Can you remember the days when meet ups were only arranged via a landline (and you actually had to be on time)? or when you only consumed advertising on the TV or via billboards, magazines, catalogues or at events and shows?

Now, with the power of technology we can attend events online, and receive direct marketing from our favourite brands straight into the palm of our hands.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a live Adobe conference from the comfort of my home office. Like many busy people, I didn’t have time to physically attend so this was perfect. This prompted me to investigate how other event managers can do this.

For most organisations, the cost vs benefit of setting up the infrastructure to host live video is usually outweighed, so today I’m going to share with you a very cost effective way of getting your conference in front of your audience on a much larger scale using Facebook live.

“WHY” Go Live On Facebook

Let me guess, you’re thinking, “but I actually want people to attend my event”.

Most likely, broadcasting your conference live on Facebook is only going to attract a larger audience – think about people thousands of kilometres away, or across the globe.

Generally, if people get to experience a product or service and they’re happy with the experience, they will make a purchase i.e. boosting attendance at your conference for years to come.

What Adobe did for the live conference that my marketing brain was impressed by, is; only broadcasting the plenary sessions – so none of the workshops; and sending invites to watch the live sessions the day before broadcast – so it didn’t harm ticket sales and attendance rates.

How to Go Live On Facebook

Here’s a checklist to help ensure your “Go Live On Facebook” experience is successful, using a smart phone system:

  • Facebook page or group
  • Smart phone or tablet with a decent camera
  • Tripod for phone, unless you’re roaming around
  • Aux cable connected to sound desk, or an external microphone – remember, your audience won’t stick around if your audio is lousy.
  • Decent internet connection
  • Headphones – to ensure the quality of your sound

The cheap and cheerful way to go live on Facebook using your smart phone is to open the Facebook Pages app on your phone, click on the Live icon, “Describe your live video…” and click [Go Live].

or

You can hire a professional who will use a DSLR or video camera with video recording capabilities. With the software and hardware now available, this is a very cost effective solution for delivering high-quality video content.

The benefits of using a DSLR or video camera over a smart phone

Going live at your event using a DSLR or video camera is fivefold:

  1. You’re providing high quality and engaging video to your audience on a larger scale
  2. Your marketing team get high-resolution video content to use for future promotion and a highlights video
  3. You can add branded overlays – which is something that you cannot do on a smart phone
  4. The video is colour and light balanced, and
  5. With telephoto zoom lenses, you can get in nice and close.

What and how much to broadcast live on Facebook?

What and how much video you decide to broadcast live to Facebook is up to you and your client.

Before the conference, start to excite your audience by getting behind the scenes – give them a sneak peak of the room, introduce the people who will be working there, go live at the tasting and interview some of the speakers.

During the event, interview speakers and guests between sessions, and give sponsors more exposure by interviewing them at their stand, and broadcast a few sessions to keep your audience who aren’t attending engaged with your brand, and interested in future conferences and events.

Food for thought

If your conference applies to a national or even global audience, you might want to consider selling virtual tickets to your event.

Social Media Examiner started selling virtual tickets to its Social Media Marketing World conference held in the US this year. Sessions were available to watch a few days after the conference, via an online portal.

To ensure your audience gets instant access to sessions, virtual ticket holders could watch the sessions live via a closed Facebook Group.

One last thing to remember

Just going live at your event isn’t enough – make sure you notify your audience before and during your event.

Good luck, and please feel free to share your Facebook Live experiences with us in the comments section below, or via #epxfacebooklive

Facebook Live by EventPix

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Alicia

Alicia is a senior photographer at EventPix who also assists with marketing. She has over 8 years experience as a professional photographer, and several years experience in online marketing.
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