Live streaming has been a popular and successful way for businesses to take their live events online.
Everything from conferences and tradeshows, customer appreciation events, business meetings, corporate celebrations to fundraisers is moving to a virtual streaming format online, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In some cases, it’s primarily live streaming and in other cases it’s a mix of pre-recorded material and live streaming
Let’s delve into Live Streaming for those that haven’t yet experienced this popular new way of hosting events.
Live Streaming Variety Programs
When you think of live, real time events, you probably think of The Jerry Lewis Telethon. The audience could watch and remotely support the event from the comfort of their home.
This is different than a trade show or virtual meeting, it typically involves a stage, some entertainment and visibility of the “behind the scenes” work the volunteers do on the phone banks, accepting donations.
This is accessible to large groups of people – creating mass exposure.
In these Variety type shows, whether live or streaming virtually, the show is produced professionally. There is usually a Master of Ceremonies, celebrities and business leaders that are involved. It’s typically a mix of entertainment with speakers and pleas for support of the organization or charitable initiative.
There are many platforms to host live streaming events. The key to success is professional production of the event, so it’s seamless, professional and entertaining.
Live Streaming Production
Remote business meetings and smaller virtual events may be much simpler with lower production needs, using platforms like Zoom. However, llarger live streaming events require a high end local production company to handle staging, lighting, sound and all other production elements.
Pre-recorded content can be mixed with the live streaming portion of the online event.
The atmosphere of the event matters, maybe more so than “in real life” events. Your audience won’t be there to engage all of these senses – so they are relying on sight to develop their impressions of the event. Ensuring the event is visually appealing will go a long way to satisfying your virtual guests.
Should you have a live audience?
Depending on the guidelines in your area, you may be able to host a small live audience. The energy of a live audience can add to the experience of the streaming event. However if it’s not safe or possible, you can still host a virtual streaming event successfully.
To get things started, often the president or executive of the company that is hosting the event kicks things off with a warm welcome, an overview of all details and information that guests needs to know and some exciting and motivating words to start things on the right tone..
The Master of Ceremonies usually takes over at that point. The emcee is vital to the success of the event. He/she keeps it running smoothly, covers over any glitches and keeps the audience engaged.
They will also close out the event, thank all relevant parties and ensure everyone leaves the virtual event satisfied and pleased with their experience.
Amount of time for Live Stream Event
In the case of corporate events, it is better to keep the event shorter in duration than live events. The attention span of a remote audience is different from a live show. Speakers and entertainers should also keep their segments tight and crisp.
Sample of a Live Streaming Event Format
There are so many options when it comes to a live streaming event. The production company you work with should also have ideas on format and lots of experience to draw from.
Here is one idea to consider. This format could work for a convention, corporate party or fundraiser.
A professional comedian could host the event, starting it with a rousing welcome to the audience. This would be a good time for them to make any announcements, create some buzz and excitement about the event and also introduce the organization’s president or leader – who will speak to the virtual attendees. This intro usually lasts up to 10 minutes.
Next the organization leader would make the corporate remarks and a personal message, as well as outlining the purpose of the event. Keeping this speech to 5-10 minutes is ideal.
The host returns and it would be a great time to show a short pre-recorded video from a celebrity saying a special hello to the group. You could also have a comedian do a short bit.
Next the host introduces the first performer – maybe a variety act live on stage or pre-recorded. Look for something that will wow the audience. Plan on a 5-10 minute entertainment slot here.
The host returns again to introduce another leader or speaker. Plan on another 5-10 minutes here.
Next the host could introduce a comedian or magician for another entertaining session of up to 15 minutes..
Time to wow the audience again. Consider something different than the first wow performance. Maybe a light show, musical piece, a dance troupe or something else visually appealing.
If more time needs to be filled, a comedian, mentalist or magician can work well.
Now the host returns to close out the event, thank everyone and recap of the success of the event. Organization leaders can appear again. Closing things out with a video is a great way to thank everyone and end on a note of emotion.
There are so many variations, in the venue, length of event and content offered. Be sure the event is planned to suit the virtual audience. If it’s a fundraiser, have all the logistics set up so virtual donations can easily be made.
An experienced entertainment production company will help things run smoothly and ensure maximum success.