So you want to supercharge your event with individuality and personality. That sounds great, but it’s easier said than done. Unless you decide to take the easy route, of course. These days, the easiest route to amplifying your event’s impact is to put event in the attendees’ hands. And you can do that (for nearly free, by the way) by crowd streaming.
Crowd streaming is a simple technique that allows you to leverage your very own built-in brand ambassadors—your audience—to reach their own followers with your event, using the power of social media. At many events, attendees are still forbidden from videoing the experience or the content to share online. But a crowd streamed event invites them to do just that. Meaning that everyone back at home gets to see what they’ve missed out on.
Properly leveraged, crowd streaming is an event marketer’s dream come true. If every crowd streaming attendee has 100 to 200 solid followers, that means 100 to 200 times the brand impact for you, without a single dime spent.
The best advertisement for an amazing experience is ... an amazing experience.
You might be tempted to think, “Why would I want thousands of people who haven’t paid to experience my event?” And the answer is: because you’re generating demand.
Just think of crowd streaming as turning your most engaged audience members into a brand ambassador squad, right on site. While they are experiencing everything you have planned, they also get your event in front of followers ... nearly free of charge to you.
FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. When non-attendees see a colleague clearly made the better call by choosing to attend, you already know what they’ll be ready to do next year.
That’s right: BOOK IN and SHOW UP.
Make those devices count for something
In today’s digital-saturated environment, personal devices can feel like an event planner’s worst enemy. So why not turn them into your best friend?
Attendees will want to pull out their phones anyway. With a crowd casted event, you can turn the tables. Rather than tempting attendees to look down at phones, crowd casting encourages attendees to keep their heads up and their focus on the event itself—even if they have got their device in their hand.
Some have called this “heads up” technology. Encouraging (and rewarding) crowd streaming at your event keeps your attendees focused forward on your content and naturally draw them into the action while simultaneously ensuring you get massive exposure.
Did anyone just hear the phrase, “Free advertising?” We know, it’s music to our ears, too.
So how does this engagement strategy actually work?
For crowd streaming, all attendees have to do is pull out their phones, connect to their social platform of choice that allows live video, and begin to broadcast your event from their unique point of view. Give them a unique hashtag to mention, and you can easily follow (and capture) all this on-the-floor video content.
The most common platforms attendees might choose to use are:
- Facebook Live
- Instagram stories
Move over, cat videos. Sayonara, selfies. This is the broadcast everyone’s going to want to watch—because it’s coming straight from their colleague’s account.
When next year’s event rolls around, they will already be primed to click the “Register” button.
Here’s how to make it count ...
Ready to tackle crowd streaming? Here are a few more ideas to keep in mind.
- Approach crowd streaming as a mutual exchange.
This isn’t just something free and fun for your attendees. You as the event planner or marketer are getting something back, too. Have your social media team track live streams that include the event hashtag (or better yet, a special live stream hashtag), engage on those streams and reward the attendee in question. Share the content liberally from your own accounts.
- Make the event truly worthy of a crowd stream.
What will attendees be unable to resist pulling out their phones for? The more light, color, surprise and delight, laughs or other fabulous experiences, the more they’ll be inspired. (Especially if you are nudging them to do so on the app or through on-screen content.)
- Invite attendees to pull out their phones.
This is still new technology and not every attendee might initially think to do this. Post signs, flash messages on your screen content, and include nudges or prompts within your app—making it easier than ever for attendees to engage.
- Incentivize live streaming
What do your attendees love? Perhaps you don’t even advertise crowd streaming directly ... but let your social media team scroll crowd streams through the event hashtag, and quietly reach out to that attendee with an extra layer of experience or surprise-and-delight. Watch word spread like wildfire.
- Invest in geo-filters, visual effects and other creativity aids just for crowd streaming.
Many live streaming platforms—especially Snapchat and Instagram—allow attendees to place fun effects over the stream. Get in on the action by offering event-branded geo-filters, visual effects and other aids. Let your attendees go wild!
- Make leisure time, “brain breaks” and coffee time mean more.
Keynotes and big sessions aren’t the only opportunity for attendees to share your event with their followers. Build some wow moments (performances, surprise guest appearances, music, etc.) into the down times, and make sure their long enough to give attendees time to start a crowd stream. Watch what pops up on social media.
To capture the full power of crowd streaming, make it one part of a strategic and robust event production plan. Our team at LSAV POWERHOUSE would love to work with you to ensure you have a complete engagement strategy in place—including crowd streaming that advances your brand. Check out our portfolio here or reach out to us for a 1:1 conversation about your goals.