Private Live Streaming & Selling Virtual Tickets
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- How to live stream an event
- How to sell virtual tickets to an event with live streaming
- How to monetize an event with live streaming and offer on-demand video services
- How to host a private live stream
- You should be able to use a PC at a beginner/intermediate level
- You should have a basic understanding of social media
Virtual tickets are quickly becoming a valued revenue stream for live events around world. In this case study, we speak with VidSummit event planner Derral Eves about his experience selling virtual tickets for his live Video Marketing Conference. This year I had the pleasure to help Derral live stream the Los Angelos, California based Video Marketing conference held at the Westin Los Angelos Hotel Convention Center. Our goal was to create an engaging video production which would be live streamed to viewers around the world and recorded for on-demand video playback. The event used three live streaming systems to capture content from a main ball room, a theater and a large meeting room (more about the actually technology setup in this blog post).
Virtual tickets for a conference provide paying customers live access to the event from anywhere in the world. This year VidSummit charged viewers a fraction of the conference price, only $149, to watch the entire conference online. It was my job to transport the live viewers into VidSummit by delivering the best video production possible. I had a chance to converse with some of the excited virtual ticket holders on Facebook before the event and many sounded just as excited to be part of VidSummit as the actual in-person attendees. Along with the live stream access, VidSummit also offers a $50 option to access the on-demand video content we recorded as well. This was an option I bought personally knowing that I could not be in all three locations at once and had conflicting interests in atleast two of the various keynote timeslots.
- Anyone with an event they want to live stream
- Technology and Media Specialists who want to live stream for their clients
This course will guide you through the process of live streaming an event where you plan to sell virtual tickets. Virtual Tickets are exclusive passes to your live and on-demand video/audio content. These virtual tickets are a great way to increase revenue from your venue and promote your local event in a global marketplace.
The Virtual Ticket is for anyone who wants to host next-level engaging experiences for online attendees. This book is full of detailed case studies from innovative event planners who are diversifying their revenue streams with virtual ticket sales. Whether you are a business, sports team, non-profit, event venue or a garage band, this book includes everything you need to know about planning live streams that provide audiences with experiences worth paying for. Adding a virtual ticket option for your next event does more than increase profits. Virtual tickets help expose events to global audiences by increasing convenience and accessibility with new broadcasting and translation tools that are now available.
How many trillion-dollar industries are expected to double in size over the next ten years? The $1.1 trillion dollar global event industry is expected to grow to $2.33 trillion by 2026, (Allied Market Research, 2019). Analysts have been astounded by the growth in the events industry over the past decade. A new “experience economy” has been coined to describe the changing consumer behaviors which have emerged during the age of the smartphone. Despite the incredible amounts of screen time modern consumers spend on their smartphones, computers and other internet-connected devices, humans still crave exciting in-real-life experiences.
The instantaneous access modern consumers have to information has significantly changed the way consumers value exclusive content. The endless streams of entertainment available today have made consumers more willing than ever to pay for all kinds of premium content that enhances time spent on and offline. Today consumers want to break through the clutter of a technology-saturated life with shortcuts that could be as simple as unlocking a premium video or as dynamic as paying for a virtual VIP video conference with a popular celebrity. As event managers begin to understand this culture shift, they can position the experiences they offer to global audiences with exclusive virtual tickets that have an unlimited supply.
Great events start by understanding an audience. Event managers who understand their audience can deliver an experience that both excites and engages. Unlike traditional business services which are all about time well saved, experiences worth paying for are about time well spent (Pine, 2020). Today more than ever, audiences are willing to pay to make more of their time “well spent” and therefore less of their time searching for satisfaction. If your event provides consumers with a feeling of time well spent, you have an experience worthy of delivering value virtually. In the #1 selling book “The Experience Economy” authors Joseph Pine and James Gilmore explain why “Time is the currency of experiences” and increasing brand exposure via consumer attention now requires the ability to deliver an engaging experience. Event experiences are unique because they unfold in real-time. Exclusive virtual access to an event can deliver audiences a real-time experience. At the core of these authentic experiences is time. Live streaming technology can deliver experiences in real-time. Connections that are made in real-time, are the as close to real for the viewers as they are for audiences attending the event in-person.
