How do album releases work

Why online events often don't work - and how it can be improved

Most events cannot simply be transferred to the Internet unchanged. With the right concept, online events can be a success.

The event landscape is currently fallow - there will probably be no major events until summer 2021. For this reason, a format that had been neglected until then was rediscovered: online events. You can read everywhere these days that events can simply be moved to the Internet. Streaming is the new magic word when it comes to bringing people together, conveying content and somehow enabling events again. But the great disillusionment was not long in coming.

Professional online events are complex and cost both money and preparation time. Event formats cannot simply be transferred 1: 1 to the Internet. And on the side of the audience, there has been little willingness to pay for it so far. Live streams are therefore simply free so far. That will not work in the long run, because like in any other industry, everyone involved in a production must earn money in order to live from it.

Above all, this requires high-quality content and a breather before it becomes normal to pay admission for an event that takes place online.

In this blog article, we have summarized why online events often don't work and how you can do it better.

 

Motivation - why do people attend events?

Social aspects are at least as important as the content.

Events are of course also about the content, the program on the stage or the topics that the visitors expect. But that's only part of the motivation why people attend events. A study by Congreet GmbH came to the conclusion that 90% of the visitors to business events would like to make new contacts. Or to put it in a nutshell: information is conveyed on the stage, but the interesting conversations take place during the breaks. The social plays a major role at events. When I ask my colleagues at Eventnet what they are most looking forward to when visiting the Prolight + Sound trade fair, the answer I get is that it's about meeting old fellow students and colleagues from other trades.

Further motivating factors are:

  • Be aware of trends in the industry (81%)
  • Generate leads (46%)
  • Continuing education (74%)
  • Interesting speakers (45%)

It is similar at music events. Of course, you decide which concert to attend based on the artist. But most of all it depends on the shared experience in front of the stage. Without the atmosphere and enjoying the music together with other fans, the experience wouldn't even be half as intense.

You can see from this that it is not that easy to simply reproduce an event online, as it is often only reduced to the pure information level. Unfortunately, most of the social factors that are a primary motivator for many guests are no longer present when the participants sit alone in front of their screens at home.

The art is therefore to create a shared experience that allows the guests to interact with the stage as well as with each other.

 

Attention - how do you keep viewers happy?

The distraction beckons everywhere.

Attention is a rare commodity, which is why modern event concepts are often about maintaining the interest of the participants with exciting presentations, gamification and interaction elements. But presence events have one great advantage: the guests are there and the possibilities for distraction are limited. With online events, which you typically follow at home or in the office, things look very different. Nobody sees whether you are still writing emails or simply mute because the office talk is more interesting at the moment. It is therefore all the more important at online events that the content is so interesting and its staging so dynamic that the participants resist the multitude of potential distractions.

How to get attention:

  • Interesting content
  • Exciting moderation
  • variety
  • interaction
  • the atmosphere
  • Presence / time frame / agenda
  • Feeling of being watched

Distraction threatens by:

Presence events

  • Smartphone
  • Abort (leaving the event)

Online events

  • Everything in the household (cooking, washing up, tidying up)
  • Any YouTube video
  • surf Internet
  • Office talks
  • unobserved termination (this makes it easier)

 

Entertainment - the spice once again lies in brevity

Online events are often too long and monotonous.

Provide exciting content

Are you asking yourself? When do you click on a YouTube video? If the title sounds exciting and the first few seconds confirm that this is also true, then you stick with it. Otherwise you will likely cancel. It is therefore more important than ever to question critically: Is my program interesting and the content is crisp? Is it interesting for the audience and would I stay with it myself as a viewer? The feedback from participants at online events is naturally much more merciless.

Entertaining moderation

At face-to-face events, moderation that is not quite as entertaining or a program that is not really well rounded may be forgiven. Where should you go if you're already there? But at online events, the laptop is simply closed when in doubt. A good moderator can catch a lot here and is all the more important at online events. Because here it is even more important to show a show and to give the participants a good reason to stick with it. So it can be worthwhile to get professional support for this.

