2017 Event Tech Trends – Where Are They Now? (Live Streaming)

Welcome back to our series of event tech trends to watch in 2017.

As a reminder, here’s a peek at all of the top trends we were keeping a close eye on for 2017:

  1. Virtual Sourcing: virtually find the perfect event venue, from the comfort of your desk
  2. Google Cardboard: transport attendees anywhere in the world (and beyond!)
  3. Holograms: wow your attendees with your smartphone
  4. Beacons: personalize and track attendee experiences
  5. Live Q&A and Polling: increase engagement at your events
  6. Livestreaming: engage attendees beyond your event
  7. Mobile: make mobile a priority at your events

We’re going to pick up where we left off and talk about the next trend, live streaming.

Video is an increasingly popular content form, with more video content uploaded in 30 days than major US broadcasting networks have created in 30 years. Video isn’t just for a fun diversion either – marketers who employ some form of video in their tactics will see revenues grow 49% faster than non-video users (http://www.insivia.com/27-video-stats-2017/). So where is video going?

The answer is live streaming

We predicted live streaming back in 2016 as a trend to watch out for in 2017 and this may be the one trend we predicted the best. Facebook has had live streaming features for a few years now, but it wasn’t until late 2016/early 2017 that Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) began rolling it out as well. Similar to Facebook’s live streaming features, Instagram Live gives users the ability to “react” to what is being streamed. Although seemingly simple, the reaction feature gives the person who is live streaming instant feedback as to what is being said or shown.

Live streaming is overwhelmingly popular. It seems like everyone is using it now, from news channels and sports networks to beauty bloggers and your next-door neighbor. It isn’t just Facebook and Instagram that have rolled out live streaming tools though, YouTube has YouTube Live, Twitter has Periscope, SnapChat (arguably a live streaming platform in and of itself) recently released CrowdSurf. Even LinkedIn is toying with the idea of live streaming. Given the prevalence of live streaming and the ease with which anyone can access and view those videos, there is no question of how it can benefit your events.

As a whole, social media has transformed the events industry, making it easier to market your events via your attendees who want to tell all their friends where they are and what they’re doing. In the past (and still a good tactic) we’ve tried to make sure our events have picture-perfect “insta-worthy” moments for our attendees to capture and share. Now, with the influx of live-streaming your attendees can do even more for you. In a way, your attendees are the new event marketers, as they can share so much more about the event than you ever could.

Just like live Q&A and polling are beneficial during an event to get immediate feedback from your attendees, so is live streaming! You may have attendees who at the last minute are unable to get to the event or people who were unable to register in the first place (for a variety of reasons) – live streaming can allow these people to still feel like they are experiencing a big part of your event.

That is not to say live streaming your entire event is what you want to do – but streaming keynotes or major product announcements and releases may be something you want to consider in order to give people a “sneak peek” and entice them to come to future events. Recently, Facebook announced a new addition to their live streaming feature enabling users to share their screen as well – a feature that could be very beneficial for events.

Live streaming is not just here to stay, it’s here to dominate. This trend took off in 2017, and there are rumblings out there indicating that live streaming is the future of social media. Event planners and marketers alike need to take advantage of the popularity of live streaming, harness its instant feedback abilities, and expand their reach both through their own efforts and their attendees’ desire to share content.


Written by Hannah Huston