You can conduct your own live streaming conference or seminar even while observing social distancing and going on quarantine. It’s not that hard to start one with a remote team, and BeLive is here to help you out!
In a previous post, we discussed what you can do to save a canceled conference or event. It’s going to be a lot of work, but to save your event, you may have to go back on your original drawing board and reorganize everything. By using BeLive, you’ll at least get to continue the conference albeit with a different approach.
But what exactly do you need to do to start your own virtual summit or webinar? Find out below!
How to Do a Virtual Summit
With the coronavirus pandemic practically immobilizing the entire world, this time is the best time to consider conducting conferences and events through live streaming.
How do you conduct a huge live streaming conference with more or less 40 speakers? BeLive has been doing exactly that for three years now and we’re sharing some knowhows of handling a successful virtual summit from pre-production to post-production.
Logistics is one of the most complicated aspects of a conference. You’ll need to figure out where to host your event, where to house your guests, and even who to hire for the stage backdrop, among other things.
With a virtual summit or webinar, you don’t need to think about those things. But you do need to consider several things for pre-production.
1. Understand Why You Need a Big Online Conference
Before starting anything, you need to first ask yourself and your team: what is your main goal for hosting an online conference?
Whether it’s bringing together all the experts, expanding your reach, or creating a paid event for your business, you should figure out what the end result of your virtual summit should be.
Additional tip: Make sure you identify a specific KPI for the online conference like the number of concurrent views or engagement it earned.
2. Think About Your Main Topic
After figuring out your event’s purpose, then you need to figure out what your main topic should be. This helps in knowing who you’ll be inviting as guests and what they should be talking about.
3. Decide How You Want to Conduct Your Summit
Then, think about how you want to conduct your virtual conference. Will you be doing a medical summit and inviting several doctors to talk about the coronavirus? Are you doing an awards show for your school or company? During BeLive’s second anniversary, we did an awards style of virtual summit. It was a hoot!
You’ll have to think about whether you need to have several people on the screen at once or will it just be a one on one interview with each guest.
3. Invite Guests
From our experience, you may need to allocate at least three months for preparation.
However, if you already have prepared for an offline event and you already have the speakers, then you’re all set. You just need to provide instructions on how to do it online.
After figuring out the overall goal of the virtual summit, start listing all the potential guests you want in the online conference.
Invite your guests at least two months in advance, especially for high profile guests. That’s because they will most likely be booked for the entire year already. Don’t be discouraged about inviting someone well-known. They may just respond positively to your request!
You should also ask for your guests’ profile outline and image ahead of time to use for promotions and ads.
4. Prepare for the Worst
You need to understand that even the most laid out plan may not work properly. Scripts are usually just 60% followed. The other 40% would be unprecedented things happening during the broadcast.
Here are a few tips to remember in case problems arise with your speakers:
- Look for an understudy for each guest. Ask a friend to jump in with the host in case your guest doesn’t show up.
- Prepare content to cover the spot of guests who suddenly cancel for emergencies or such. You can play a short ad or promotional video. You can upload videos of up to 100mb in size.
- Inform the host what he or she should do if another speaker suddenly doesn’t show up.
5. Start Promotions
Once you’ve finalized the details of your virtual summit, you should start advertising.
Paid conferences should be advertised earlier but if you’re planning a free conference, you can send out teasers a month before the event. You can then share marketing materials for your speaker list a week later.
6. Useful Tools to Use
There are a lot of ways for you to organize a virtual summit, even when your entire team is in other parts of the world… or practicing social distancing.
To be able to pull off a virtual summit even with a remote team, use these helpful tools:
- Google Calendar – for planning and reminders
- Facebook Group – to do live stream rehearsals
- Messenger Group – which includes the key people involved for discussions and internal announcements
1. Check Your Live Streaming Equipment
Starting the actual virtual summit is just like any other live stream. You need to check and double-check your equipment before the broadcast. Here’s a short checklist of what you need to secure prior to your online summit.
- Make sure you have stable internet.
- Make sure your guests have stable internet.
- Cameras and microphones (built-in or external) should be connected and working properly.
- Agenda, crawlers, and lower thirds should be in place.
2. Share the Guest Link
The most important aspect of any conference, summit, or webinar are the speakers. Share the guest link beforehand and instruct them to be on standby ahead of time.
You can have up to 10 people on standby in the lobby. If you have more than 10 guests, give them a specific time for when they should join the broadcast. A finished speaker can exit the lobby to accommodate other guests coming in.
Remember you only have to share the guest link to the actual speakers. Viewers can watch the online conference and leave comments on Facebook or YouTube. There’s no limit for that!
3. Don’t Skip Rehearsals!
Remember that Facebook group you created during pre-production? That’s the best place for you to do a dry run of the online summit without going public.
Make sure you also include technical people who can monitor the broadcast as a third person as well. This will help you identify any glitches you want to avoid during the actual live. If you’re the host, you can assign someone as the remote assistant to manage the broadcast on another computer.
Post Production: Repurpose, Repurpose, and Repurpose!
1. Repurpose Your Video
The fun doesn’t stop at the end of the virtual summit. You can download the video after it ends and edit it for multiple uses.
- Share the replay – Link the conference on various social media posts to continue acquiring views.
- Blog posts – Create summaries and reviews of your event. You can also share testimonials from people who watched it.
- Short videos on YouTube – Edit the video by segment and publish them on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. There are a lot of people who would like to rewatch certain parts of the live stream without having to watch the entire video.
- Short tips and quotes from the guests – Take note of all the quotes from the speakers and share them on social media sites.
2. Evaluate Your Event
Review and note everything you want to improve next time! You should ask yourself and your team if you were able to reach your main goal.
Did you reach your KPI? What did you do right? What mistakes will you be learning from?
It’s important to look back and evaluate your performance to make your next virtual summit or webinar 10x better!
BeLive’s own Marketing Manager, Irene Enriquez Chan, shared what she and her team did to make every BeLive Live Con a success in this live stream!
To give you an idea of what an online conference would look like, watch the last day of BeLive’s three-day Live Con last October below!
Planning your own virtual summit or live conference will be a nerve-wracking experience but with careful planning and team cooperation, you’ll definitely be able to pull it off. And the next ones will be even better!
Are you planning a live streaming conference of your own? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
We understand how difficult it is to be a professional speaker right now with so many events that have been canceled due to the Coronavirus. We would like to help out by making sure you get access to tools like BeLive, so you can continue helping your community with your content in the safety of your own homes.
Pam Amantiad is a Content Writer in BeLive’s Marketing Team. With a degree in Creative Writing, she has nearly a decade of experience in digital marketing, particularly in content creation as a copywriter and a freelance blog writer. Not contented with producing written outputs, she dove into the world of live video marketing in 2019 and hasn’t left since.