Why Livestreaming is the future of conferences and events

Why Livestreaming is the future of conferences and events

Before I start explaining how an online event manager can help you, here are three things I want you to answer:

  1.  Have you heard of an online event manager?
  2. Do you know how an online event manager can help you?
  3. How will you deliver value to your attendees when they are not sitting in person in front of you?

For those who rely on events as an income stream, taking them online is an idea that has been gaining momentum. However, it doesn’t come without concerns like how to manage without the energy or excitement or personal interaction you are used to from face-to-face encounters or the technological challenges if you aren’t tech-savvy.

Live video has evolved from nice-to-have to necessity when it comes to events.

Livestreamed events deliver real return-on-investment, increase future ticket sales, and expand the reach of your message beyond your venue. The advance in mobile technology allows you to engage individually with anyone at your events.

This is where an Online Event Manager can help. They make sure everything behind the scenes runs smoothly giving you the flexibility to do other things and more time to promote your event. Having an Online Event Manager also enables you to focus on your market and get those conversions every business owner wants.

And, the speakers market size is expected to reach a value of $ 28.37B during 2021-2025.

Research shows that in 2020 the most universal impact thrust onto speakers because of the pandemic was a financial one with events cancelled, empty diaries and many waited until they could go back to in-person events which turned out to be few and far between.

 Suddenly, they have found that their marketing strategy only has a single touchpoint and there were no more eager faces in front of them for all they knew and instead, there’s just a screen. It seemed daunting to maintain an online presence on top of everything else that comes with running any business.

In July 2020, I helped Book Speakers Direct organise an online event to inform those in the event industry how venues and other organisations had been impacted by COVID. My part in the process was making short promotional videos that helped the event attract 456 leads and registrations in under 3 weeks as well as setting up the event online.

 And in August 2021, I facilitated an all-day online conference for Flavourista where I MC’d and managed the behind-the-scenes tech to allow our guest speaker to give their presentation.

Your online presentations should not be a stressful or overwhelming time. So, getting someone to help you get the most out of the time you spend with your audience is to your advantage.

I would love to have a conversation about how this can work for you. When is the next time you will be presenting? Give me a call today and let’s discuss how I might help ensure that all those hard-earned hours are put to good use. Let me take care of the back-end logistics so you can focus on giving an amazing presentation from anywhere, anytime. What would it look like if your presentations were less stressful and gave you more peace of mind because they were taken care of by someone else?

How to Make Hybrid Events Better for Online Attendees

How to Make Hybrid Events Better for Online Attendees

Try these tips for making virtual guests feel as included as in-person participants.

So many conference organizers and event professionals are focused on creating an online or hybrid event that is like a TV show. They have loads of pre-recorded content so the meeting will run smoothly, and a stack of AV special effects to make it dazzling.

With today’s technology, it is relatively easy to livestream or record a studio broadcast and send it out to your attendees, wherever they may be. But your delegates want more, much more.

The underlying tenet of the events I have been involved with over the past 18 months is that “delegates want events done with them and not just to them.” A TV-show approach is not enough. If it was, you could just send everyone a recording and let them watch it, knowing that most would watch at a faster speed and “skip ahead to the good bits.” But that’s not enough to create a memorable meeting. Today’s attendees want to be part of the event, not simply subject to it.

Your delegates want more than just TV. They want two-way TV. They want to interact with it. They want questions to be taken during the session and answered live. They want to be up on the screen like bringing someone up on stage. They want to share some of their experiences with a similar situation to what the speaker is discussing. Attendees are so used to social media and constant communication that they expect the events they attend to be social and engaging as well.

Virtual Guests, Warwick Merry,

Engaging Online Delegates


The good news is that making your meetings more interactive doesn’t have to mean spending more money. You really don’t need a tech set-up like Oprah, Tony Robbins or the other big names. There are some simple ways you can incorporate the two-way TV concept into what you are currently doing.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to encourage the use of the chatbox. Get your speakers to constantly refer to the chatbox and remind people to share their thoughts and experiences throughout. Don’t worry if the chat goes a little off-topic sometimes, as this still shows that participants are engaged with your platform and using it to make connections.

Even if you use a pre-recorded session, you can still have the speaker use the chatbox to interact with attendees in real-time. Make sure your host is talking with the attendees, answering their questions, sending out polls and keeping them engaged. If you are running a hybrid gathering, it’s best to ensure that each audience has its own host to interact with.

Using polls, word clouds, digital whiteboards, breakout rooms and other tools can help keep participants engaged, energized and entertained. Make sure your speakers are comfortable with your event platform and know how to use these tools.

Our events must be designed around and executed with the attendees. Employing a two-way TV approach will significantly lift the engagement, energy, and ROI of your gathering. Online and hybrid events are too significant a part of our future event space to have them be like TV. We must take it to the next level. 