Well-designed events can easily transport viewers into an immersive experience using live streaming technology. There is an immediacy created with live streaming that is authentic and real in a world of fragmented media. Facebook released a report saying that live video is watched on average three times longer than traditional video content (Facebook, 2017). This is because live video creates a real-time connection with viewers that captivates their attention. Although attention is only the first step toward an ultimate goal of transformation. When presented corrected, attention can lead to focus, which can lead to engagement, education, reaction and transformation. Viewers that participate with the live action, can experience authentic connections and revelations with an online community in real-time.
The year is 2017, and it’s a hazy day in Los Angeles, California. Top YouTuber Derral Eves is working with his team to host the 4th annual Vidsummit conference. Vidsummit is a highly anticipated video marketing event, where the world’s top influencers, marketers and brands get together each year for a weekend of learning and networking. This year Gary Vaynerchuk has been hired to provide the keynote speech, and Derral is planning to sell virtual tickets for the first time. After three successful annual events, Derral is confident that this year he can increase profits with virtual ticket sales. The event is already sold out. There is an incredible buzz on social media and the countdown until showtime has officially begun.
The Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel is absolutely packed with young YouTubers from all over the world. Video enthusiasts are filming videos in the lobby and making memories with friends. In the main ballroom, Derral has agreed to make time for a brief interview. “You can only fit so many people in a room” Derral says as he looks over the 500 or so chairs setup in the ballroom. “We knew that we had to extend this conference online... We have sold replays in the past and it has been quite profitable. But the problem is getting the excitement delivered to the customer with a live event like this. We want people to feel like they are actually part of the event.” Derral looks over the shoulders of a staff member who oversees social media. His social media team will be live streaming certain portions of the conference to his YouTube channel which has well over half a million subscribers. Part of the virtual ticket sales strategy is live streaming short sessions throughout the conference to YouTube and Facebook. Derral’s team is preparing a live streaming backpack which will be used to transport audiences behind the scenes to various areas of the conference.
In total, the event features three live streaming systems used to capture content from the main ballroom, a 125-seat theater and a large meeting space. Each space will be running a separate track of speakers, giving attendees plenty of educational opportunities to choose from throughout the three-day event. A normal ticket to the conference costs $795 and any attendee can purchase access to the video replay and live stream for an additional $149. Now that the in-person tickets have sold out, the conference is only able to sell virtual tickets and on-demand replays.
It was my job to help transport the live viewers into VidSummit. I would do so by delivering the live stream to a content delivery network who in turn provides the paywall service used to grant access to paying customers. This is a process you will learn all about in this book.
Before the conference had even begun, excited virtual ticket holders were actively commenting about the event on Facebook. Many of these people sounded just as excited to be part of VidSummit’s live stream as the actual in-person attendees at the hotel. Along with the live stream access, most attendees had also paid for the on-demand video access knowing that they couldn’t possibly watch every presentation in real-time. The live stream was an exciting bonus Derral had announced only a couple of weeks ago.
Case Study #1 – NAB Show
Every year the StreamGeeks travel to many conferences around the world. In most cases, the events do not offer virtual ticket experiences. It seems like most conferences are unprepared to address an online audience. In 2019, the StreamGeeks team was invited to help host the official NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show live stream, in Las Vegas, Nevada. If there is one organization that knows how to live stream, you can bet it’s the National Association of Broadcasters. The experience of hosting a television quality show was thrilling not only because of the size and scope of the production but because of the large in-person audience. Imagine a voice in your ear counting down the seconds until you go live. Lights are shining on the stage from every direction, “3, 2, 1, And we are live.”
This type of production value is ideal for large conferences with thousands of attendees. It may be surprising for some to find out that the NAB Show does not charge viewers for access to the live stream. The production is put on mainly for sponsors allowing the show to sell additional advertising. It may also be surprising to find out that the show is not live streamed to Facebook. The NAB Show values control of their content more than the exposure they would gain via social media. When you start to dig into the various case studies available for adding live streaming to an event, the possibilities for customization are almost limitless. Sadly, the 2020 NAB show was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. This year the live stream is scheduled to be recorded and live streamed from a remote location to viewers around the world.
