What Eventprofs can learn from Twitch
Keeping an audience of over 700,000 participants engaged for more than 50 hours straight? For many event professionals, it might seem like a daunting prospect.
But earlier this month, the French livestream event ZEvent did just that and set a new world record for charity fundraising on Twitch at the same time. ZEvent 2021’s livestreamers and their audience raised over $11 million for Action Against Hunger in a continuous marathon lasting over two days, concluding with a closing ceremony watched by over a million spectators.
ZEvent brought together 54 livestreamers to entertain their audience by playing online games, from Mario Kart to League of Legends, but also with other surprises, from a hot chili contest to a live reading of former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s latest book. The unexpected nature of the event’s agenda, steered by the individual livestreamers themselves, kept a majority of ZEvent’s audience watching and engaged throughout the entirety of the marathon, waiting for what might come next.
Part of the success of the event is down to the content (curated by the streamers themselves), but also because of the platform itself.
It works because Twitch has examined engagement as a science. They excel at providing a user-driven experience, with multiple opportunities for engagement and a format that helps to build connections easily. Twitch is so good at this, charities and associations are increasingly turning to the platform to create streaming events that raise awareness and big money. At any one time, there’s an average of 107,800 live streams taking place on the platform, and 30 million people turn to the site daily for live content and community (Find more statistics here).
So what can event professionals learn from livestreamers? (Besides maybe considering Twitch as a platform for your next event)
Some top things that make Twitch work:
- Entertaining and educational. Many visit a stream for the content and to learn, but end up staying because of the streamer’s personality, or the connections they build with other viewers.
- Huge amount of content. There’s something happening for anyone on Twitch at any time. And it’s all live. Viewers feel a part of the experience.
- The unexpected. You never know what’s going to happen next, making it hard to switch off.
- Suits active and passive participation. Viewers can choose how they want to engage– with the streamer themselves, or with other viewers in the chat.
- Top streamers recognize who is viewing their stream, and highlight their contributions. This helps the audience feel seen and part of the community.
Today, Twitch is the 37th most visited site on the internet. 140 million monthly active users spend billions of hours on the site each year.
When it comes to engagement, Twitch is on to something, and it’s not just gaming. Event professionals can learn from their example to develop features in their online events that allow for participants to have just as rich an experience.
Here’s what I’ve been catching up on this week:
- Grip partners up with CLIPr [Exhibition World] We’re getting into an exciting time for event technology, as we see more and more companies partnering to deliver even more exceptional experiences for attendees. This week we learned that CLIPr, a video analysis and management platform has joined with Eventtech platform Grip to index live session content in real-time. The partnership will enable participants to search the events video content by topic, subtopic or transcription. These enhanced videos can extend post-event viewership and make longer livestream feeds more accessible to remote viewers.
- Allseated Partners With Matterport to Bring Life-Like 3D Technology to the Masses [PR Web] Another new partnership announcement in the eventtech space, as Allseated joins with Matterport, a company offering spatial data services to allow anyone to build accurate, 3D virtual twins of any space. The partnership opens up a number of opportunities for hybrid events, to bring event participants into any physical event space from a remote location.
- 6Connex Acquires Eventory to Expand Hybrid Event Service Offerings [PR Newswire] A new acquisition in the eventtech space this week, as all-in-one platform 6Connex, acquires Eventory, an event management platform. The new acquisition helps 6Connex expand their offerings in the hybrid event space, and support organizers delivering events no matter the size, location or use.
- The future of event technology [Conferences and Meetings World] Cvent’s Brian Ludwig speaks about types of eventtech that organizers will be turning to in the next year– from beacon technology to track attendees in a physical venue, to touchless registration technology that limits human contact.
The Events Industry:
- German trade fair industry demands government recognise WHO listed vaccines [Exhibition World] AUMA leads the call to demand fewer restrictions to running exhibitions and large scale events. Germany currently does not recognize exhibition visitors vaccinated with certain COVID-19 vaccines, including Sinovac and Sinopharm as being “fully vaccinated” preventing them the opportunity to participate in exhibitions under strict hygiene restrictions.
- Dubai World Trade Centre overhauls network to pioneer digital event experiences [Computer Weekly] The Dubai World Trade Center invests in futureproofing its exhibition spaces with enhanced digital networking capabilities, IP infrastructure and sensor technology. The new systems will be able to handle the additional digital media displays and contactless technologies that are becoming increasingly more common as large-scale events move back to physical.
How to do it:
- Event Staffing: Event AV Is NOT A One Person Job! [Endless Events] In this podcast, Will Curran discusses understaffing at events, especially when it comes to technical support. He argues that staffing challenges will become more challenging as hybrid events create more demands on organizers to cater to different audiences.
- SEPHORiA 2021: How Sephora Transformed its Flagship Event into a Virtual Beauty Playground – Event Marketer [Event Marketer] There’s a lot of discussion about the “future of events” in this newsletter, however, the future is already here by the looks of Sephora’s recent “SEPHORiA” event. This case study details how the Sephora team turned their regular in-person B2B/B2C brand event into a shoppable online beauty experience, hosted within a 360-degree game-like environment for attendees to explore. The custom-made design was created uniquely for the event, and included themed rooms with numerous engagement opportunities, as well as live sessions for guests to drop into. This case study is definitely worth a look for event professionals to grab some ideas for their next event.
- Steal-Worthy Event Strategies From C2 Montréal’s 2021 Hybrid Conference [BizBash] Another compelling case study to learn from, this time with a great example of a Hybrid experience. Here, organizers welcomed guests in person and also created a custom virtual platform specifically designed for remote attendees– creating opportunities for networking, matchmaking and speaker interaction (Check out their specific engagement strategies here). The organizers are transparent in this piece about what they could improve for next time, but the experience showed them decidedly, “once the digital transformation hits an industry, it doesn’t go back to the way it was before.” Well worth a read!
Don’t Miss it:
- Why do people go to trade shows? and Why Darwin didn’t mention trade shows in ‘On the Origin of Species’ [Exhibition News] Exhibition News Guest Editor Phil Soar poses some big questions this week in two opinion features. Here, the event industry veteran ponders what would happen to trade shows without the marketing spend, and what actual value attendees get from their participation. The thought experiment is a curious one, drawing from his years of experience researching trade show sponsors, visitors and exhibitors. His results? Not so rosy. It’s definitely worth a read to find out if you agree.
- Techtalk With Michael Chaffe About the Future of Events and Innovation [Romania Insider] “The future of events is hybrid” Wolves Summit and Wolves Digital’s Michael Chaffee shares in this podcast his take on how organizers should prepare for the increasingly digitized event industry going forward. Chaffee and Wolves Summit were one of Hopin’s earliest preferred event partners, and he presents a unique take on how the events industry has changed in CEE.
- Long read: the time for talking about Net Zero is over, it’s time for action [Conference News] Did your event organization sign the #racetozero pledge? In this piece, Conference News editor Martin Fullard describes the challenging reality of the events industry’s pledge to move towards net zero events– and several initiatives where event professionals can get involved.
That’s all for this week’s edition of The Lookout!
In the meantime, let’s stay connected if we’re not already on Linkedin or follow the PIRATEx team on Twitter. If there’s anything you would like to read about when it comes to online, or digital events, let me know! I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.
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Until next Friday!
The Lookout Newsletter #49
PIRATEx Managing Director