29 Sep 2017

Live-streaming hasn’t just made its mark on the social media landscape in recent years, it’s become a major feature in the events industry as event professionals seek ever-more ways to enable their content to stand out from the noise. Creativity is the key to making your mark in this competitive industry, so it’s not surprising some are trying their hand at crowd-streaming to involve attendees. There are pros and cons to this new trend - could it work for you?

What is crowd-streaming?

Event organisers who understand the value tech can bring to the attendee experience are looking to go one step further with their live-streaming efforts. By encouraging the crowd to live-stream your event, you can simultaneously reach out to dozens of new networks, providing both your brand and event with greater exposure.

Using apps such as Facebook Live, Periscope, Meerkat, Streamup and the celebrity-endorsed Hang w/ (all of which are free), enables the crowd to stream their experience. And anyone with an internet connection can tune in for free.

The pros and cons of crowd-streaming

Today’s skeptical audience observes brands boosting their products, services or events with a hefty dose of suspicion. But when they hear one of their peers singing a brand’s praises, then it’s a whole different ball game. The trust factor is there and they are much more likely to engage and become invested.

With delegates live-streaming your event, viewers feel they are receiving a personal recommendation as well as an authentic, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the reality behind the glossy marketing materials. It also creates a sense of urgency - this could be their one chance to witness the event, so they’re often in it for the long-haul, which is great for engagement.

However, this isn’t to say the tactic can be used without caution. Firstly, you need to consider the fact that crowd-streaming won’t have a camera crew expertly filming and editing the look and sound of the event. Low quality video might not portray your event in the best light, so you might want to consider combining crowd-streaming with more professional video footage elsewhere on your site.

Additionally, there’s the question of copyright - by encouraging live streaming, some of your content is being given away for free. Consider carefully which parts of your event might be the best match with crowd-streaming and how you can convey this to your audience; as the organiser, you will need to make it clear when and where real-time video is encouraged.

There is also the concern that too much live-streaming could reduce the value of attending live as highlights can be accessed via other people. We’ve already seen this in the industry with people simply following Twitter hashtags instead of attending conferences to absorb the key points. It’s not the same as attending live, but it’s not a bad deal when you consider it’s free.

This means it’s even more important for event organisers to add more value to an event, from networking opportunities to special events or areas where it is not permissible to live-stream, so that there is still a reason for people to attend.

If you’re keen to experiment with crowd-sourcing, it goes without saying that in order to maximise your chances of success, you must ensure the strength of your Wi-Fi. DB Event Networks, our event connectivity team, can help with this and provide a fully networked Wi-Fi infrastructure you can count on at your next event. Get in touch to find out more.

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