It’s been a very interesting year for events especially if you look through the camera lens. 2014 continued to see more and more events being streamed online. The number of hybrid events (live streaming online with a physical audience in attendance) continued to grow and of course the number of events whose content is recorded for later use is booming.
We observed this online rush first hand as more and more of our clients enquired about strategies to take their events on line.
Who does what with those recordings?
At Tech Fest earlier this year we asked sixty four tech savvy organisers a few specific questions focusing on live streaming / hybrid / recorded. And here’s what they said:
With a relatively small sample we certainly can’t talk about definite trends however with a very good cross section of the event industry answering questions we can at least start to think about where our industry is heading.
So over 75% of respondents recorded some content at some or all of their events. Wow! This is a figure that I think most planners would be surprised to see. What a booming recording industry we would have if this was replicated across the UK! I would imagine that if we looked at the whole of the UK business event market we would see a much smaller percentage. However as Tech Fest attracts those tech savvy planners it perhaps points to our industry seeing a boom in the number of events which are recorded.
Content as the driver
This leads to a couple of interesting questions. What exactly is happening to all of that recorded content? And exactly who is watching it? With our figures showing that recorded content outweighs live content I wonder how current that content is by the time it is released to subscribers or members. What impact does it have on their attendance the following year or on their relationship with the company who runs the event? At the moment there are many more questions than answers.
This live content capture is a very new area for our industry and we are currently still finding our feet. We hope that simply by asking a few questions we are at least staring to challenge planners.
We attempted to get a feel for some of the financials. This wasn’t a mandatory answer so the sample is smaller. Of the forty attendees who answered only one was charging for access to that content for every event however just under half had charged for at least one event.
We also asked about the costs. Again this wasn’t mandatory but it gives you a feel for the level of expenditure for recording and streaming events. The obvious, well to me anyway, take home from this is that the majority of events which are recording or streaming their content are doing so at a loss. And this is certainly food for thought as we move in to 2015.
Data and good will
It’s that time of the year when people go searching for trends. So here’s one I’ve pulled out of the research. It is likely that in 2015 planners will continue to focus or refocus their online strategies towards capturing data: ideally hot leads with a desire to use this content as a showcase for attendance the following year. As an association trend I can see many not for profits recording this content and disseminating it for free to their members as a benefit of membership.
It may be that the answers tell you a few things that we haven’t picked up or that they spark a few more questions in your mind and if that is the case we’d love to hear them.