This book will reference quite a few case studies throughout. These unique experiences have been thoughtfully planned out and studied for the creation of this book. The first is the NAB show, which is the world’s largest broadcast and streaming show. The second is a well-established conference called VidSummit designed for video makers. This case study which helped to introduce the book, explores strategies event managers can use to increase profits with live streaming and on-demand virtual ticket sales. The third case study is the 2019 StreamGeeks Summit, which was hosted in New York City to provide a full day of live streaming education. This event was the StreamGeeks best attempt to give online attendees virtual access to a small conference. Finally, the fourth case study is the 2020 Worship Summit. This event was designed with the online attendees as the primary focus. This event could be categorized as a “digital summit” or a glorified webinar where meeting the online attendees’ expectations was the primary goal of the event planner.
Case Study #2 - VidSummit
Check out the event page here: https://vidsummit.com
VidSummit has been ahead of the curve since 2015 when they started selling on-demand videos that were made available to paying customers. In 2017, Derral Eves launched his first year of virtual ticket sales with live event access. The conference live stream included access to a keynote speech area and multiple breakout rooms running three separate presentation tracks. Each room was set up to live stream the content simultaneously giving online viewers the option to virtually switch between rooms and drop in on various presentations in real time. Being able to live stream from multiple areas is a process that medium to large events will need to develop in order to cover their events properly. Online audiences understand that they will not have access to all things at all times. Derral Eves was able to use social media to promote virtual ticket sales with high-impact IRL (In Real Life) streaming techniques that leverage a LiveU backpack and a mobile Sony action camera. You will also learn how Eves empowers other creators to sell tickets using an affiliate program. Finally, this case study will demonstrate how a conference can add a virtual ticket experience to an existing event.
Case Study #3 - The StreamGeeks Summit
Check out the event page here: http://streamgeeks.us/summit
The next case study explained in this book is the first annual StreamGeeks Summit. This conference was designed to provide a “full day of live streaming education” in New York City. The conference brought together a growing community of video production enthusiasts from the NYC area and created common ground for novices and experts in the industry to intermingle. The conference also served as a case study for integrating a professional live stream into a traditional in-person conference.
Roughly 900 tickets were sold for the StreamGeeks Summit. Only 250 of those tickets were sold for in-person attendance. The in-person tickets sold for $295 each. The other 650 tickets were a mix of basic and premium virtual ticket sales. Basic virtual tickets for the event were completely free with the submission of a form. Premium virtual tickets were sold for $95 each and they were included for free with in-person passes. In this case study, over 250% more virtual tickets were sold than in-person tickets. Established events will likely see a steady increase in virtual ticket sales after the first year assuming the experience is marketed and delivered successfully.
Newly established events like the StreamGeeks Summit can leverage free virtual tickets in the first few years to help drive increased ticket sales via exposure over the long term. Using the basic virtual tickets to draw in new potential ticket buyers, this case study will shed light on virtual ticket sales, premium on-demand sales, and their effect on planning the event overall.
Case Study #4 - The Worship Summit
Check out the event page here: https://worshipsummit.live
The final case study will review the 2020 Worship Summit hosted by the StreamGeeks in West Chester, Pennsylvania. This event included a hybrid meetup style event where most attendees joined online. This was a small-scale event in terms of in-person ticket sales, with only 30 in-person attendees. But on Friday morning, January 24th, 2020, the event was one of the top live streams on YouTube with almost 400 simultaneous viewers at peak viewership. Before the event was over more than 5,000 churches had tuned in.
While the event featured an in-person studio experience, most guests joined remotely. This event also included a live face-to-face zoom video conference breakout session for attendees. The video conference meeting was open during the entire event and it allowed attendees to get more personal with the event speakers who would join for 30-45 minutes after their main stage presentation. This event falls in line with a new trend called “Virtual Summits.” Virtual summit are events where experts get together to produce an engaging online experience for viewers around the world.
