Live streaming has grown in popularity over the last few years, thanks in part to easy-to-access tools like Facebook Live and YouTube Live making it easy for anyone to broadcast live video to the world.

But live streaming isn’t just for sharing personal video: event planners are warming up to the idea of broadcasting some (or all!) of their conferences, meetings or other events to virtual attendees. Whether you choose to stream only your keynote speeches or the entirety of your meeting, offering those a glimpse into what’s going on within the confines of your event can pay off in a big way.

One of the reasons that event planners should strongly consider incorporating webcasting into their next event is because of the ROI that it yields. Below are some of our favorite ways in which a live stream of an event can pay off for your organization.

1. Increased Attendance

You read that right. Live streaming your event can lead to an increase in physical attendance. One study found that organizations that live stream their events experience around a 23% conversion rate of remote attendees who become physical attendees the next few times the event is offered.

should you live stream a conference

The ability to turn virtual attendees into physical ones isn’t so crazy. There are many reasons why a person may choose not to physically attend your event, but a big one is simply a fear of the unknown: will the event be worth their time and money? A broadcast of your event can help assure viewers that the quality of your event is high enough to justify the resources they’ll need to attend in person.

2. Better Marketing Efforts

A common misconception is that footage broadcasted during an event stops being useful as soon as the event ends. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Not only is a webcast a fantastic way to engage people who couldn’t make it to your event, but it’s also a marketing treasure trove. The footage from your conference should be recorded so you can reuse and re-purpose it throughout the year.

live streaming for conferences and events

There are a lot of ways to get mileage out your event stream after-the-fact, including:

  • Archive the entire event on your website
  • Upload to YouTube to help increase exposure of your event
  • Share short clips on social media throughout the year
  • Use clips in your marketing for next year’s event
  • Use clips to help convince potential advertisers to sponsor next year’s event
  • Use the footage as a reference when writing content (like blog posts) about topics discussed during the event

Your marketing team will be thrilled to be handed the video from your event, so don’t be surprised when they create effective and compelling content based off of it. 

The quality of marketing materials shared for your event can be what ultimately helps someone decide if they’ll attend, making access to past event footage critical for the success of future meetings.

3. New Revenue Opportunities

If your event relies on advertising and sponsorship to help cover costs, live streaming is a fantastic additional source of revenue. You can offer a sponsorship package for a single advertiser to have their name and logo appear throughout the entirety of your event’s webcast, or offer smaller packages, where each speaker or session is sponsored by a different organization.

live streaming ROI

Using your stream as an extra source of income doesn’t have to end with sponsorships. Consider charging viewers a small fee in exchange for access to the live feed or the ability to download an archived version of it after the event has ended. You can even partner with an industry publication or organization to allow them to use the live stream of your event as content on their own site.

Because live streaming can be a relatively inexpensive activity to execute, you should more than recoup the costs of the streaming equipment & crew through the profits collected from this type of sponsorship.

Whether you’re looking to increase physical attendance in future events, want more marketing material to work with while promoting your next event (or organization as a whole), or are just looking for an additional revenue stream to help offset the costs of running a conference, live streaming is an effective and fun way to increase the impact of your event.

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