With many of us stuck at home with (perhaps) more free time than usual, it’s important to consider if you could move a previously live event online, or if you could provide a different event experience using video conferencing. For some types of events, being there in person may not be necessary if you have a camera and microphone on your computer.
Deciding if you can host a virtual event
What kind of events could you carry out online?
Choosing a conferencing platform
There are loads of options out there for VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and video streaming websites and apps. Where to start?
Zoom gives you a URL your guests can join a virtual meeting room with (perfect to restrict access for paid, ticketed events). The free version allows a 40 minute session for up to 100 guests, but you can pick a paid plan for more time/people if required. It does require you to download an app on your computer/mobile/tablet.
Owned by Microsoft, Skype has been around for a long time now in Internet terms. Free to use for the most popular features, but you can add credit to your account and even use it to make calls to regular telephone numbers. Up to 50 people on one call, no time limit. Download required.
You’ll need to be signed in with a Google account to use Hangouts, but the premium version is free during the COVID-19 pandemic until 1st July. That allows you up to 100,000 viewers on a live stream or 250 people on a call (although you may wish to ask some of them to mute their microphones!). You can also call into a meeting for audio from a regular phone, which may make it more inclusive. We’ll keep an eye on if this is still as useful a service after 1st July.
This is more of a social broadcasting tool, but it could allow you to reach a bigger audience or drive more traffic to your Facebook Page if that’s of interest to you.
YouTube Live Stream
Useful if you plan on offering more video content, live streaming on YouTube will help build your audience. The docs here looks a little technical, but there’s probably a big red button somewhere to turn on live streaming from your YouTube channel.
Whatever you decide to use, have a practice first and start with a small audience to see how everything works!
Let us know if you have a preferred site or app not mentioned and we’ll add it here.
Ticketlab has no affiliation with any of these services, and can’t vouch for their effectiveness or appropriateness for your events.
Tweaking the format
With a webinar or livestream event, you may need to change how you’d do things normally.
Selling tickets to your livestream through Ticketlab
Ticketlab allows you to set up your event even if it doesn’t have a physical location, just make sure you let your guests know what to expect!
N.B. The Post code field has a minimum of 6 characters, for which you can enter anything (we went with ‘——‘). The Private venue checkbox stops this event page from showing a map, which should prevent some confusion .
Despite a tough situation for everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still possible to let your regular customers know you care by engaging with them via online events. Let us know if you’re hosting any great livestream events by tagging us on social (@TicketlabUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).