Virtual tickets can be sold through almost any event ticketing platform. As an event planner, you know the value of a ticket sold is only as good as the event that you host and deliver. In order to deliver a live event experience to online viewers, you must live stream your event in a way that engages viewers’ senses. Today, you can live stream directly from a smartphone to social media networks like Facebook and YouTube. Depending on the ticket price and the value you are attempting to deliver, properly transporting audiences into your event may take an experienced video production team and a thoughtful plan of delivery.
Virtual ticket holder expectations will continue to rise over time. Consumers value the experience of “time well spent” in relation to other experiences they consider normal. The Experience Economy calls this valuation the “money value of time,” which is generally broken down into dollars per minute. For example, most consumers in the United States are used to paying on average $12 for a two-hour experience at the movies. This is a simple baseline for how much consumers are willing to pay for an action-packed Hollywood experience. At $6 per hour, moviegoers are paying on average 10 cents per minute. This experience can be compared to a trip to Disney World which averages out to 23 cents per minute for a vacation. Here is a list of experiences your event may be able to compare with.
If you have ever attended an event that was professionally planned and executed, chances are you didn’t realize how much work went into making it a success. Events, regardless of their size, are complex things to manage. In every event, something goes wrong, and if you are lucky the only people who notice are on the event management team. An issue can be something minor like forgetting to bring the right color socks, or a major catastrophe, like leaving the wedding ring behind at the hotel. Whatever it is, events and uncertainty go together like two peas in a pod. This may be why so many amazing events are unable to add a live streaming element. It’s very common for event planners to become overwhelmed and unable to add another layer of complexity that is live streaming. Selling virtual tickets is one thing, accommodating a live online audience is another.
Therefore, whether you are a professional event manager or a one-time event planner, having a framework that introduces order into the messy process of event-planning is crucial. A systematic approach allows you to deliver excellent results even when you do not have the help of a professional event planning team. An event planning system saves cost, reduces work, removes uncertainty, and makes your success repeatable.
Event management software solutions can give multiple teams in your organization access to critical information during the event planning process. Having a single online dashboard for sales, marketing, human resources, sponsors and affiliates helps to simplify the complex job of event planning. New cloud-based tools now allow event managers to streamline an efficient workflow that keeps internal and external parties involved in the planning process. Effectively streamlining an event management workflow requires integration with existing systems your organization already uses such as Salesforce, Marketo, Eventbrite, Wordpress and Cvent. When you are choosing an event management platform, draw out a plan that starts with the promotion of your event. It’s ideal if your event management software makes relevant information readily available to all members of your team and at the same time passes the data to the primary systems your organization already uses. For example, your event management software should be able to pass usable data directly to your sales team for immediate follow up. If your marketing team is using a platform like Marketo to nurture new leads, the information collected by the event management system should pass back and forth naturally. In this way, you can make intelligent decisions about how you are communicating with your event attendees. Perhaps you only want to offer attendees who have purchased virtual tickets a discount for in-person tickets or vice versa. With the right amount of information passing through your streamlined workflow, sales and marketing teams especially can make educated decisions about your event.
In this book, you will learn the basics of applying a project management approach to event planning in order to properly add a virtual attendee experience to your event. A project is typically described as an endeavor that is temporary and undertaken with specific objectives in mind. Projects have a time element and they require resources in order to produce the desired outcome. Managing a virtual attendee experience will leverage similar types of knowledge, skills, and tools event planners are used to managing already. The goal of event planning is to remove or reduce uncertainty and to make sure the event is executed on schedule, within budgets and on target for intended goals (“What is project management?,” 2017).
By applying project management knowledge and skills to event planning, you can more easily add live streaming and virtual ticket sales to your event. Even if you do not consider yourself an event planner, this book can still help you learn about new ways to monetize events. Almost every profession involves events at some point and this book will teach you how to successfully plan and execute them. The “Experience Economy” is a #1 bestselling book that outlines how changing consumer demands now require any competitive business to create experiences for their customers. All businesses are now “competing for customer time, attention and money” where the ROI (Return on Investment) of traditional marketing methods continue to become less valuable. By understanding both the in-person and online sides of meetups, summits, concerts and conferences you will start to see the advantages of event streaming for marketing any type of business product, service or experience. If you are only thinking about the people who can attend your event physically, it will become clear in short order that this audience is only a small segment of the total accessible market. In the following chapters, you will learn how to identify and market your event to online audiences around the world. Depending on your event, the online audience may surprise you in its size and willingness to pay for virtual access (Pine, 2020).
