Please enjoy the following guest post from ConventionPlanit.com member, Digitell, Inc.
Double your attendance at your next conference. And your revenue. And create a new benefit for your members. Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
And it is not a matter of whether you can, or can not “double your attendance and conference revenue.” With Live Streaming it is only a matter of when!
Did you know that 100 hours of new video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day? YouTube attracts 800 million unique visitors every month—video is so much more engaging than still photography. It is the third most visited site behind only Google and Facebook—and the second most popular search engine after only Google. Also 75% of YouTube’s content is generated outside the U.S.
If you think, or have been told, that the video medium and Live Streaming your content is not for associations, or your organization for fear of cannibalizing conference attendance, membership and revenue, consider this: For the past several years, hundreds of associations and corporations including the American Institute of CPAs, US Lacrosse, and The Expo Group have tapped into the power and reach of Live Streaming to increase their member and customer engagement; add significant value to their membership benefits; and replaced aging advertsing and revenue streams that have been dwindling and disappearing for years.
Consider these three recent real-world examples of how Live Streaming your next conference keynotes and education sessions can generate these results and more.
National Speakers Association (NSA)
Just last week NSA held its annual convention in sunny San Diego, CA. Record-setting attendance of 1400 professional speakers and staff participated in a full conference schedule of over 50 keynotes and education sessions by the top speakers, live performers and consultants in the country. Included were pros like Steve Forbes, Chairman of Forbes Media, Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller, and dozens of NSA Hall of Fame Speakers including Nancy Duarte, Mark Sanborn, and Sean Stephenson.
However, for the first time ever, NSA Live Streamed fourteen of its keynotes and education sessions to members who could not attend. The Live Stream received rave reviews and attracted an enthusiastic virtual audience of over 1200 members from 22 countries that nearly doubled its attendance this year. Wow! The Live Streamed sessions were a huge hit with members—many of them saying they wanted to attend the next annual event in-person*.
Radiological Society of North American (RSNA)
Last December, RSNA held its annual convention at McCormick Place, Chicago. Over 20,000 members and industry professionals attended in-person.
However, by Live Streaming select keynotes and education programs, RSNA was able to reach and virtually engage more than 8,000* physicians and medical professionals worldwide in 72 countries. With their virtual audience, they doubled the attendance inseveral of their sessions and significantly increasing the engagement of their membership. They also awarded nearly 80,000 CEUs via the Live Stream platform.
American Society of Microbiology (ASM)
Attendance increases and adding member benefits are valuable attributes of Live Streaming of course; but can you afford it? Well, like most technologies, the cost of Live Streaming your events has progressively dropped over the past few years which can make it a profitable venture with your very first launch.
Take, for example, the experience of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM). Two years ago ASM contracted with a technology provider to live stream their annual conference. They generated $40k in revenue from virtual registrations and sponsorships. Unfortunately the vendor charged them $72k to live stream their conference. So ASM lost $32k.
Fast forward to ASM’s most recent conference. ASM changed to a technology provider offering a more mature pricing and marketing support model. The cost for Live Streaming this past year came in at only $24k, Live Streaming revenue increased to $52k, and instead of losing $32k, ASM made a $28k profit—a $60k swing in ROI in one year. In addition to the positive benefits of virtual attendee registration, sponsors and exhibitors clamor for Live Streaming and sponsorship options tied to content syndication. They know these opportunities generate greater brand visibility and creditability, better lead generation quality, and higher conversion to sales.
So What Are Your Goals?
Maybe it’s time to expand your goals to include increasing virtual conference attendance, improving member and customer engagement, and growing your conference revenue and profitability. Live Streaming your next event has huge potential to do all these for your organization.
For more information on how you can Live Stream your next event, a demo or budget estimate, contact Michael Hatch at Digitell, 240-603-6044.
( * ) Recent studies conducted by PCMA and Digitell found 15% to 30% of virtual attendees typically convert and attend the next conference in-person—increasing both conference attendance and revenue.