It’s a simple fact of life, we’re much busier than we’ve ever been, and getting to live events isn’t always the easiest, as we need to add on time and expense for travel and perhaps overnight accommodation.
And whilst the non-millennials amongst us enjoy face to face interactions far more than our counterparts, it’s a good idea to consider streaming your live events to make them more accessible, which then gives you an opportunity to increase your revenues and reach from each of your events.
With over 2 billion active users on Facebook, it provides a great platform to stream live events, but it takes good preparation and thinking about the user experience.
So, if you’re contemplating streaming your next live event on Facebook, here’s some things to consider:
- Is the wifi at your event venue fast enough to stream, especially if there are many people using the network at the same time?
Some event venues provide a different network to presenters than attendees to reduce this challenge, so it’s worth asking. If you want to check that your venue has the right wifi speed for streaming on Facebook, ask them to perform a speed test. We use http://www.speedtest.net/ for this. They just need to open the link, and then click on begin test. Once the test is complete, they’ll see something like the image below, which shows an upload speed and download speed.
As long as the download AND upload speed is more than 5mbps it’ll work, but the higher the number, the better as it will prevent any pauses in the streaming! Where possible, ask them to send you a screenshot for your peace of mind!
If the venue that you’ve chosen doesn’t have an internet connection of more than 5mbps upload or download, the viewer won’t have a good experience, and it could cause complaints, so don’t skip this step!
- How will you sell your tickets and provide access to ONLY people who have paid?
We live in an automated world, and as busy entrepreneurs and business owners, the easiest way is to provide a means of online payment to your attendees, and automating an email sequence that delivers after, with instructions on how to access where you’ll be streaming from.
You’ll need a Stripe account to accept payment with Ticket Tailor and Clickfunnels, although Eventbrite can pay you via paypal. With Ticket Tailor you’ll wait 7 days to receive your payments, similarly, the payments that are made through Clickfunnels on Stripe will take 7 days to hit your bank account, and Eventbrite pay out 4-5 days AFTER your event ends.
Bear in mind that people will expect to pay less if they’re accessing your event from home, as they know you won’t have refreshment or venue costs for them.
I’d recommend that you set up a CLOSED Facebook group for your event where you’ll stream, so that you can ensure only the people who have paid can access the stream.
Within the email that’s sent once they’ve paid, ensure you send a link to the group (it’s also a good way to get people talking before the event takes place) and ask them to click on join the group once they are logged into Facebook, and also make sure that they tell you by email if the name that they’ve provided at payment differs from the name that will be watching the stream, so that you’re sure that the right people will be watching and have paid
Consider giving people who will attend in person access to the group too, as they’ll then be able to access the recordings afterwards, which is always useful!
You’ll need to ensure that the settings within your group that you create for the event are set correctly so that admin must approve group join requests. (I’d recommend having a group for each event, in order to keep admin to a minimum)
You can also ask up to 3 questions when people join a Facebook group, this is a great way to find out what their expectations are!
- What’s next?
You can use Facebook Live on a laptop, tablet or phone. Generally, the camera quality is best on a phone, and will give the viewer a clearer picture.
Make sure that you know how to use Facebook live on your phone, and consider whether you want it to show in the group that you’re streaming as your personal name or your Facebook page name.
If you want to stream live as your Facebook page name, you can link your new event group to your page, and then once you’ve done that, go to the group on your mobile, and look to see if you’ll post as your personal profile or the page (it should default to the page name).
To link your new group to your Facebook business page, on a desktop or laptop, go to your business page, and then click on settings. Then click on edit page in the menu on the left hand side. Scroll down to look at all the tabs, if the groups one is not there, you’ll need to click on add a tab which will be towards the bottom. (NB you must be an admin on your business page to do this)
Now go back to your Facebook page, and click on the groups tab on the left hand side, you will now have a dark blue button on the right hand side that says Link Your Group. Click on that button, and choose the group that you want to link to your page.
Once you’ve done this, it will give you the option to post in your group as your page rather than as your personal profile. This is great for people who want to only use their business pages to connect and engage with their customers.
- What else do you need?
As you’ll be streaming from your phone, you’ll need to ensure that you take your phone with you, and that the battery is fully charged, but I’d also recommend the following:
- Take an extension lead and your phone charger, if your event is all day, your battery will run out if you’re live streaming most of the day. As you’ll be in presenter position, it’s a good idea to take an extension lead with you to plug your phone charger into, as in my experience, often the power sockets are nowhere near presenter position!
- Remember to put your phone into flight mode before you start to stream, and then turn the wifi on. This prevents calls coming in and disrupting your feed.
- Turn all notifications on your phone to silent, there’s nothing more annoying than watching a Facebook live when all you can hear is the sound of Facebook/Whatsapp/Email notifications!
- Consider where you’ll put your phone, so that you stay in the frame of the Facebook live for the majority of your presentation.
- Get a tripod for your mobile, so that it can stay steady once you’ve found the perfect location to frame your Facebook live. (I often pack a few box folders too when running events, just in case I need to raise the height of the tripod for a better frame)
- I’d also recommend an external microphone with a long lead on it, as the sound can sometimes be hard to hear without one, especially if it’s a big room, or there’s a lot of background noise. Be mindful of the fact that the microphone will need to plug into your camera, and be attached to you, so no wondering off around the room, as you’ll pull the phone off of the tripod, and who knows where it will land and what your viewers might see if that happens!!
- Consider your online attendee experience
When streaming live from events, people often forget about their online audience.
Things such as breaks should be announced, and then let them know that you’re going to stop streaming during breaks, and what time you’ll be back online… and then where possible stick to those times, or post in your Facebook group if you’re a little delayed after a break.
Remember to check the comments regularly on your stream, people will likely ask questions and will expect a response. Manage expectations around what you’ll do with questions via Facebook live – you can either let them know that you’ll be answering during the course of the presentation OR you can let them know that you’ll be answering during breaks.
Stick to the agenda wherever possible, so that people know what time to come back to the group, and make sure that they know to refresh the page to see your live stream!
If there’s a slide presentation that goes with your Facebook live, you might want to upload that as a document within your group just before you go live, so that you can tell online participants to access it during your live stream. If there’s a lot of detail in your slides, I’d recommend watching your stream live on a desktop or tablet rather than a mobile.
Refer to people who are watching at home… phrases such as ‘If you’re watching from home, make sure you’ve got a pen and paper handy” or “If you’re watching from home, we’ll be taking a break now, and we’ll be back in an hour” make the remote audience feel included.
If you’re doing an upsell at the end of your event, be sure to share the link with more information and means to pay in your Facebook group, or in your live stream comments.
You might decide to only share the information parts of your presentation on Facebook live (again, manage your online audience’s expectations at the beginning of your event) as you might decide that some of the sharing from the audience at the event is too personal to stream (and this will depend on the topic that you’re presenting on).
The last word of advice… get to your venue early (or even a couple of days before) and practice – stream to a secret group, and have someone watch to make sure that they can see you well from the phone position that you’ve chosen to stream from, and that they can hear you well. It’ll also help you work out how far you can walk away from your phone whilst streaming, so that the microphone stays attached, the phone stays in place, and so that you’re still in view!