Basic economics tells us that a perfect product price does exist. The perfect price is found when supply and demand meet in a place economists call the “equilibrium.” For an event, this would mean that you sell out of all your tickets and your price was high enough that you did not undercut any potential profits. Observing the law of supply and demand, in-person and virtual tickets have one fundamental difference. In-person tickets have a limited supply and virtual tickets have an unlimited supply. Each ticket type will have its own “price elasticity” which describes the product’s responsiveness to changes in price. A prime example of this would be to look at a change of in-person ticket prices versus a change of the price for virtual tickets. Because in-person tickets have a limited supply, you can assume that this will drive up prices. You can also assume that the limited supply will make consumers less sensitive to price changes for this product.
Increased profits can be achieved when ticket price and demand rise together. If the ticket prices are too high, demand for the product will go down. The goal for ticket pricing is to reach an equilibrium between price and demand. Products that are inelastic do not have customer demand that changes based on price. An example of an inelastic product would be a medicine that is needed for survival. Products that are elastic can feature large changes in consumer demand based on price. Elastic products generally not unique and have substitutes available for consumers to choose that are less expensive.
Even though virtual tickets have an unlimited supply, suppliers still must find the perfect price to reach equilibrium and therefore maximize profits. To do this consider the highest price you can charge to the largest set of potential customers. Virtual tickets have cost and therefore supply does not have to be unlimited. As you can see from the example table below, a perfect price for in-person tickets is $50. A perfect price for virtual tickets is $5. If the tickets are priced higher or lower than these equilibrium prices there is a loss in revenue.
Attending an event is always more exciting than the process of planning it. Nobody minds going to a party, but who wants to deal with all the little details about cleaning the venue, making sure there is good parking or proofreading invitations before they are sent out. However, even though the activities that take place before an event are not exciting, they lay the groundwork for how enjoyable the actual event will be. As an event planner, if you want to enjoy the event, you must pay attention to planning it. And no aspect of planning is more important than the pre-planning. This is when you decide why you want to have the event, who the audience will be, and if you can pull it off with the resources you have available to you.
Event Goals & Objectives: Why Is The Event Important?
There is nothing worse than an ill-conceived event. It is not uncommon for individuals and businesses to decide on a spur of the moment to have an event. When you are planning an event it’s all about asking the right questions and defining your expectations. It’s important to understand during the pre-planning stages that the event objective will likely change over time. You may even decide to abandon the project for various reasons along the way. Think critically about your event because the first time will likely be the hardest. Future events will be much easier to host once you have established the event framework. Some things will only become clear to you during the planning process. Others may not become clear until after your event is over. The goal of pre-planning is to uncover as much information as possible to steer your event toward a successful future.
Determine the business problem your event will solve. This is the most important step of any event because it will help to secure the event’s success for yourself and the attendees. The business problem or the need which an event aims to satisfy helps to confine your efforts during the planning stage to only what is valuable for fulfilling that outcome. Think about your online audience during this process. Will you be able to give online viewers access to an experience that fulfills their expected outcomes? You can assume online viewers understand they will not have access to in-person experiences such as networking. But can you compensate them in some ways by providing behind the scenes access to the keynote speaker? Perhaps your virtual ticket holders can ask questions during the presentation’s Q&A session. Are there ways that you can give your virtual ticket holders a private online group for networking with attendees online? After all, LinkedIn has over 660 million members. Perhaps you can create a LinkedIn networking group to help encourage collaboration for members of your event. To determine if the event will become a successful business, ask the following questions (unless the event is something personal, like a wedding, retirement party or a hangout for family and friends):
· Who needs what the event offers?
· Are there enough of these people to justify holding the event?
· How many in-person attendees do you estimate versus virtual attendees?
· Do you have the means to reach these people?
· Will the outcome justify the effort and cost of creating the event?
· Do you have the capacity to hold such an event?
· Should you have the event?
