How Crowdsourced Live-Streaming Will Change Events Forever

If you thought Twitter was “instant”, try again. Until recently, live streaming from your event meant having an A/V crew set up the camera, lighting, and sound, with a rigid schedule in place; a major investment of time and money. Those days are over with crowdsourced live-streaming. Now there’s an app for that.

Live-streaming now exists within every attendees’ hand with apps like Meerkat and Periscope. Meerkat recently made a big impact at SXSW in Austin, TX, as people from around the world had the ability to watch what was happening through the “eyes” of onsite attendees.

Just a few days later, Twitter announced they had acquired Periscope, trumpeting an even better live-streaming experience. Today, Periscope was released to the world and, like Meerkat, is making a massive impact. Even more interestingly, it’s showing how valuable live streaming will be to events around the world.

A phone with the Periscope app, a crowdsourced live-streaming platform.

How Crowdsourced Live-Streaming Works

Sign into Periscope with your Twitter login and everyone you follow and who follows you are instantly added to your account. You’re then provided with a list of public live-streams that others are currently broadcasting and one click gives you full access to what the “Broadcaster” is seeing in real-time.

The live-stream is also accompanied by a viewer count indicating how many other people are watching the stream with you. As well, viewers can comment and ‘heart’ the stream for everyone to see. Streams with the most ‘hearts’ (or, as Periscope has dubbed them, the “Most Loved”) end up with the highest rankings in the app, which garners more viewers.

Your Audience is Larger Than You Think

Founding Editor of Danny Sullivan, decided to use Periscope while he attends Facebook’s Developer Conference F8. Upon launching his personal live-stream, all of his followers are notified and instantly he was joined by an audience of 100 on his live-stream.

One attendee instantly added 100 new audience members with crowdsourced live-streaming.

Rather than posting his feelings and experience, Sullivan was able to provide a window into what he, himself was experiencing. Not a camera crew expertly filming and curating the look of the event – direct access to the real attendee experience.


Danny Sullivan Periscope Live-Stream Announcement at EventGuided Live-Stream Tour of Facebook ConferencePeriscope is the Coolest thing at the Conference

The Benefits of Crowdsourced Live-Streaming

If the proliferation of social media tools has told us anything, it’s that we are hungry for content – that includes your attendees. Periscope and Meerkat offer event organizers the fastest way to distribute content to audiences. Unpolished yes, but genuine and real.

Throughout Sullivan’s broadcast, various conversations took place. One viewer wants to get updated with the event, “Did the Oculus keynote already happen?” Another viewer sees the opportunity to promote an exhibitor, “Say hi to James Pearce at the open source booth.” As Sullivan continues his broadcast, he can see comments from viewers and address them in real-time.

Periscope is set apart from Meerkat in two ways. First, because it’s owned by Twitter, Periscope integrates deeply with Twitter making it easy to create an account and Tweet a link out to the world. Second, Periscope offers a ‘Replay’ option where users who weren’t around during the live stream can go back and watch.

Periscope ‘Replays’ will be available to prospective attendees next year. Do you have enough footage to put together an event trailer made entirely of Periscope ‘Replays’?


Popular Periscopes get Push NotificationsWatch recorded Periscope from Facebook Conference

The Challenges of Crowdsourced Live-Streaming

Event organizers will have to consider live-streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat in their privacy policies and security similar to other social media apps. It’s important to ensure attendees know these social channels are actively monitored.

Live-streaming will eat your WiFi. If you promote Periscope and Meerkat as a way for attendees to share their experiences, your venue should be prepared.

Ideas for Using Live-Streaming Apps at Your Events

Add more ideas in the comments, email or Tweet at us too!


  • Invite all of your social media followers to your stream on a specific time and date where you’ll be announcing a new keynote or talent.
  • Invite attendees a walkthrough of your venue so they get a feel for the space before arriving.


  • Backstage with the keynote presenters as they’re getting ready to take the stage just minutes before they make a big announcement.
  •  Tease your audience with a few quick glances of talent rehearsing for the night’s festivities.
  •  Share the experience with the world. Live-streaming apps are the easiest, fastest way to build your audience from a few hundred to a few thousand in seconds.


  • If next year’s location hasn’t been selected yet, invite last year’s attendees to your stream for the big unveiling.
  • An Event Organizer’s Periscope-Meerkat Strategy Checklist

Your Live-Streaming Event App Checklist

Before diving in, answer these questions:

  • Can you share the content of your meeting publically?
  • Will you actively promote the use of Periscope or Meerkat at your event? Which one?
  • Is your venue’s WiFi prepared to handle attendees live-streaming at your event?

Real-time Experience

As this article was being written, a large fire broke out in New York City where the tech-news Mashable team took to the streets to report live on scene. The Broadcaster immediately had over 600 active viewers listening to her report as events unfolded. Needless to say, Meerkat and Periscope have brought crowdsourced live-streaming to the masses and it’s moving fast. But if you miss it, don’t worry, just hit ‘Replay’.

Breaking News with PeriscopeBreaking News with PeriscopeBreaking News with Periscope

Download Meerkat and Download Periscope

What’s Next?
  • Selling through new technology to executives? Always an interesting conversation. We’ve got 7 strategies to share that might help.
  • Wondering how you might promote event technology with attendees to ramp up adoption? Or understand what your event app analytics really mean? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Event App Marketing.