It’s often expected of event planners to not only plan the event, but to tell the story of the event while it’s happening. There are advantages to this type of narrative building – it allows you to reach many outside of the event itself in effective ways – but for planners who already have full plates, event livestreaming and storytelling sound like major headaches. If you really want to increase engagement, we have a quick guide on how to do this type of real-time narration at your next event.
Pick Your Tools and Experiment
Your first step should be selecting an app or software feature to use. Do you need video livestreaming, or will a blog format work? Can you use social media, or is your event already locked into a particular app that you need to use? If you don’t have many parameters, look into options like Facebook Live, Periscope, and other popular streaming/narration tools that can help you tell stories in real time. Practice with them so you know how to use them from mobile devices, what their bandwidth requirements are, and how to put on a good show.
Create a Narrative
We’ve used the terms narrative and narration, but what does that actually mean? Your job here is not only to report what is going on, but also to tie everything together in a cohesive story about the event. You need to understand the event’s purpose, how the attendees will respond, where the key emotional moments are happening, and more. This is one area where your social media experts can shine, because much of their job is already creating such narratives.
Every Piece of Text Needs a Picture
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from social media like Storify, it’s that images are an excellent method of telling stories. As a general rule, if you are streaming or putting together a piece of text, it needs an accompanying picture – even if it’s just a line or two. This is why it’s useful to pick a live blogger who has good photography skills!
It Isn’t Just About the Presentation
It’s tempting to focus just on the presentations in your event – it feels like the meat of the event is there. But when you’re telling the story of the event to outsiders, it gets a little more complicated. The presentation is only part of the story: The event is also about mingling, participation, team activities, eating, waiting, and many other things. To really capture the spirit of an event, you need to spend some time outside the presentation, with the attendees.
Many livestreaming features allow you to encourage some kind of participation. It could be a contest, an online comment section, a poll, or another form of audience involvement. If you have one of these features, consider highlighting it to give distant attendees a chance to feel like they are part of the action.
Remember to Package and Share
The purpose of live event narration is not only to help those who can’t make it, but also to have a packaged, entertaining version of the event that you can share in the future. Keep this in mind when choosing your tools and features!
For more information on using the right venue tools, turn to Fourth Wall Events and see what we have to offer the modern event planner!