The more painstaking and exact the answers to these questions are, the greater clarity the project will have, and the more guided future decisions and actions will be (Spradlin, 2012). During the research for writing this book, I was fixated on hosting an event in New York City where the virtual ticket experience would come as close as possible to the in-person experience. While the event was a massive successful for all parties involved, I realized only after the event that an all online approach could cost one fifth the price and potentially reach more people. Four months later, the StreamGeeks hosted the 2020 Worship Summit which sold more virtual tickets than the StreamGeeks Summit in less time with a much lower budget. It was interesting to see the highest ROI came from catering directly to an online audience.
Write down your answers to the questions about the event. The next step is to crystalize your ideas by making them more specific in terms of time, budget and other resources. What are the things you need to successfully hold this event and are they readily available? If they are not available, can they be obtained?
In establishing a budget, remember that everything has a cost, even if you will use volunteers. The list of your costs should be comprehensive. It’s better to overestimate than underestimate. However, if costs get too high, the event may stop being feasible. Adding live streaming equipment, operators, and virtual ticket processing to your costs early on is a good idea. You will have to come up with a balance between your expected virtual ticket sales and the cost of adding live streaming to your event. Some events now add live streaming as a free promotional tool and absorb the costs for live streaming the event. Proper costing involves a detailed breakdown of all that is needed for the event, attaching a monetary value, and then making room for contingencies. Having access to someone experienced at creating such events will ensure you are moving in the right direction. Later, in this book you will review various DIY video production systems and ballpark pricing estimates from production companies (Colston, 2018). If you are unsure about the budget for live streaming, reach out to the venues’ recommended rental/staging and AV company vendor. Below are the costs for the audio visuals from the 2019 StreamGeeks Summit.
One of the main considerations for selling virtual tickets is how you plan to deliver your virtual content. I like to think about the possible event live streaming solutions in 4 levels. Level 1 is using a mobile device like an iPad with a WiFi connection. This is the most affordable and easiest way to live stream an event, but it will limit your video production possibilities. Level 2 is the use of a computer with various USB connected cameras. You can use a regular Windows or Mac laptop with multiple webcams and connected USB audio mixers to add a mixture of audio/video inputs to create a professional looking live production. Once we get into level 2 and level 3 we are using live streaming software such as: Wirecast, vMix, Switcher Studio or LiveStream. This software allows us to display lower thirds, intro videos, transitions and much more. Level 3 and 4 include professional lighting, cameras, microphones and actual camera operators who ensure a best in class experience for your live audience. I offer multiple courses on live streaming software and hardware system options you can find on my Udemy Instructor page.
A Private CDN (Content Delivery Network) is the destination for your live streaming video which can handle protection of your content through a Paywall. In order to sell virtual tickets it's important that we work with a CDN that can protect our content and restrict access only to paying customers. Therefore we do not want to use a free streaming provider like YouTube or Facebook who cannot protect our exclusive content. Some Private CDN companies to look into include: DACAST, StreamMonkey, Livestream, Vimeo and UStream.
A paywall is a service provided by Private CDN companies to securely process payment for your virtual tickets. Private CDN's can use third party payment solutions such as Paypal and Stripe but they almost always take a small percentage of all sales. It's normal to pay a CDN up to 20% of all ticket sales for providing the Paywall service.
Virtual Tickets + Live Music = Big Business
Hold on tight for a wild ride of a live stream. Just last week we live streamed a rock concert at celebrity Bam Margera’s Castle La Bam Smash the Ramps concert and it was a blast. The StreamGeeks love getting out of the office and into the field to practice our craft of live video production and this event is full of huge crowds, incredible lighting and excitement at every turn. The event was also the the epitome of “organized chaos” with an emphasis on the chaos. This is the perfect chance for our team to learn how to work under pressure and push our equipment to the edge of what’s possible.
Bam Margeras secret genius plan must have included a business opportunity because he publicly posted a picture counting the money he collected and said “we raised quadruple what we thought we would”. I’m happy for Bam, who has figured out a way to monetize his fame in the form of huge cash collections at the doors to his caste property. But what if Bam is missing out on the biggest business opportunity in the business?
