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After the Technical is taken care of, the most important element of a live stream is the advance promotion of the event.


WARNING— Many live streaming apps do not hand you the ability to easily advance promote your event. So, what good is it? If no one knows in advance, how many will show up?


 


The Billy Graham Crusades might be one of the best examples of promoting an event. In 1957, the Billy Graham Crusade held a series of evangelical meetings in New York City. Because of all of the efforts made in advance announcements and promotional work, the total in attendance to these meetings of both in-person, and over television network attendees (think today's live streaming) was numbered in the millions. Advance work for meetings like this as well as commercial events is actually where the most effort for successful events was invested back then and is still true today for any type of important meeting where results are all-important.

The effort to promote an event is empirically important for a lot more than just God’s work; it is also the main make-it or break-it element for municipal board meetings, political rallies, business meetings, trade shows, entertainment venues and self-help seminars. And, even at the personal level, if you want more than 15 people to show up for your wedding, you MUST shoot and print a Save-the-Date card and mail it out to 500 of your closest friends and family six months before the blessed event.

So, what makes one think that all they need to do in order to pull off a successful live stream for their church or business event is to simply click on the START button on their live encoder? I dunno. Who asked that question anyway? No one willing to own up to that? Didn’t think so.

Therefore, anyone telling you the most important steps to setting up a live stream MUST include the fact that you are required to promote the event, and the link to that event over the Internet. And, how can one promote that event beforehand if you do not setup the event in advance so that you have the link available for advance promotion? Therefore, using a live streaming host that hands you that all-important link weeks in advance is pretty important.

Ha! Got your attention now?

So, following are some important steps in operating a successful live stream.

  1. Setup the Streaming Pipeline all the Way to the Creation of the Web Link to the Live Streaming Page. https://wiki.ezwebplayer.com/display/KB/Live+Streaming
    1. Include SEO Tags
    2. When you create this link and publish it is very important. People “en masse” (large groups) tend to forget important events unless they are constantly reminded. So, here’s a good rule of thumb; estimate how many people will actually show up for this based on historical data. The more people that are expected to show up, the earlier in advance you want to begin promoting the event. Once you first publish the link and the information surrounding the event, you must regularly promote the event all the way up to the actual date and time. Here’s a simple search result I discovered after searching Google with “countdown to date gadget”.
      http://win7gadgets.com/calendar/countdown_2_date.html
  2. Create a web page for the event on which you will actually place the Web Player that will run the live stream. Create two versions of this page; one with an advance promotion profile and the other with the Live profile. Approximately midnight, or several hours on the day of the event, switch your page version to the live event profile, but keep promoting it in advance. A Countdown to Event gadget on the page is a great idea.
  3. Surround the web pages with descriptive information about the event. Not only what, when and where, but additional in depth information like what the attendee can take away from the event and what type of individual could benefit from it as well as the industry segments involved in producing the event and those segments which can benefit from it as well as the individual.
  4. Make sure that you will be recording the event so that after-words you can post produce and publish the archived version. The advance promotion of this archived version is a little more gray-area’ed than promoting the live event. If you let the cat out of the bag that your event will be recorded for later viewing, it will most assuredly reduce the numbers of individuals who will attend the live event. This on it’s own, is not necessarily a bad thing. It simply is an element of human nature with which you must deal in your preparation and handling of a public facing or private assembly event.
  5. Be consistent in the design of your advance promotion assets. Use the same main elements in your deployments of the advance notice announcements each week, each day and then on the day of the event, each hour; much in the same way that one leads buyers to their yard sale using the same bright colored signage; if you use a florescent orange card with black felt tip markers for the sign that is 4 blocks away at that main intersection, use that same type of sign at each step, all the way to your front yard.

  6. The two web page versions that handle the promotion and then the actual live event should be well designed to put your best face forward. A sloppily designed web page breaking several main design rules severely reduces the number of viewers to the event. EZWebPlayer’s pre-designed templates can help you handle this part of the design with time saving and professional appearing pages. And, the changing from Version 1 to Version 2 can be handled with a simple change form a drop down menu in the settings page of that live stream. Click-click, UPDATE, SAVE.
  7. EZWebPlayer has a Record Live Stream tool to make operating a live stream and recording that live stream a One-Stop setup.


There is a very helpful article on why live streaming can be slow when you are the producer. Read that article here. Live Streaming—Why the Slowdown?


I hope this post has helped you think about and prepare for your next live stream. Also, you may begin to think that operating a successful live stream might actually be more within YOUR reach than you thought possible.

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