Variety - in the program and in the staging

The attention span is short on the internet. Users are used to short chunks of information and video clips. It is therefore advisable to take this consumer behavior into account. Your best bet is to check out some good web formats and get some inspiration. The so-called “TED Talks” are a good example. This is a format from the USA in which the speakers each have 18 minutes to stage a topic in an exciting way with a PowerPoint presentation. You not only learn a lot about good (and not so good) presentations - it is also often very entertaining.

You can find an overview of TED Talks here: www.ted.com

Shorten as best you can

One often thinks that it is completely impossible to cut any further. However, it usually works. Try to see it as a sporting challenge to squeeze the essence out of your content. The “TED Talks” mentioned are limited to 18 minutes for good reason. Try to reduce a topic unit to a maximum of 15-18 minutes. If that doesn't work, split your program into small pieces that correspond to these time blocks.

Do you fancy a little experiment?

Do you remember the SMS from before. You had to formulate your entire request in 160 characters - and it worked. As an experiment, try packing your entire talk into a Twitter post with 280 characters. This is of course extreme and should also be viewed as a playful exercise. But you will be amazed at how well you can compress information when you have to.

The visual staging should also offer some variety. There is nothing more boring than a single rigid camera perspective. Again, I leave you with other formats, such as B. Inspire TV shows. With three camera perspectives, between which you can switch depending on the situation, you bring a lot of dynamism into play.

  • Keep your topics short (maximum 15 minutes per topic)
  • Squeeze the essence out of your content
  • Give an outlook on the long term
  • Include videos, pictures and anecdotes
  • If necessary, moderate in pairs
  • Offer several camera perspectives

 

Interaction brings variety to the online event

Engage the audience

The feeling of being able to influence what is happening on the stage or on the screen is great and makes for a much stronger involvement. In contrast to face-to-face events, you have no eye contact with your guests at online events. The interaction is therefore all the more important as it creates a feeling of togetherness.

Start with an interaction

So do not leave any doubts and it is best to start your event directly with a little interaction.

  • Which city do the participants come from?
  • Who is looking at the laptop / who is looking at the tablet
  • Who already has experience in the subject

No matter what, the main thing is that you involve your viewers briefly right at the beginning. With this you show that this is not going to be a frontal shower, but a joint event. Your attendees will love it.

Visualize opinions

Let attendees vote and answer questions and show the results right on the stream and read good comments from the live chat. It is worthwhile to appoint an editor to coordinate the interaction and to hand over individual contributions to the moderator.

If necessary, individual participants can also be connected via video or telephone connection. However, this requires good preparation and a technical editorial team who can check the picture and sound quality beforehand and then switch the participants to the program.

dramaturgy

Plan your program so that it is motivated to stay tuned. Provide a view of what the audience can expect, announce highlights and place them in the middle or at the end of your program. Highlights are e.g. B. practical tips, a specific benefit for the audience, instructions for action, etc. It can also be a special interview guest or a summary.

Reward staying tuned

At the end of your program, promise small surprises or a special benefit for all viewers who are still there. That can be B. a download code for a practical guide, access to additional content or the presentation of the results of surveys. The only important thing is: keep your promise. Pseudo-surprises that have no added value leave a bland taste because your viewers will have the feeling that they have been tricked.

 

Packaging matters - quality is also important online

Online events are not a cheap alternative.

Events are, just like the business card or the website, a figurehead that tells something about your company. You should therefore have high demands on the quality of the online event. In our consultations, we had the feedback from time to time: “It's only online, you don't have to go to such a hassle now”. But that's not the case, because online events also have to be very well prepared. And the same applies here: yes, it will cost money. Therefore, it is good to consider beforehand whether the event or the goal that you are pursuing is worth it.

We have summarized some “Do's” and “Don't's” here.

