Live Event Trends from Convene and Livestream

Planning an event is about creating a memorable experience for your attendees and generating return-on-investment for your business. In this webinar we explored event trends with Convene, a New York-based “workplace-as-a-service” platform. Convene partners with 70% of New York’s Fortune companies to plan meetings, events, and conferences, which means they know what event marketers and planners can expect in 2018.

Read on to discover next year’s top live event trends.

1. Immersive Event Experiences

In 2018, you want to leave your event attendees feeling wowed. Events should be exciting, fresh, and new. You want your attendees to walk away – or close their browser – and feel that they had a unique, transformational experience. According to Convene’s Julie Starr, this is called an “immersive event experience.”

Follow these pro tips to create an immersive event experience:

Know Your Audience
Understand who you’re targeting and who you’re communicating with. Get really specific! Who are your attendees? Millennials at their first job? More senior executives? Once you understand your attendees – or the ‘who’ of your event – you can focus on setting a meeting theme or through line.

Set a Meeting Theme  
The most successful events have a strong theme. The theme or through line is the ‘what’ of your event – what you want to communicate to your event attendees. This theme can be expressed through the content, food, or design of the event to make it feel more immersive.

Design the Agenda
This is the fun part of planning your immersive event experience. When you lock down the ‘who’ and ‘what’ of your event, you can move on to hiring exhibitors and speakers, booking food and beverage vendors, and planning content. Think of this as the ‘how’ of your event. How you are going to make your event happen?

2. Technology-Assisted Collaborations

From interacting with employees in other locations, to event-specific hashtags and Instagram filters, technology has already made a major impact on how planners design meetings, as well as how they enable interaction at events.

2018’s top technology-assisted event collaborations will be social media integrations, livestreaming, augmented reality, and virtual reality. To create meaningful ROI, event marketers and event planners will need to continue to invest in new and creative event technologies.

Pro tip: Maximize usage of your technologies by alerting your guests to their existence. If you have a social media “wall” with real-time posts, mention it during a presentation or add related copy to your event materials. If you are livestreaming your event, make sure you promote the link across your desired marketing channels. Send emails, post on social media – do whatever you can to make sure that your audience knows you’re livestreaming.

3. The ROI of Livestreaming Your Events

Livestreaming allows you to amplify the power of your meetings and events outside of your physical space. This means reaching an exponentially larger audience than you would if you restricted your events to an in-person audience.

There are many ways to generate ROI with livestreaming. Streaming your events boosts future ticket sales, expands your brand reach, and even allows you to monetize with pay-per-view and subscription options.

Pro tip: Post and promote your broadcast after you’re done streaming. Your stream can generate ROI for as long as it lives online, providing value to your company or organization hours, days, months, and years after your event ends.

Download Convene’s Ebook to discover more 2018 trends.


Watch the video below to learn:

  • How to create immersive and innovative event experiences for your customers and prospects.
  • Best practices for using technology to boost engagement before, during, and after events.
  • Ways to boost your marketing event ROI.

[Case Study] How Nikon Inc is Live Streaming Their Events & Trainings

With a large remote workforce, photography industry leader Nikon Inc was looking for a way to conduct staff trainings using live video. Originally, internal trainings were their only intended use case: it was cost effective and engaging. “There’s nothing quite as engaging as a live broadcast,” said Mark Soares, Senior Marketing Manager at Nikon Inc. Since then, their strategy has evolved into live streaming events and trainings. “We realized we needed to use live streaming to reach and engage our customers,” he said.

Since starting their journey with Livestream in 2017 (now Vimeo Livestream), Nikon Inc’s reach has exploded through live streaming their events and trainings. “It’s not just an add-on to our events strategy, it’s a key part of the strategy.”


Determining a Live Stream Strategy & Metrics for Events

In terms of developing a strategy, Soares and his team eased into broadcasting live from their events. “Our initial goal was to just get the ball rolling,” he said. “It’s intimidating when you first start; many things can go wrong with a live broadcast.” As such, ease of use and setup were critical to ensure they could get their live event running smoothly.

