October 3, 2022

Brands and studios who like to exhibit often find that one of the toughest challenges they have is mixing the physical with the digital.

By being a bit more experiential, they can reach out to audiences beyond the people on the show floor and potentially generate more leads through digital channels.

That can be an extremely tough ask, though; especially for those with little-to-no experience of hosting online events.

It takes more than just wandering around the show floor with a camera, catching the best bits, and uploading them to YouTube.

One of our favourite examples of a brand getting it right is the Games Done Quick (GDQ) event.

What started as a charity speedrunning marathon in 2010 at MAGFest 8 has now become a global event that has two annual shows and has raised millions for good causes.

Key to that success has been live online viewership during the physical show – both before and during the Coronavirus pandemic – where viewers watch in high numbers and donate money.

So, how do they do it? They incorporate measures that can be found in every successful event that has looks for social media participation, including:

– Constant, open communication with fans and participants.

– A schedule with dates and times for each stream.

– Competitions and incentives for viewers to tune in.

– Continued social media outreach via partners (including speed runners).

– Consistent messaging between events when no runs are scheduled.

Planning is key to a successful live event

This is a point that simply must never be underestimated. Work on building a social media audience for a live event never stops.

Real success comes from intrinsic planning and consistent creative comms and working just as hard before and after your live event.

For instance, GDQ already has information on its website about potential dates for summer next year alongside the likely COVID-19 measures they’ll employ at the time.

So, what other ways can you attract social attention during a livestream?

Other ideas can include:

– Building a dedicated streamer booth at the event, maintained by a specialist presenter.

– Creating a content schedule weeks in advance

– Encouraging people to sign up via email and reminding them of the event in advance.

– Providing a platform for your community to chat with you and others during the live event.

– Creating custom, unique prizes that viewers can win through simple management.

– If other well-known faces are exhibiting alongside you, then cross promotion could help.

Maximising your social media reach takes a lot of planning, as we saw ourselves when organising the Mortal Kombat 11 Reveal Event at KOKO, London.

The colossal experiential event wasn’t just enjoyed by the physical attendees. TAKEOFF also broadcast the event to a global online audience of more than 2 million people.

An awful lot of planning, preparation, scheduling and comms was involved in building that audience.

For instance, there was a constant stream of events happening to keep audiences interested and engaged, from gaming rounds between celebrities and influencers to live DJ sets.

At the same time, those celebrities and influencers were cross-promoting the event, letting people know weeks beforehand what was happening so that their followers could book it in their diaries.

The same was true for Ubisoft’s worldwide Skull and Bones reveal in July 2022. 

The streamed event featured a full pre-show of events, before moving on to the main event consisting of gameplay reveals, developer interviews and Q&A sessions.

Creating a content schedule months beforehand, booking talent, cross-promotion, sending reminders, creative outreach is just as important as the show itself when looking to build a large audience for any and every live event.

Want to know what it takes to take over social media with a slick live event of your own? Contact TAKEOFF’s live event specialists today to find out more!