Dont’s

  • Do not use a smartphone for recording
    What might work for spontaneous streams is unsuitable for online events
  • The classic webcam perspective
    Nobody wants to see jerky and half-sharp images and it just looks unprofessional
  • Sound through the computer microphone
    that will drive the viewers away as quickly as they came
  • only one, rigid camera perspective
    quickly becomes boring

DOS

  • good illumination
    Your set should be illuminated evenly and as bright as day
  • Clear image
    the resolution should be at least 720p
  • Live direction
    the right perspective at the right time enhances your online event enormously
  • Clean tone
    The sound must be clear and free of interference
  • Prepare for a live situation
    Not seeing the audience can be irritating

Live direction

A direction brings your online event a big step closer to the look and feel of a TV show. Because instead of a rigid perspective, you can switch between different camera perspectives. Just as it fits the content of your program. If there are several interlocutors, z. B. always the person who is speaking are shown in close-up. When you are demonstrating something, objects on a table can be brought into the picture at the right time. And when it comes to presentations, it makes sense to switch between the presentation slide and the speaker. This way your event gets a visual dynamic and it is just more fun to watch the program.

Tip: If interested in streaming your event online, take a look our streaming service. We help you to make your online event a success with all of the points mentioned.

 

Monetization - without moss there is nothing going on in the long run

There has to be a willingness to pay money for live streams.

Online events have a big catch. Most users expect it to be free. Most people are not used to paying money for any content other than series or films on the Internet. But that is exactly what cannot be avoided in the long term, because in the end money has to be earned somehow. Unless there are other goals to be achieved with the online event.

Until then, it is sure to be a rocky road. Users have to get used to the fact that live streams also cost money and the organizers have to deliver content that is of such high quality that there is a willingness to pay for it. And certainly not all event formats are suitable for monetization. Hybrid formats may also emerge in the future - i.e. combinations of conventional events and online events that are offered in preparation or in addition.

What is the currency?

  • money
    As with normal events for which tickets are sold, it must also be possible to make money with online events. A paywall can be set up for this. This is a kind of digital ticket booth that you can pass by paying a certain amount or with an already paid voucher code. One then speaks of PPV events (for “Pay-per-View” - in German: “Paying for watching”). Of course it is also possible to offer a donation option.
  • Traffic
    Promotional or sponsored content is about sending content to as many viewers as possible. Diffusion is the key factor here.
  • Lead generation
    Here, too, it is more about reaching many users. However, with the aim of getting contact details. Here you should think about setting up a start page with an e-mail registration.
  • Proven participation
    For some institutions or public bodies it is important to prove a certain number of participants in order to e.g. B. To legitimize funding. Here, too, it is advisable to register the respective participants.

 

Conclusion

The potential of online formats has long been underestimated in the event sector. In times of the Corona crisis, however, it is apparently the only remaining alternative that is overloaded with expectations. With good planning and suitable concepts, online events can be staged in an exciting way and also have the potential to step out of the shadow of the free culture. And that applies not only to the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also to the time after it.

Certainly not every event format is suitable for an online implementation and events in real life, especially in terms of atmosphere and magic (luckily), can probably never be replaced by a digital equivalent. But with good concepts and the right ambition, new formats can possibly be created that do not have to be an alternative, but complement existing events and open up completely new visitor groups as a separate category and location-independent.

However, this requires the courage on the part of the organizers to invest in good online events so that the quality leads to a willingness to pay on the part of viewers or sponsors. Perhaps in the future we will experience interactive programs in which we can participate for a small fee as an alternative to the Netflix evening. Or there are digital formats that artists always stream live to accompany album releases. Depending on the purpose of the event, there is definitely plenty of scope for creativity and new concepts. Let's hope that the potential will be used.

The best thing to do is to take a look at our streaming service. We would be happy to advise you on your project.

 

Are you curious?

We would be happy to advise you on possible approaches for your event.

Contact us at 030 - 60 98 36 74 or [email protected]

 

 

 



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