Their first time live streaming at a trade show was during the WPPI Conference in Vegas. To determine a metrics and ROI of their live streams, the Nikon Inc team divided the number of in-person attendees at the event in half, and used that number as a benchmark goal for total live viewers. “That was our guess,” Soares said. “We really had no metric to base it on because it was our first time [doing it].”

So, how did Nikon Inc fare with their first experiment? “We exceeded it significantly. We had almost 300% more viewers than what we had initially planned.”

“With a fairly modest increase in budget, you can reach a considerably higher audience [with live streaming].”

Since then, Nikon Inc has been on a live streaming rocket ship, launching a marketing strategy built around live. This includes major product announcements and trade show events, and has become a cost-effective way to reach a larger audience than even the biggest trade shows. “People go to trade shows for education, and a lot of brands bring education to the trade show floor,” Soares said. “If you’re already bringing that talent in, then it’s really not that much of a stretch to put a camera in front of them and broadcast it.”


Image courtesy of Nikon LIVE from NAB 2018 Day 2 – Corey Rich – Paralleling Still and Motion


Selecting Content for Live Streamed Events

One key driving factor to a successful live stream is the quality of the content. Soares’s advice is common (and always applicable): listen to your customers, and you’ll better understand what they want. Then, turn that feedback into content.

“Your end users are your best ambassadors. Take the content that they create [to inform your strategy], because they will inspire others to go out and do the same thing,” he said. Soares also suggests tailoring the content to specific demographics or niche audiences. For example, at WPPI, which focuses on wedding and portraiture, Nikon Inc brought in wedding photographers to share their expertise with attendees and live viewers.

“Take great content, great talent, and schedule it on a regular basis, and users will keep tuning in,” he said. “That’s why the audience keeps growing every single time we do this. You will add viewers to your event every single time. Incrementally, we keep expanding the viewership.”

Tips to Promote & Prepare for a Live Stream

Leading up to every major live stream, Soares and his team rolls out a turnkey marketing strategy to attract new and existing customers. First and foremost, Soares suggests building in paid marketing to your promotional planning. In addition to a paid social media campaign, Nikon Inc also:

  • Updates a landing page whenever a new event approaches
  • Sends email campaigns to current customers promoting their upcoming live programming
  • Features banners on their website with information about the live stream

Nikon Inc has found great value in simulcasting to Facebook Live, as well. “The viewership lives on social media,” he said. “While we get great numbers from streaming to our own site, we supplement that with our social channels, too.”

Don’t forget about the experience for your live viewers, too. “You’ve got to get great talent on camera that can speak eloquently to inspire your user base,” Soares said. “Look to give a great experience through the actual broadcast. We started with a single, fixed camera, and now we have many cameras where we can change the angle, etc — it’s very cinematic.”

However you plan to promote your live event, iteration and consistency is essential. “Start with something you can manage and build on it. There’s this exponential growth when you do these events on a regular basis and with great content. People will keep coming back.”


Nikon’s Technical Setup for Live Streaming

Wondering how Nikon Inc sets themselves up for success with their live streams? Here’s the equipment they use for their live broadcasts:

  • 2 Nikon cameras/lenses (of course), sometimes with a roving camera
  • Cameras are hardwired into a 4K Livestream HD550 (💡Tip: Nikon uses 4K cropping, which increases production level so two cameras look like six)
  • Livestream Studio
  • One back up Livestream Studio HD550

“Nikon makes cameras, but we are not in the business of broadcasting live events,” he said. “We needed a system that would be portable and easy to use, so that almost anyone could use it.”


Why Vimeo Livestream?

As a leading brand in the photography space worldwide, Nikon Inc needed an all-in-one solution that would make live streaming smooth for their large remote workforce and even bigger global audience. Whether internal or external, Nikon Inc’s live streams require a sophisticated workflow with a robust cloud solution, that was also portable and all inclusive. Vimeo Livestream fit the bill: a platform that makes live streaming simple and accessible, along with powerful and portable hardware — the Studio HD550 is Nikon Inc’s encoder of choice.

Livestream is the only end-to-end solution that empowers you to distribute compelling live content, engage your employees, and grow your business. To find out how to get started with live streaming, check out our “Ultimate Guide to Live Streaming Events” guide.