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Maybe Everyone Will Offer Simultaneous Live Audio Streaming for Now Just Engagez

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We believe there is another channel or audience segment that is not being served well by events. This segment is comprised of people who cannot attend a physical event and would like to, but also cannot sit and watch a live video stream either. The thought came to us when we were attending a remote video event but had to go to an appointment and could not watch in the car. We realized that we would have continued attending the event had they only offered an audio stream which we could listen to on the way. We know its not as good as a video, but it would have been better than nothing.

This concept was reinforced after we’d noticed people in our office with a video stream up on one browser, with another “work” browswer opened. They were listening, but couldn’t watch. “Why would I sit and watch someone talk unless I needed to see slides or something? I just want to hear what they are saying,” was the answer we got when asked.

In fact, I often do that as well with YouTube videos that are explaining something that I don’t need or want to watch-just listen.

Since we are unaware of any platform that provides this, we feel it is a unique idea. It may take a while to catch on but with the popularity of podcasting in general, we think it is worth pioneering.

Currently we offer audio-only (lower bandwidth and less strain on the user’s data plan) with the notion that people might start to listen to events more on their mobile devices–while they are traveling, at work or busy doing something else where video isn’t an option.

Ideas on How to Monetize Your Digital Events

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Some organizations look to generate direct revenue from their online event programs although most are actually seeking to achieve other, indirect benefits. This post is for those that want to generate revenue.

Like most roads, the road to monetization often leads back to content. Whether it is an overall event sponsorship you are selling, a content specific sponsorship, or access to specific content, the primary reason people attend an online program is to gain new knowledge.

Let’s start with the low hanging fruit; content people need and will pay money to access. As an example, one of the most successful virtual events is Social Media Summit. They consistently sell tickets to attend their annual event online and sell a lot! At $495 (at least last I checked that was the price) they have had events that have been attended by around 2,000 people. They have great content, a hot subject and lots of people to sell to.

There are associations that routinely make hundreds of thousands of dollars selling virtual-only registrations to their events at the full price of an in-person registration. People are willing to pay if the content is really important to them and may be willing to pay full price for the convenience of not having to leave their office or practice.

The key is to have content that people are willing and able to pay for (that by the way, is a good rule to have no matter what content you are sharing). That’s where your work comes in… finding out what that is and then putting a plan together to create/capture it AND THEN MARKETING. Don’t neglect to explore marketing partnerships either! The beauty of this type of digital product is that the cost doesn’t go up based on the use so you can be very aggressive with partner commissions.

Overall event sponsorship will vary depending on the type of event, the audience, the potential sponsors and the options in the technology you are using. Giving your sponsors the opportunity to have their content featured in a session or multiple sessions is usually a big benefit. Sponsoring individual session content may have appeal as well. Here you can offer a graphic or video message at either the beginning (of the event? Session?) or end or both. Some technology allows you to brand the player on which the remote audience is watching the stream/recording, or brand the live stream image itself with lower thirds or other options.

If you happen to be producing a hybrid event (in-person audience as well as online) you might consider setting up a studio at the event that’s used to interview your sponsor’s subject matter experts, attendees and speakers. The content would be streamed to the remote audience when there’s nothing to stream from the event onsite (i.e. during breaks). There are many ways to monetize with sponsorships of the studio, during the live event and also during any rebroadcast.

Advertising benefits are also a significant way to sell sponsorships. These can also be sold as standalone services if you have a large enough audience. You can include banner ads on the streaming player, pop up ads, and video ads played between programs. Some virtual event technologies will accommodate push messages and ads to the remote audience within event-related emails sent to attendees and potential attendees before, during and after the event.

We’ll come back to the subject of monetization again in the near future with a more exhaustive look.

Engagez Now Offers Simulive Broadcast Feature

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Simulive sessions or activities are pre-recorded for broadcast over the Internet at a specific date and time, but are not usually publicized as being pre-recorded. This is like what many “live” TV shows do to present a live looking program but have the ability to do some editing and better manage what viewers see on the program when broadcast so they aren’t seeing behind the scenes activities like audience load in and load out, changes and set up of cameras etc.

For conferences and webinars, simulive allows for the same kind of benefits and when the program is then streamed, the producer can engage in live Q&A. Using the simulive format also allows you to schedule speakers and guests that you might not be able to get at the specific date and time your event is held. It’s also helpful for speakers that will need their presentation reviewed and perhaps edited by their organization before it can be shown.

Many producers combine actual live stream programs with simulive to help keep the cost and technical complexity of an event to a manageable level. The program still has sessions starting and ending on a schedule, just like the live stream, and it functions just like a live session in that an attendee who arrives 10 minutes late will join the session 10 minutes into the presentation and not at the beginning (which would be on demand).

Doing a simulive program on your own can be complex to manage from a technical standpoint and usually requires someone actually starting and stopping the program at a certain time and watching over the process. Engagez makes it simple and allows you to set it and forget it. No one needs to start and stop stream or babysit them.