Many associations have gone to great lengths to recruit and grow their membership base. While they may achieve great success in these two areas, there are difficulties that come with maintaining consistency over the long term.
One of the central obstacles for associations is demonstrating continuous and unique content that would keep members from having wandering eyes and looking towards other associations for their industry updates. It can be extremely challenging for an association to serve as the main outlet for specific expert content when members can easily access other platforms that offer similar information. The social media boom of recent years has only propelled this conundrum even further. Fortunately, the increasing presence of live-streaming technology has offered a gateway to help associations hold their competitors at bay while fostering membership engagement and generating additional revenue streams.
Granted, the main purpose for associations to stream live events is to reach a broader audience of people who cannot attend the live event. But its purpose can also go beyond that. Here are four tips that will assist associations who want to offer top-notch live streaming events.
1. Overcome the Fear of Live Streaming Technology
Technology has become such a central part of our lives that we often do not think about the big impact it has on our everyday lives. Because of this, we pay little attention when we do online banking, work on our tablets, buy clothes on our phones, or even utilize the parking assist function in our cars.On the other hand, it is a completely different story when it comes to introducing a new technology for functions that we do not engage in everyday. Take live-streaming for example. As this may seem like a complicated process, many associations feel hesitant, apprehensive, or even intimidated at the thought of introducing live-streaming as part of their online offerings.
The good news is that live-streaming is far more advanced today than a decade ago. Before, there was fear of streaming as users had to download annoying plug-ins and the technology often malfunctioned during the event. However, there has been a major shift in positivity towards live streaming in recent years as the technology has seen rapid positive advancements.
Associations can take solace in new live-streaming platforms that produce high-quality presentations with video footage and presentation materials, along with the ability to stream on multiple browsers and devices as well as tracking online viewers. With the continuing evolution of this technology, the chances of malfunctioning streams during a live event has been significantly minimized. Streaming events have also grown to become more of an expectation rather than merely a perk. Today, nearly 90% of online content is consumed via video. Also, 59% of all executives report that they would rather watch a video than read a blog with the same information – further proof that now is the time to embrace the benefits of live-streaming.
2. Use Live Streaming to Increase Exposure for an Association
Live-streaming an event can have a profound impact on the reach of the association. However, the marketing approach an association chooses to implement in advance of the event, is a crucial factor in the number of people who will attend, and ultimately the financial success of the event.
Live-streaming an event helps an association offer extended value through the relevant content that is shared by speakers, amongst members, as well as inclusive information that best represents what the association is about and what they stand for. The event can also take viewers on a special journey that gives them an inside look at the brand, what makes the association unique, and provides a human touch that makes them feel like they are attending the event in person – even though they are watching from their phone or laptop. Moreover, members have the opportunity to share immediate feedback during the event that can circulate through the entire online community to create further buzz and excitement.
And what is the greatest benefit of increased exposure? It all boils down to an association gaining the trust of its members and future members. If the live-streams make individuals feel like they are part of a community, their loyalty grows and the chance of member retention or the acquisition of new members greatly increases. The proof is in the results, a social video creates a dramatic increase of 1200% more shares compared to text and images.
3. Target Sponsors for Live Streamed Events
There is a prime opportunity for an association to generate ongoing revenue through live streaming an event. Specifically, the value of streaming stems from the fact that the event can be recorded and after the event has ended, the stream can be uploaded to a platform and made available for members and non members who wish to view it. In addition to that, similar to the way recording artists receive royalties every time their songs are played on the radio, sponsors are instantly promoted every time a member replays the recorded event.
This approach can be achieved by an association establishing arrangements with sponsors who are willing to promote their brand during these live events for a fee – thereby providing the association the chance to earn additional revenue on the side. Based on the objectives of the association, they can capitalize by finding sponsors that are aligned with the ideals and interests of the members, thus creating a win-win-win for all involved.
4. Have a Host or Administrator for Live Streamed Events
Having a host or administrator for live events can increase the personal touch.
An online host or administrator can add extra flavour to an already entertaining/enlightening live event. Online attendees can be further engaged by the host’s charismatic personality as they provide colour commentary, updates and interview key leaders and influencers throughout the course of the event. They can serve as a liaison between the association and the online attendees.
In addition, they can establish a connection with members, to the point where the name, likeness, and voice of the host/administrator becomes synonymous with the live events the association chooses to stream. A host or administrator can also solicit feedback from members and can get a better understanding of the type of content and events members want to see in the future.