That’s right, Live Streaming. The StreamGeeks showed up to make it happen but what if Bam actually charged for virtual tickets? How many of his 5 million followers on Facebook and 2 million followers on Instagram would have paid $5 each to watch the live stream from their homes across the country. I’m willing to bet plenty of folks even from the West Chester area who were being turned away at the gates would have! That’s right! This event fit all of our StreamGeeks requirements for a virtual ticket goldmine.
It’s newsworthy. Major newspapers and blogs are covering the event but no television crews were sent making the live video stream exclusive
The event is sold out. Meaning more people wanted to go then the venue can support.
Exclusive Access. The event sponsor has exclusive rights to the music and/or video content and therefore has legal rights to sell the content
I’m sure Bam is happy with his first ever smash the Ramps event. But I’d love to think about organizing the chaos with an emphasis on organizing rather than the chaos.
There are so many opportunities for monetizing live music events we have a guide you can download at StreamGeeks.us/makemoney
Where you can learn all about setting up an event that makes money by selling virtual tickets. Whether you have 5 million followers on Facebook or a core following of 100, selling virtual tickets can help bands and performers large and small realize their dreams. I hope to inspire musician, rappers, DJs, bands, performers, anyone with a fun event, to monetize their efforts with live streaming.
Ok, let’s talk about what we would do for the 2nd annual smash the Ramps event. This time with a top of the line live streaming system selling virtual tickets online. Leveraging Facebook and YouTube to drive sales for the main event.
Usually virtual tickets are offered at a fraction of the price regular event tickets but can include exclusive "digital only" content such as on-demand video access. In the case study we will review at the end of this course, VidSummit used a three tier system. Tier one is a one day pass for $399. Tier two is an ultimate pass which includes two days, plus on-demand video access for $799. Tier three is a virtual ticket which allows users to watch the live stream for $149 with an option for on-demand video access for $49. We found that almost 98% of all virtual ticket holders also purchased access to the on-demand video content.
Some event planners worry that virtual ticket sales could undermine in-person ticket sales. In many cases, the virtual tickets are purchased by people who physically cannot make it to a venue yet still want access to the content. In these cases, the in-person ticket sales would not be affected. Some events such as music festivals are able to broaden their local reach to a global audience around the world. If you believe that virtual ticket sales could undermine in-person ticket sales, I challenge you to give it a try.
To create an effective virtual ticket sales campaign, integration with your website is essential. The option to purchase a virtual ticket should be available as an option right next to actual ticket sales on your website. I would also highly suggest making on-demand video access an a'la carte option during the up-front buying process. Once you have your virtual ticket purchasing process integrated with your website you also want to make access to the live streamed content as easy for people to find as possible. VidSummit was able to put a banner on the top of the website while the event was live which said "click here to watch live".
If you are not offering on-demand video content than you are missing out on a possible revenue stream that is relatively easy to deliver on. When you are live streaming your content you should also consider recording the content in a High Definition quality on a local computer or hard drive. You can take that content and put it on your own password protected website or simply put that content onto a cloud based server such as Dropbox. I would suggest organizing your content with an on-demand video company. Most Private CDN's will help users offer store their live video for on-demand video playback. A favorite service of mine for protected content is Vimeo.
Just because we are using a Private CDN does not mean that we shouldn't live stream some parts of the event on Facebook and YouTube. It's possible to reach large audiences on these social media platforms to build awareness and generate even more virtual ticket sales. At VidSummit we used a service called Switchboard Live that was able to receive a single RTMP (Real Time Media Protocol) stream from our live production system and redistribute that signal to multiple YouTube, Facebook, Periscope and Twitter accounts. These accounts allowed us to reach large audiences with the intent to promote our virtual ticket sales. We were able to sell hundreds of additional virtual tickets by promoting sales via a rotating lower third which said "Watch the Entire Event, Purchase a Virtual Ticket at VidSummit.com"
Live streaming an event of any size can be challenging. I am going to explain the main components and share with you a small, medium and large professional live streaming system we set up for VidSummit. I have multiple courses that go into the video production software and hardware in more detail. But let's start with your live streaming computer. Almost every live streaming system is a computer and most are based on Windows. You can use a Windows or Mac computer running free software like OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) or advanced software like Wirecast or vMix. Whatever you do, think about the power of your computer and remember that live streaming and recording HD video requires a fast computer. If you have an i5 processor in your computer you should be able to handle two cameras, a microphone and a single HD video stream out to the cloud. When we are live streaming we use something called RTMP (Real Time Media Protocol) which is basically a compressed video stream that is sent to our content delivery network. This RTMP stream can be SD, HD or even 4k with a couple different options. The most important option to think about is Bitrate. Bitrates determine the amount of bandwidth (upload speed) you will be using with your live stream. So think about your available bandwidth. If you only have 3 Mbps upload speed you will have to use a 720p stream with 1.5Mbps. Never use much more than 75% of your available upload speeds or your stream will be at risk of losing packets and buffering. If you have 10 MBps, you can actually send multiple 1080p streams at let's say 3 MBps each.
