoy the live content long after the event itself.
YouTube live supports time-shifting, which means that even if your virtual attendees show up a little late, they’ll be able to watch the entire stream from the beginning.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms – and TicketSource has previously discussed how and why it’s important to promote your event on Facebook.
Benefits of Facebook:
Facebook is particularly great for live streaming because you don’t necessarily need an expensive and professional setup to stream something effectively
It offers its users different live streaming options
You’ll be able to spontaneously live stream from your mobile, which will notify anyone who has ‘liked’ your business page, which you can learn how to set up here.
You’ll also be able to schedule streams that can be broadcast from your business page, a group or even a dedicated event listing – which is an excellent opportunity to utilise the platform to raise awareness of your event before it happens.
If you’re planning to spontaneously go live, then all you need to do is press the ‘live’ button on your Facebook page, however, if you’d like to schedule an event, then there are a few more steps.
How to use Facebook Live:
Head to Facebook Live Producer and choose your streaming method. Choosing your in-built camera is the easiest option, but you can also use a stream key or a paired encoder.
You can then ‘schedule live video event’ and enter your date, time and description. You can then choose where you’d like to advertise it, posting it on your timeline, on a page you manage or in a group.
Similar to Facebook, Instagram live streaming can be an excellent option for your event live stream because you’re working with an already captive audience (presuming you’ve set up an Instagram Business page).
Benefits of Instagram Live:
Everyone who follows your page will get a push notification when you start, which is great for promotion
Your stream will be live on your stories for 24 hours after you’ve finished, allowing more of your followers to watch your event.
When you’re physically live streaming on Instagram, the platform also pushes your profile to the front of the stories queue too – giving you more exposure.
Because the majority of people use Instagram on their mobile, live streams on Instagram allow users to dip in and out. It might be more beneficial to consider a more structured platform that will encourage your viewers to engage with the duration of your event.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, therefore in the settings, you can switch the toggle so that your live stream automatically shares to Facebook too, which will further increase your exposure.
Note. Unlike Facebook, Instagram doesn’t allow you the option to pre-schedule an event, and going live is something you simply have to do as and when you’re ready. That means you’re going to need to advertise the fact you plan on going live in advance so that your audience knows what your plans are.
How to use Instagram Live:
Check ‘Story Controls’ in your settings and ensure ‘everyone’ can view. Choosing ‘Allow Sharing’ means that your viewers can share the event with their friends too.
When you are ready to live-stream your event, all you need to do is swipe right on your Instagram homepage and swipe until the menu says ‘live’ and then you’re good to go.
Further instructions: How to start a live broadcast on Instagram
Zoom has become an incredibly popular platform for online meetings and live streaming. It allows guests to show their faces through a webcam, offers a chat function and also the host can mute anyone if they want to. The free version of the Zoom platform allows group meetings of up to 100 people for 40 minutes long, while the paid version offers you a lot more flexibility. If you’re looking to stream your event for free – then this won’t be ideal if your event is going to be more than 40 minutes long.
Benefits of Zoom:
Free for up to 100 people for a 40-minute long event
An advantage of using Zoom is that you can utilise a platform like TicketSource to sell virtual tickets to your Zoom events – taking payment from users before sharing the meeting ID and password with them for them to log on.
Zoom streams can also be simultaneously streamed to other platforms like Facebook or Youtube.
If you’re selling tickets to the event, you can set a password at this stage and ensure that only users who are logged on and signed in are allowed to join.
Alternatively, you can create a ‘waiting room’ and allow guests to mingle before the event itself.
How to use Zoom:
To plan a live stream, you need to install the Zoom app on your computer or phone, and then click the ‘Schedule’ button, where you can plug in the meeting settings, time, date and time zone. Zoom will then either generate an automatic meeting ID for you, or you can create a personal one.
When it’s time to go live, log into Zoom, click meetings and find your event under ‘Upcoming’ before pressing start.
Further instructions:How to live stream meetings or webinars
Twitch grew in popularity as a streaming platform for gamers to share live streams of their games while playing but has since developed into an online community where people can host their live streams free of charge.
Benefits of Twitch:
It’s free of charge and easy to use
You can customise your stream by setting a title, adding a notification to let your audience know you’re ‘live’ and a category so that other users can access your content.
How to use Twitch:
To live stream on Twitch, you need to decide on a streaming method. You can use streaming software like Twitch Studio or STreamlabs OBS, or Lightroom Studio is a great option if you don’t want to install any additional software.
Simply connect your software to Twitch or select ‘Start Streaming’ from the Lightstream website to go live.