We understand and empathize with you, the Zoom and virtual video conferences are getting stale quickly. Unfortunately, in-person events do not look like they are making a hasty return and livestream events will continue to occur long after the pandemic has ceased.
So how do you turn your next event into a livestream that not only keeps the audience engaged, but provides a source of revenue to your business or organization?
Time out, isn’t this suppose to be on how to monetize my livestream? Isn’t production an added expense? Yes, but professional production is the first step to take in making your virtual event remain engaging and have the legitimacy attendees and sponsors are looking for. Maybe you have an in-house production team, utilize them. If you do not have an in-house production team we recommend hiring a professional service like 2020 Evolve.
Having your virtual event professionally livestreamed is important for your viewers. Would you watch a show on TV if it was produced with a low grade camera, hard to hear audio, and very few graphics? If you answer is no, then why would you subject your attendees to something similar? All of these technical aspects are addressed when using a professional company, ensuring that you stand the best chance of keeping your attendees attention throughout the entire livestream.
Professional livestreams add credibility to your virtual event, which is something you can use to secure potential sponsors. In addition to add-ons like graphics packages that include sponsor logos, important website information, and calls to action; professionals will also help you navigate the correct platform for streaming. Streaming platforms are not created the same and each one lends itself towards a different feature set that may be more appropriate for what you are trying to accomplish.
Food and Drink
Yes, you read that correctly. Food and drink options are a great way to help livestream attendees feel like they are having a shared experience. This works best for a local event, allowing for delivery or pickup based on attendees preference. In addition, working with a local restaurant or caterer on a delicious, yet affordable, food option is a great way to support their business (especially during socially distanced times). The real secrets behind offering food for your next livestream deal with registrations and monetized opportunity.
Food options are a great way to require guests to register prior to your livestream. This helps you gauge overall interest in the virtual event and collect contact information from anyone who would be in attendance. You can easily reach out to attendees after the livestream and follow up with additional revenue earning touchpoints, like affiliate links, merchandise, memberships, or future livestreams.
The most basic reason to offer food is because it is a monetizable opportunity. At an in-person event it isn’t uncommon to charge attendees for a food option where there has been an additional cost added to the plate place. For a virtual event this is no different; a reasonable upcharge on the plate cost is a great way to bring in some additional revenue to help cover event expenses or turn a profit.
Did you know 2020 Evolve offers livestream coordination and services?
Your in person event would have had sponsors, why wouldn’t your virtual event? It’s time to pivot and think of your livestream like a production for television. TV networks have been selling ad space to stay in business for years, now is your chance to offer the same thing to the most well suited sponsors for your virtual event.
Start with the basics, find a name sponsor for the entire virtual event. Continue to utilize a tiered sponsorship structure with the standard gold, silver, and bronze level sponsors. Then get creative, making sponsorship opportunities like fun facts or trivia moments brought to you by “insert sponsor here”.
Each sponsorship level should have a corresponding amount of exposure based on the price paid. Not only should logos be present before, during, and after the livestream, but the opportunity to place 30 or 60 second commercial spots in the livestream should be available. Go one step further and tie your sponsors into your digital strategy with logos on your event landing page and the option to list products or links.
Let’s tie this all together with the most overlooked part of any livestream, your website. This is where utilizing a full feature service like 2020 Evolve becomes advantageous, we understand that monetization and engagement doesn’t start and end with a 30 or 60 minute livestream.
Like every in-person event, it starts with how attendees register. Roll out the red carpet and give them the feeling that they are signing up for something new and exciting, not just another Zoom meeting. Collect the important information that helps you keep in contact with attendees and serve them up secondary revenue options like food, swag, or affiliate links.
Create a custom landing page for the virtual event, a place that doesn’t require attendees to scour through emails trying to find an obscure weblink. Make it easy to enter the virtual event, the more clicks (friction) required to enter the more likely you are to lose attendees before the event even starts. Use the landing page as a sponsor bonus, featuring the logos and links of primary sponsors.
Circle back with attendees after the livestream through options like Mailchimp or Constant Contact. Get their honest feedback and adapt for future livestreams. Again, use this as a way to generate revenue post event, either selling products, services, or providing discount codes for any sponsors.
Is your event still happening in person? Consider a mobile stage for maximum reach.
We’re going to leave you with our top secret advice for a successful, and ultimately less stressful, livestream. Don’t be afraid to pre-record everything if you can. It might feel like cheating, but it isn’t. We would always rather pre-record your entire event, take the time to properly cut in video packages and graphics, and then render it for a livestream playback.
Why? Because live events are stressful enough, but you always have audience feedback. Virtual events are unforgiving, with delayed or no audience feedback. A pre-record is a great way to ensure the livestream progresses smoothly and give you or your representatives the chance to focus on engagement with attendees. The last thing you want to leave to chance is technical issues surrounding your livestream. If done properly, your attendees will not even know that the event isn’t occurring at that very moment.