The Event of the Future: Livestream, Slido, and Convene Look Ahead

What does the future of live events look like? How are new technologies changing the way marketers interact with their audience? The Event of the Future explored the trends that are changing live events with Livestream, conference coordinator Convene, and engagement platform Slido.

Event of the future takeaways:

  • When choosing a truly innovative venue, think about how spaces, color, and light make people feel and act. Think about how you can surprise guests with outstanding service and art-quality food. How do we make events more human and interactive as technology takes over?
  • Live video has evolved from nice-to-have to necessity when it comes to events. Livestreamed events deliver real return-on-investment, increase future ticket sales, and expand the reach of your message beyond your venue.
  • The advance in mobile technology allows you to engage individually with anyone at your events. Events should be, as much as possible, a two-way conversation with the audience.

The Event of the Future took place at Convene’s flagship Manhattan location. Unlike conventional meeting spaces, Convene’s philosophy focuses on human-centric design principles. Engaging audience members with unique amenities is one of the many ways Convene is changing the events industry.

“The event of the future involves really getting people together for a common cause,” Ray Cheng, VP of Marketing at Convene told Livestream Learn host Amber van Moessner. “But [also] enabling a global audience to participate.”

For the main event, Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner of SoolNua, moderated a discussion with Joyce Bromberg, Convene’s VP of Innovation and Foresight, Livestream CEO Jesse Hertzberg, and Peter Komornik, CEO of Slido.

Presenters had just a few minutes to share their thoughts on the future of live events. A traditional panel discussion followed. Audience members and online viewers were given the opportunity to chime in with Slido’s powerful Q&A and polling tool that allows participants to upvote their favorite questions.

Choosing the Right Event Space

Each presentation focused on a different aspect of event marketing. Speaking first, Joyce Bromberg stressed the importance of understanding your audience’s needs when approaching venue elements. “When we think about innovation, I like to think the best way to predict the future is to invent it,” Bromberg offered, before adding, “the innovation can’t be based on just what we think people want or need.”

For Bromberg, and her colleagues at Convene, audience feedback is a key component to their success: “Ask, engage, and observe are things I suggest you do. The first thing I’ve learned is attendees want choice.”

Reaching a Global Audience with Live Video

Having an exciting, interactive event space is a great way to keep your audience engaged. But how can marketers expand their reach beyond an event space? Livestream CEO Jesse Hertzberg said live video is the most engaging medium, but businesses without a live video strategy are “leaving money on the table.”

“Two-thirds of people who watch an event live online are more likely to buy a ticket to the event the next time it occurs,” said Hertzberg. “Live video delivers tangible, concrete ROI. It drives ticket sales, it drives brand engagement, it increases purchase intent. These are hard numbers you can point to.”

Cultivating Conversation with Social Tools

The next best practice is driving engagement. Slido CEO Peter Komornik believes “the future of events will be conversational.” Providing a platform for audience engagement is a crucial piece of the puzzle. But bringing audiences into the conversation doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel.

Komornik believes that audiences have the tools they need in the palm of their hand. “We are now living in this incredible age where the smartphone has become a natural extension of ourselves,” said Komornik.

“For the first time, thanks to the power of the phone, a skilled facilitator like Padraic can take the audience and make them part of the conversation,” Komornik added. “As events become more and more complex, the audience part of the equation will grow more and more.”

Moderator Padraic Gilligan invited Bromberg, Hertzberg, Komornik, and Convene CEO Chris Kelly back onstage for a panel discussion. With questions from the interactive Slido poll, audiences could hear the panelists’ answers in real time.

Foremost on the audience’s mind was budgeting. What are the initial costs of creating a live video strategy? And how can marketers create an effective strategy?

“Just having the technology there is not enough,” said Komornik. “If you really try to create this conversation, then the ROI is immense.”

The design and space can provide a “je ne sais quoi” experience for audiences. But how do marketers strike a balance between setting and content? “The meeting is a combination of everything,” Bromberg said. “The content has to be applicable and have meaning to the people attending. Within that, the space has to be transformative, the technology has to work seamlessly, and the service needs to be discreet and superb as well. It’s impossible to separate or tease one thing out, it’s all of those things coming together that create a transformative event.”

You can learn much more about the future of live events from our full show. Watch the video below to see:

  • Full speaker presentations.
  • A roundtable discussion with our guests.
  • Special behind-the-scenes content.
  • One-on-one interviews with the speakers.

Marketing Best Practices: Why Not Just Stream To Facebook Live?

While Facebook Live should be a part of your overall livestreaming strategy, it’s important to diversify your distribution channels. A few things to consider as you build your live video strategy:

Variety is the Spice of Life: Go To Facebook (But Go Everywhere Else Too)

Most brands do not post updates to only one social media network. Similarly, why only stream your video to one platform? Facebook Live is an easy-to-use tool but should be considered but one tool in your diverse streaming distribution tool box. While there are one billion people in the world on Facebook, that means there are another seven billion NOT on Facebook. With Livestream you can also use tools like Livestream Audience Booster to reach people around the web with your stream on sites like ESPN and CNN. Build a strategy that reaches your audience in a number of different locations. Using syndication tools like those built into the Livestream platform, you don’t have to pick and choose. You can push content to all platforms at once and ensure you’re not missing key segments of your audience.

Convert Facebook Viewers Into Your Audience + Customers

While Facebook has the reach, your ultimate goal should be getting people back to your website. Turn viewers into traffic by hyping or sampling content on Facebook Live while encouraging them to head back to your page. Additionally, if you are using cookie tracking or retargeting in your marketing strategy, you can only track the people watching video on your site. By driving Facebook audiences back to your site you can collect much more information about your audience. And, of course, you can turn your audience into that most important outcome that you are hoping for – customers of your business!

Control The Message

With Facebook Live, you don’t have as much control over the viewing experience. Watching your video in a fully branded portal with custom calls to action is more likely to convert. Viewers are less likely to be distracted by notifications or other things happening on the platform. In fact, based on a recent survey we conducted, viewers prefer to engage content on a branded destination for just that reason. 40% of audiences want to watch live video NOT on social media, but at a dedicated web destination.

Shifting Sands

What Facebook undeniably has, and what won’t change in the near future, is reach. Streaming to Facebook Live immediately gives you access to millions of eyeballs where they already are, which is good marketing distribution 101.

In the past two years, Facebook’s algorithm has changed 24 times – an average of one update per month. Marketers and brands never know how Facebook’s feed algorithm will shift in the future, making it an unsteady place to build a brand or content strategy on its own. As all social media platforms change based on audience interests and behavior, it’s hard to build a reliable strategy when you don’t control the platform.

Support + Quality

A stream on Facebook is not optimized for large-screen or high-quality viewership. Video quality is the most important factor for 67% of viewers when watching a livestream broadcast.

If there are any issues with your stream – or your stream is taken down for any reason – there is no one to call at any large social media platform. Many large companies stream on multiple platforms to account for any outages caused by electricity, bandwidth, or the platform. When streaming to more than one player/platform, you have a back up to direct your audience to in case of emergency. Additionally, dedicated streaming platforms like Livestream offer round the clock support for Premium and Enterprise customers. If you have issues with your stream, we’re a phone call away.

Our free guide, “Live Streaming for Social Media,” is the perfect crash course for organizations of any size. Download the guide to learn:

  • How to connect with viewers on Facebook Live and other social media platforms.
  • Why Facebook Live should be part – but not all – of your live streaming strategy.
  • How to stream to Facebook Live.
  • How to analyze the success of your live video.