Live streaming is an extremely affordable way to reach existing and new audiences. It allows you to broadcast to the world directly from your phone. It takes seconds to set up and is quickly becoming a key part of online marketing.

You don’t have to have a massive event to use live streaming – It’s a perfect technology for all types and sizes of events including conferences, exhibitions and both B2C and B2B trade shows.  All you need is a decent bandwidth…

So, what exactly is live streaming?

Live streaming refers to broadcasting video in real time as it happens through the internet. It has many benefits and can expand your audience and lift your brand credibility.

There is a wide variety of free streaming platforms. To make an impact, find the right one(s) for your target audience. For example, if you’re a gaming company, you might benefit from streaming on Twitch and if you’re a fashion brand, you might find YouTube and Instagram most beneficial. Some of the bigger events such as MWC or IBC can also offer their own social channels which can be a good way to increase your brand visibility at the show as well as encouraging the conversation with visitors.

Will live streaming damage face-to face attendance?

You could worry that live streaming will decrease the face-to-face interaction; but in fact statistics shows the opposite. You are more likely to increase the number of visitors on your stand.

People attend events for the face-to face communication and experiences. They want to be there in person to network, to learn, to develop valuable contacts and to fully experience the event with all their senses. Live streaming adds an extra dimension to your event marketing and helps your brand go from the traditional storytelling to story living.

Marketing campaigns and promotions, and any on-stand activities, including showcasing products, that you live stream can further encourage show attendees to visit your stand. It  can somehow create a feeling of  ‘missing out’  on the fun happening somewhere else, which will motivate people to visit the stand –  ultimately giving the exhibitor increased opportunities to sell.

And while live streaming can be great at driving in-person visits to your stand, it can also help you generate a greater external audience by taking your event marketing beyond the walls of the venue. Live streaming allows you to broadcast your stand to people who aren’t able to attend whether they are prospects, clients, partners or employees, streaming  gives an opportunity to take a live tour of your exhibition stand and makes the audience feel like they are part of the exhibition.  And did you know that people who watch your livestream are much more likely to visit you in-person the following year?

Tip: Use large screens to display your live stream. This is especially useful if your exhibition stand gets busy and it becomes more difficult for attendees to clearly see what is going on. Ask show organisers if there are any screens or digital billboards at the show you could use for streaming. This is often possible under the umbrella of Advertising which may involve some investment.

Types of engaging live streamed content:

  • On-stand interviews with members of your staff
  • VIP or celebrity appearances – livestream from your brand accounts and ask if they can livestream from their own about their attendance for added exposure
  • Behind the scenes footage. Show your audience the set-up of your exhibition stand or your preparation for the event
  • Showcase your product through live demos
  • Share major announcements like product launches
  • Take your audience on a live virtual tour of your exhibition stand. Make it even more engaging by using 360 video or VR for this!
  • Share all the fun activities. If you don’t have any interactive technology, think outside the box. Do you have a bar on your exhibition stand? Show your audience step by step of how your delicious cocktails are prepared. Are you hosting a competition? Live stream the winners! Do you have speakers or presentations? Broadcast them!
  • ‘Follow me around’ videos showing not only your exhibition stand but the entire show.
  • And don’t forget that incorporating interactive elements into your stream like live Q&As will not only allow you to collect audience feedback but will also actively engage the viewer

Promote it early and often

To increase the views, make sure your audience knows when and where the live stream is taking place. If you’re streaming on social media platforms, use official show hashtags and location tagging to increase visibility. If you’re streaming on your website, make sure you promote it early and often to create conversation and generate buzz around your event and your upcoming live stream.

What happens after my live stream?

Live streaming can create content for months after the show and extends the value of your event investment. Save and repurpose your livestream for further online experiences, here are just a few examples:

  • Post your edited live content on social media
  • Create teasers for your next event and capture attention of new visitors
  • Email raw or edited livestream footage to those that couldn’t attend the event in person and encourage them to visit you next time
  • Incorporate snippets of your live stream into your nurture campaigns. Send follow up emails to your attendees to remind them of their visit to your exhibition stand. After seeing potentially hundreds of other exhibitors, a video will make it easier for them to remember who you are and it will make your email far more engaging and fun, especially if there’s a chance they can spot themselves in the video!
  • Create entirely new campaigns from your live stream, especially if you had product demos or presentations on your stand that can be repurposed for future product specific campaigns