Livestreaming: the chance to offer your online audience a glimpse into what’s going on within the confines of your event. Whether your conference is in Scotland, St Lucia (I wish!) or Timbuktu, you no longer have to worry that distance will put a dampener on your event - all you need is a trusty internet connection, spot-on audio and a super camera to take your audience with you. And the best bit? Lots of the livestreaming platforms also include a live chat function which means your audience doesn’t have to sit in silence, they comment, interact and ask questions when they want to.
Engaging your online audience may not be at the top of your event check-list (let’s face it, organising a conference is a mammoth task and you naturally focus on the physical venue and people in the room) but in the fisheries and environment world, perhaps it should be. For me, having a day out of the office to attend a conference is a treat, but fishermen don’t have the same luxury. If the weather is fine and there’s fish to catch, they’ll be out on the water in a flash. Conference cost takes on a new meaning when you’re not only paying a delegate fee, but missing out on the value of a day’s catch.
This is why we – Team MWC – and our trusty friend Laurence Hartwell from Through the Gaps (thanks Larry), are asking organisations to think seriously about livestreaming their next event and reminding them that it doesn’t have to break the bank! For us, good communication is all about participation and, luckily, these days, the internet allows people to roam further than the confines of their desk, so even if you’re out at sea, you can still stay connected. In fact, just last week MWC livestreamed the Bi-Annual Scottish Fishing Conference for Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FIS), and saw that 34% of our audience weren’t watching from a desktop, but from their phones or tablets.
When we livestream an event or conference, we like to make sure we provide social media support before, during and after it’s ended. This not only helps to drum up excitement for your online audience but also helps gets bums on seats on the actual day. As a rule, MWC will always create a social media hashtag and start sharing it at least a month before the conference. This helps people follow event updates and discussions during the day – creating what we think of as a crucial ‘channel’ of communication for those intrigued online.
We did have high hopes that the conference hashtag for the Bi-Annual Scottish Fishing Conference (#BASFC18) might start trending worldwide (we’re an ambitious bunch), but then remembered that fisheries conferences are pretty niche and not everyone loves fish as much as we do! Although, nearly 200,000 twitter impressions, 40 contributors & 200 views on our livestream is still pretty impressive. Check out our infographic below.
So, if you have an event coming up and you want to make it more accessible to fishermen and other stakeholders, please get in touch. Or if you see us streaming online – drop us a comment and a question. We’d love to hear from you!