James Morgan, founder of Event Tech Lab, discusses how live streaming from the show floor can increase engagement and ROI.
Extending the reach of your event to virtual audiences who are unable to attend is going to win your points from your exhibitors and from those visitors. Live streaming is also a vehicle that can demonstrate a greater ROI through increased engagement during and post event.
The very simple process relies on capturing live content, vision mixing and editing it and then distributing the digital content on freely available distribution channels as well as on bespoke channels embedded into websites.
I asked industry experts to demystify the live streaming phenomenon and offer some tips on how this technology can enhance experiences for organisers, exhibitors and virtual attendees.
Show floor activity
Phil Wilson from First Sight Media recommends sending a couple of crew out with a camera and a microphone and filming some of the activities on the show floor. This could be interviews with the organiser, visitors, and exhibitors.
Phil recommends creating short two-minute highlight videos than can be edited and then streamed from the event. The highlight stream can include WOW show moments, show floor promotional activities that are used by exhibitors as stand attractors or just shots of people interacting.
The footage can be sewn together to produce the short videos that can then be used to promote the show on social channels – for example a highlight video of Day One of a show may get people turning up for Day Two. The videos that are streamed on social channels will remain creating a digital legacy for the event.
Education content theatres
Silverstream TV has live streamed content from various theatres at exhibitions. Simon Walton, creative director, is of the opinion that for large events that have a global or national audience, the reach of live streaming is a big advantage to both the organisers and exhibitors.
It extends the geographic reach of the event and encourages sign ups for the next event. Streaming also helps with activating show sponsors too. This can be done by overlaying logos on the stream in the broadcast mode or selling advertising as part of the streaming package.
“What’s important is to plan what you are going to do, what content you want to share and marketing the content pre and during the event,” he concludes.
Exhibitors can also utilise live streaming to drive more traffic to their stands. Phil Wilson recommends having a high-speed internet connection or using a 4G phone signal to stream from a stand. Streaming on social channels and using the show hashtag can attract more visitors to a stand.
Making the content newsworthy, promoting a product discount or offer or providing an emotional engagement trigger such as a funny meme will get visitors interested. Simply, set up a phone, webcam, digital SLR camera or video camera on a tripod; hook the device up to a laptop to create a nice little streaming suite.
Exhibiters can use a single social channel or, by using a distribution platform such as Push, share content simultaneously across many social channels. But remember to use the landscape format to stream the best picture.
Cost is a challenge on tight budgets, so streaming needs to be efficiently managed. Knowing what you want to do before the show is paramount – then that can be costed.
The traditional model for show floor live streaming is a cameraman, maybe a roaming presenter or other technician to hold a microphone. In content theatres it could be a single, double or triple camera set up connected to an editing desk manned by another technician before the content is distributed on social or website channels.
Some organisers may want a TED Talks-style stream – using theatre lighting and three or four cameras – but this is expensive. There are alternatives. Silverstream TV has a remote camera solution where the technician watches a screen and can manually remote control the shots the cameras take then push the stream to various social channels. And – what do you know – there is also an artificial intelligence solution too!
Rocamroll – a France-based company – has developed a smart streaming solution. The technology fully automates the whole process. Cameras are set up in the content theatre, the AI algorithm automatically changes the camera shots by detecting speakers’ stage positions and voice changes (zoom in and out).
The system also detects presentation slide changes and videos on screens to create a high production value streaming output that can be distributed on multiple channels. No one needs to operate the cameras or the laptop that hosts the RoCamRoll software system – it can run all day by itself.
In conclusion, if you want a greater reach and engagement for your events and content, then live streaming is a must have. Remember video is the preferred format for many people. Eight billion video views on Facebook every day is just the tip of the video viewing iceberg.