Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!

Will the Success of Virtual Events Impact In-Person Events Post-COVID?

See more clips like this on the Streaming Media YouTube channel.

Learn more about live streamingand virtual event production at Streaming Media West 2020!

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Alex Lindsay: One of the things that we're seeing is a lot of the events that we're working on actually have a much higher participation rate. So, as people are starting to work on these events, they're suddenly realizing how many people ... We had a client almost initially when they did their first event, what they expected to be 80 people turned out to be 250. I have someone else that we work with that they expected 200 and they ended up with 1100. And what we realized is how many people weren't coming '[to in-person events], because they didn't want to displace four days for a two-day event. They didn't want to pay for the hotel. They didn't want to pay for the flight. So what we're seeing is, huge participation numbers compared to what we saw with physical events.

That is not what we expected right out of the gate--that that many more people were going to start showing up. And so, especially as people plan something inside of Zoom, for instance, they end up needing a lot more. For streaming, we just stream it to whatever CDN we're solving it with. But it's starting to change the way people think about these conferences for folks who are charging for it. Some of them are still seeing increased attendance, even through a charged event. People who are not charging or who are doing this for PR are seeing huge increases--at least our partners are seeing huge increases in the number of people attending and interacting. And a lot of them are not quite there yet, but if this year continues to go the direction that it's going, a lot of them are talking about greatly reducing the number of events that they're doing in person, not necessarily getting rid of all of them.

There are some really high-value ones that you're spending a lot of money per person on that they want to keep. But the ones that were more general admission, that were having 5,000 people show up--a lot of those aren't starting to pencil out anymore. And so, as they start to realize, this was not nearly as bad or as hard as we thought.

The other thing is that the online audience now is now the primary audience. When we do this round table right now, if we stream this, we'd all be talking on a stage and you [the streaming audience would] be a fly on the wall, somewhere in the back of the room. And the questions would mostly come from the room and you wouldn't really be part of it. Now the online audience has this much more visceral connection, and we see it really having a huge effect on how many people come, how interactive they are, and how connected they feel to the event.

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

The Three Tiers of Virtual Events

So, whether it's a quarterly meeting, an annual marketing show, or an industry event like CES or the International Auto Show, we still need in-person events. But how these events recognize and incorporate remote pre­senters and remote audiences will have to change from what was done pre-COVID. The future of events is hybrid, although these hybrid events will take different forms, depending on the event size, budget, and nature and complexity of the off-site elements. There are what I call "Three Tiers of Hybrid," which represent three different ways to bring local and remote presenters and attendees together.

How to Target and Test Your Livestreams

videoRx CTO Robert Reinhardt outlines best practices for choosing and testing players and targets for client streams in this clip from Streaming Media East Connect 2020.

Best Practices for Streaming Ingest and Distribution

videoRx CTO Robert Reinhardt walks viewers through the basics of streaming ingest and distribution in this clip from Streaming Media East Connect 2020.

Best Practices for Streaming Deployment

Robert Reinhardt outlines his streaming gear and workflow from ingest to delivery in this clip from Streaming Media East Connect 2020.

How to Manage Livestream Planning in a Pandemic

Liz Hart of Liz Hart Event and 090 Media's Alex Lindsay discuss the challenges of managing client relationships and the importance of having the flexibility to pivot from one streaming scenario to another has become in the age of COVID-19, when the contingencies on live events always outnumber the certainties.

Pros and Cons of Going Live with Remote Production

As social distancing necessitates remote production, live producers face new challenges and new variables that raise the question: Is walking the live streaming highwire the right choice? It depends, say Ben Ratner and Alex Lindsay, in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media East Connect 2020.

Are We Moving Toward a REMI Hybrid Model for Live Events?

Blizzard Entertainment's Corey Smith discusses the shift toward full cloud remote (REMI) production in large-scale event streaming in this clip from a panel at Streaming Media East Connect 2020.

How COVID-19 Has Changed Streaming Workflows

As COVID-19 has necessitated the virtualization of formerly in-person live events, streaming producers' roles and workflows have changed, as Producer and Associate Director Liz Hart and 090 Media's Alex Lindsay discuss in this clip from Streaming Media East Connect 2020.