By Rob Lipps
The world’s most cutting-edge conferences use streaming video to engage in-person and remote attendees before, during and after the event. That means meeting planners are required now more than ever to create content strategies that encapsulate ROI, metrics, engagement and more.
Companies and associations like Salesforce, Lanyon, Citrix, VMware, Autodesk and the Professional Convention Management Association are already streaming their educational conferences, product launches and town hall meetings to the world. And as technology has gotten smaller, easier to use and more affordable, the AV portion of how to capture video at a conference or meeting is the easy part. What takes strategic thinking is what a company does with all of the captured content.
Take Citrix, for example. To extend the life of the hundreds of hours of content presented every year at Citrix Synergy, the company’s annual education event, it created Citrix Synergy TV. By livestreaming the keynotes and breakout sessions, Citrix turned the in-person event into an online, live and on-demand destination that lives beyond the conference. Citrix captured more than 100 conference sessions from 10 different rooms and created an online experience with a registration portal, live chat and a custom video showcase. Citrix typically gets 5,500 attendees on-site, and in 2016 the captured content received more than 100,000 views.
Conference content like that can be used throughout the year to promote future events, generate revenue (by turning sessions into online courses), attract new members or customers and uncover interests and trends from viewers. The possibilities are endless.
With the right plan in place, it’s easier than you think to get the most out of your experience at your next event. Consider these four proven ways to make event video work for you.
IF YOU’RE GOING TO STREAM SOMETHING, START WITH YOUR CONFERENCE.
Not only is it the most relevant content, it’s the most comfortable for your speakers. Your speakers don’t have to do anything different, and your attendees will appreciate having the option to watch live or ondemand on their smartphones and revisit important content post-event. And if cost is a factor, start small with just your keynotes or main speakers and expand in future years.
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) annual meeting is where the cancer immunotherapy community meets in person for scientific exchange, education and networking. SITC 2017 was its largest annual meeting to date with over 3,500 attendees, and for the first time it created a live online conference experience. Online attendees could watch highly-anticipated sessions online. All of the cutting-edge science discussed at the event lives in an online, secure video library for attendees to access. Plus, anyone who watched the sessions could receive continuing education credits.
PLAN YOUR VIDEO CONTENT STRATEGY.
Recording conference content with video broadens your reach to new audiences around the world, boosts member retention and brand recognition, generates revenue with online certification programs and gives you marketing content to promote year-long.
One company that’s doing just that is CME Science, a business that streams continuing medical education conferences for radiologists. After a conference, it turns that captured content into on-demand webinars and CME courses, reaching many more physicians by providing the option to complete CME courses online.
KEEP THE CONFERENCE EXCITEMENT GOING YEARROUND.
Events never really have a start or end date if you stream them. Plan a rolling-thunder approach for your content with your customers or members. Share videos related to event topics throughout the year in marketing campaigns. It keeps people coming back and bridges the gap between one event to the next.
Pearson, an educational services provider, streams its annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics because it needs a video library of content to promote after the event to keep the conversations going and attract new audiences.
Video can feed your content marketing and social media strategies for up to a year. You can repurpose educational sessions into webinars, turn customer interviews into case studies and revive your e-newsletters and blog posts by embedding videos. Just make sure you include a call to action, such as a link to register for your next event.
USE VIDEO DATA TO PLAN FUTURE EVENTS.
Video analytics give you heat maps showing what parts of the video were viewed the most, helping to inform your conference content for the next year. Use ongoing and timely viewership data to better understand topic interest and presenter effectiveness.
Don’t just look at clicks, though. Look at who is watching, how long they watched and what they watched. That will help plan your next conference by seeing what speakers and topics were the most popular. Perhaps the ones who were really popular online should be invited back to present in a bigger room the following year.
Rob Lipps is the executive vice president of Sonic Foundry, maker of Mediasite Video Platform. Lipps leads the company’s global sales organization including oversight of domestic, international and channel sales. He holds more than 20 years of sales leadership, business development and emerging market entry expertise in the technology and manufacturing sectors.