If you are looking into using more than 2 cameras you will likely be using an i7 processor with a video graphics card. Check out my other courses on live streaming to learn about choosing a good computer, graphics cards and technology setups that we use regularly. In fact, you can always join in one of our weekly live shows every Friday to learn ask questions and see our multi-camera live streaming system in action.
There are so many different types of events but the most complicated events have multiple rooms. When you have multiple rooms, you need have multiple live streaming systems. This year we teamed up with David Foster, the Head Geek of Geeks Life and Co-Founder of Live Streaming Pros. The plan was simple. PTZOptics will supply all of the cameras, cables and PoE switches and Live Streaming Pros will provide their custom made live streaming computers running vMix. Each room would have at least 2 PTZ cameras and a static ZCam all connected via 3G SDI cabling to the PCIe capture cards available inputs in each streaming PC. There are three main rooms including a Main Ball Room, a Theater and a large room called "West Chester". Each room has speakers lined up to be live streamed and recorded from 8AM to 6PM each day with a 1 hour break for lunch at noon.
For the large room we have (2) 20X SDI PTZOptics cameras along with a Wide Angle ZCAM-VL box camera we have setup for a stage/crowd shot. This is the stage where are the biggest name keynote speakers are going present. The combination of our three cameras in total, will allow us to use one camera for tracking the talent with our PTZ joystick. Each PTZ camera for the large room will be controlled over IP using the IP-JOY Joystick which will be connected to the same ethernet switch as the cameras. Each camera will have it's own IP address and can be controlled with the joystick, vMix or any iOS mobile device. Since this is a public event we were sure to bring a WAP (Wireless Access Point) with a password.
The Theater Room is also fairly large and ideal for multiple PTZ cameras. The plan is similar to the Main Ballroom except we will be using the HuddleCamHD Serial joystick controller which is a little easier to setup since their is no networking involved. The three camera setup will allow the camera operators to smoothly transition in-between camera angles and follow speakers that are moving on stage.
David has recently converted from Livestream Studio to vMix for live video production and hasn't looked back. I am an avid vMix user myself so we go along quite nicely. On the software side David made sure to have VidSummit branded content made in the vMix title editor which allowed us to quickly popular lower third titles throughout the event as speakers changed. We were also able to connect to each camera over the network for IP camera control inside vMix. This allows us to create known camera preset positions inside vMix with names. Once each camera is connected to the vMix system we can open the input, select the PTZ tab and create presets which take little snapshots of the camera's viewpoint from that position. Since we are working with volunteers in each room it's great to have a list of preset position where they can see exactly where the camera will go with the click of a button.
The actual live streaming will be done with a LiveU wireless internet connection. My advice to Derral Eves the event manager was to live streaming in 720p and record the events to a the local hard drive in 1080p. David recommended recording the cameras in 1080p at 60 frames per second to get best crisp quality that he uses for his own live streaming and video production.
Working with VidSummit organizer Derral Eves we were able to live stream the entire conference for the first time in 2017. Derral is a social media leader and YouTube influencer who is really a master in the digital video space. As you have seen throughout this course live stream large events like this involve a lot of moving parts. Luckily, we are using remotely controlled cameras and wireless internet technology that allows us to make things much easier than they ever have been in the past.
Until Next Time,
Chief Streaming Officer