How many trillion-dollar industries are expected to double in size over the next ten years? The $1.1 trillion dollar global event industry was expected to grow to $2.33 trillion by 2026 (Allied Market Research) based on a reliable report published before COVID-19. Analysts have been astounded by the growth in the events industry over the past decade. A new “experience economy” has been coined to describe the changing consumer behaviors which have emerged during the age of the smartphone. Despite the incredible growth of screen time the attention modern consumers pour into the digital world, consumers still crave real-life experiences. Today consumers are more willing than ever before to pay for real-world experiences that break through the clutter of our technology-saturated lives.
Great events start by understanding an audience. Event managers who understand their audience can deliver an experience that both excites and engages. Unlike services that are all about time well saved, experiences are about time well spent (The Experience Economy, Pine). Today more than ever, audiences are willing to pay to gain precious time well spent via engaging experiences. Assuming that your event is a success, you may have already had an experience worthy of consumer attention. In the #1 best selling book “The Experience Economy” authors Joseph Pine and James Gilmore explain why “Time is the currency of experiences” and increasing brand exposure via consumer attention now requires the ability to deliver an experience consumers can connect with. The experiences at your event will only happen once during a finite amount of time. This is one reason online audiences are excited to tune in to live events.
In the SlideShare presentation above, you can learn about a highly effective way to combine one-way live streaming on social media with two-way communications with Zoom Video Conferencing. This combination of technologies can easily be adapted for anything from creating a marketing video with remote guests to hosting a podcast with video. One of the latest communications trends so many of our customers are asking about is virtual events. As the Chief Streaming Officer, for PTZOptics, I am proud to announce that I have recently published a book called The Virtual Ticket which is now available for free here. Using the research from this book I have put together a detailed quick start guide presentation and video available on this page.
While there are so many ways to gain exposure for your event, the best is to design your event to generate exposure all the way up to the climax of your event. This means that your event needs to be free and shareable on social media. What? Did you want to charge for virtual tickets? That’s okay. The design that you are about to see leverages live streaming on social media websites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn in order to generate the exposure your event deserves. If your virtual event offers exclusive access to speakers, breakout sessions, workshops, and networking, that is what you should charge for.
The virtual experience funnel engages audiences where they are: social media. This is a practice our team at PTZOptics has been sharing for years, and it has been refined along the way. At the top stages of this virtual experience funnel you are able to engage audiences using one-to-many live streaming technology on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Twitch. Paying attention to your audiences here and interacting with the chat comments is a crucial step that leads viewers further along in your funnel.
The next step in the funnel is two-way communications. Like most companies, we are leveraging Zoom Video Communications because it’s easy and powerful. This funnel allows viewers to participate in interactive discussions on social media and experience upgrading a passive one-way live stream with a powerful active two-way communication discussion hosted with Zoom.
You may be wondering, how can I be two places at once? Well, you certainly can combine Zoom with your live stream, and a perfect example would be any of the recent PTZOptics live streams. There are actually multiple powerful ways you can combine live streaming with two-way zoom video conferencing capabilities. Most events have more than one thing going on at once and your next virtual event can be the same way.
This is a strategy we have used at the WorshipSummit, our Hack the NAB Show and an upcoming event called The Presence Summit. This essentially boils down to having multiple tracks and clearly defining the experience opportunities for your audience. For the PresenceSummit for example, the live stream track is free, and the professional development track using Zoom is a paid option.
Events break through the clutter of our everyday lives and offer us something out of the ordinary. Events are anything but boring, and specialized events can offer detailed education, entertainment that is tailored to specific interest groups who can identify and relate to the content. Great event managers understand their audiences and are able to design experiences that excite and engage their audience’s five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. In a virtual event, we have to rely heavily on sight and sound, using our creativity to invoke touch, smell, and taste in innovative ways.