How to Take Your Hybrid Meeting to the Next Level

How to Take Your Hybrid Meeting to the Next Level

How to Take Your Hybrid Meeting to the Next Level

Four tips for creating a more engaging event that is sure to have a lasting impact on both virtual and in-person attendees.
How to Take Your Hybrid Meeting to the Next Level

Hybrid events are a big part of our future and we must get better at them. According to Northstar Meetings Group’s latest PULSE Survey, 36 percent of meeting professionals polled said they are currently planning hybrid events, while 15 percent intend to host a hybrid gathering and 22 percent are considering them. 

But preparing for a hybrid gathering requires extra effort, and planners cannot fall into the trap of thinking they are simply creating a live experience that will be broadcasted out to virtual attendees like TV. When done well, hybrid gatherings offer the opportunity to broaden your event reach and create new forms of engagement. Here are a couple of key points to keep in mind.

Multiple Events

Treat each site (physical and online) as a separate event during the planning process. This means adjusting the agenda and perhaps bringing in separate moderators to actively engage each audience. For example, during meal breaks at the in-person event, online attendees could have interviews with speakers or conversations with suppliers. In addition, on-site attendees could have sessions featuring localized content and speakers. 

Two-Way TV

For the virtual portion, planners should embrace a two-way TV mindset. That is, as the live event is broadcasted out, online attendees need to be able to broadcast back so they feel like they are a part of the gathering. Speakers should include comments, questions and funny one-liners from the virtual participants, as well as those in the room. Showing video of some online attendees can also help to bring them into the live event.

Get Participants Involved

It’s important to make sure both the virtual and on-site attendees are engaged throughout the event. After all, no one wants to just sit in a crowd and be spoken at for hours on end. 

Speakers should invite participants to share feedback in real-time and create a space for audience members to discuss some of the things they’ve learned with others in the room or online. Another good idea is to ask attendees what they’d like to see at the event beforehand and incorporate their suggestions into the agenda, so they’re more invested in the content.

How to Take Your Hybrid Meeting to the Next Level

Make it Last

It’s tempting to simply share session recordings after the event ends and call it a day. But your attendees will appreciate if you go the extra mile to share additional content afterwards, such as a panel discussion the following month on what’s changed or organizing regular networking sessions where participants can connect and learn from one another. Doing so can help extend the lifecycle of the meeting and keep attendees engaged all year long.

Warwick Merry is a certified speaking professional, dual certified virtual presenter and past national president of Professional Speakers Australia. He hosts and produces online events globally.

How to Avoid Hybrid Meeting Mistakes

How to Avoid Hybrid Meeting Mistakes

How to Avoid Hybrid Meeting Mistakes

Four ways to keep your event running smoothly and ensure attendee engagement.

by Warwick Merry

How to Avoid Hybrid Meeting Mistakes, Home, Rose Davidson, Small Business, Entrepreneurs, Virtual Assistant, Office Manager, Social Media, PowerPoint, Presentations,  Program, Programs, Workshops, Events, Video, Speakers, Hybrid Speaker Support, Helping Speakers Transition to an Online Business, Expert

Hybrid events have been touted as the future of our industry coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic. When done well, they can combine the best of both worlds: the ease of online attendance and the energy of in-person events. But the reality is often different. 

If hybrid events are not well-produced, they end up combining the worst of both formats and you’ll have online attendees signing off in droves. Following are tips to help you avoid top mistakes.

Bring in Professional Hosts

Professional hosts will make a world of difference. Make sure you have good ones for each in-person location and one for online. If you must use in-house presenters, get them trained. Having someone who only pops up on screen to say, “coming up next is …” or “now it’s time to go back to the main stage,” is two steps away from useless. Professional hosts know how to make the event about the delegates, get them excited, recover from a poor speaker (let’s be honest, they do exist!) and have people fired up for the next session.

Prioritise the Production Quality

While the digital age has let us get away with a few things, you still have to look good. That means hiding cables, microphones and headsets if you can. A few simple actions make the people on stage and on screen look way better. Ask your AV team for some tricks to enhance video quality and decrease distractions.

Minimise Automation

Any seasoned event professional will tell you that as the day progresses, the schedule shifts. Some sessions might run over, while others are late to start. Having a virtual platform that handles most of the automation is great, but you’ll want to make sure that the sessions are controlled manually. Having a session that starts exactly on the hour, before the speaker is ready, or one that cuts out mid-sentence, while the presenter is wrapping things up, are two scenarios you’ll want to avoid.

Play to Both Audiences

Whether your attendees are online or in person, you must play to both. If you are giving directions to the delegates in the room, you also need to give cues to the ones online. In addition to saying “turn to the person next to you,” you’ll need to add “comment in the chat box if you’re joining us online.” Making sure each attendee feels as though they are part of the event is key to ensuring engagement and overall success.

Warwick Merry is a certified speaking professional, dual-certified virtual presenter and past national president of Professional Speakers Australia. He hosts and produces numerous online events.