It’s exciting to think we live in an era where time and distance are no longer barriers to event participation. Thanks to livestreaming and event technology, it is now possible to host an event in one city and include attendees from other locations to participate in the action. This is exactly what we did last week for an event called “Transformative Meeting Technology” — a partnership with Freeman AV, Cineplex Theatre and the National Speakers Bureau. More than 500 registrants gathered in Cineplex theatres across 6 different cities, and with the help of our event partners, we made each attendee feel like they were part of the main action. Here’s how we pulled it off.
Waking Up Attendees with Live Polls
The main event was in Toronto and livestreamed by Freeman AV to theatres in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg; archived and screened on-demand in Vancouver. EventMobi staff were on site across locations to help attendees download the event app and participate in the live polls and Q&A session.
To get remote attendees participating from the get-go, each speaker prepared a few key questions and launched a live poll during their opening speech. This tactic worked like a charm for engaging remote attendees and suddenly put the power into their hands. Everyone watched the results pour onto the screen, changing with every response. It was a simple yet effective way to bring remote viewers into the action. Not to mention, it’s always fun to see where you stand in relation to your peers within the industry.
For the speakers, it also provided excellent insight on who was actually sitting in front of them — or in this case, sitting across the country. The questions allowed the speaker to quickly gauge audience impressions, experience, or feelings about a topic and therefore “work the room” during their presentation. Knowing your audience is key as they say!
Here’s a couple examples of the poll questions speakers asked:
Choosing the Right Venue for Remote Viewing
Venue selection is always a challenge and can make a huge difference to the experience of the event. When livestreaming, you’ll want to be extra sure the visuals and audio are great. To this effect, Cineplex Theatre was the perfect venue choice. The large screens, rich audio and comfortable seating made the viewing experience far more enjoyable. There was also plenty of room at the front of the screen for a panel and speakers to engage with the audience. Plus, there’s something inherently fun about attending a theatre for a livestreamed event. Who doesn’t love watching things on a huge screen (hint hint event planners looking for unique venue spaces).
Make the Keynote Visual, Interactive & Fun
Of course, you can’t have a great event without a great speaker. The National Speakers Bureau invited futurist and digital strategist, Jesse Hirsh, to speak about the transformative effect of technology on events. Jesse talked about everything from augmented reality to gaming, to the latest digital trends. His presentation included video, clips from popular shows, interesting graphics and a few strategic interactions with the audience — a perfect mix of content for the big screen and just enough stimulation to keep remote participants tuned in. And, as Jesse mentioned, if you happen to have a big screen, you might as well use it!
Put the Power into their Hands: A Tech Enabled Q&A Panel Session
For the Q&A portion of the event, there were a few challenges to conquer. For starters, attendees were scattered across different cities in the country. So there was a need for an efficient way to get everyone involved. Second, and this applies to any event, a lot of attendees are shy and rather not speak in front of an auditorium, let alone be displayed on a large screen and livestreamed to cities across the nation. By using the event app, participants across all locations were able to ask their questions anonymously and vote on which questions they wanted answered first. It was a brilliant and dynamic way to include all participants. It also made asking those hard-hitting questions a lot easier to do.
In short, by putting the power of tech into the hands of attendees and having a great venue space optimized for screen viewing, participating remotely was not nearly as prohibitive as one might think. Attendees watching the livestream were able to respond to polls, ask questions and steer the discussion to their needs — even though they weren’t in the same room. This was a powerful experience for everyone involved, in particular for those who had never used an event app before (many attendees hadn’t).
Of course, none of it would have been possible without the collaboration of our event partners. So thank you to Freeman AV for livestreaming the event flawlessly; Cineplex Theatres & Events for providing the perfect venue space, and the National Speakers Bureau for inviting a fantastic keynote speaker.
Have you ever livestreamed an event across locations? How’d it go? What did you learn that you can share with others? Place your comments below.