At a venue based event, 'housekeeping' tends to include 'there is no planned testing of the fire alarm system today', the location of the toilets, timings of the key elements of the day, invariably the prescribed hashtags and perhaps the wifi code.
TOP TIP: hashtags, Twitter handles and wifi code should be on 'table talkers' on each table, printed to appear at the top of each page of the event schedule/programme or on an easy to hand out info flyer.
For the extended audience, it's one major thing, 'What to do if the internet goes down'!
For the extended audience, it goes without saying that we have 'no planned outage of the Internet provision at the venue today' but the 'in the case of emergency' does need to be addressed especially if the attendees are paying. It's more a contingency case of 'What will we do if the internet goes down'. The same goes for other occasional inevitabilities with 3rd party providers beyond our control. 'Extend The Audience' incorporates several 3rd party platforms which have been 'tried and tested' over time.
Technology is not perfect.
One option is to offer a money back promise which is risky in itself as the attendee ticket money goes towards providing the service in the first place. My preferred option is to record locally to a hard drive and provide exclusive provisioned access to the missed sessions following the outage within a specific timeframe after the conclusion of the event. Extend The Audience programmes will have a follow-up webcast scheduled 7 - 10 days after the event in any case but this all needs conveying to the attendees prior to purchasing a ticket or in the event information communicated with the digital attendees before the event takes place.
Extend The Audience is about the attendee experience after all.
An additional contingency is a secondary presenters studio off-site but this all inflates the budget but is no less vital for contingency planning.
My current experience of attending live streamed events myself always seemed tinged with dissatisfactory and this was echoed by those who have contributed to the development of the Extend The Audience offering. The acknowledgement of the live-stream audience is getting better but I think PCM can offer something richer.
Extend The Audience, therefore, is founded on the following.
- Never being abruptly presented with a 'Back after the break' holding screen
- Being able to communicate and network with fellow digital attendees
- Being able to communicate and network with venue attendees
- Acess to a concierge helpdesk and communications channel with the digital audiences host.
- Studio based Q&A speaker and panel discussions for digital attendees.
Extend The Audience's ultimate mark of success is providing an experience comparable to attending the venue if not better (satisfyingly different). I want attending an event incorporating an Extend The Audience programme to be a parallel alternative with the reason not attending the venue being one of preference because of time, the geography or preferable accessibility.
I also conceive that it could be for specific speaker sessions or for a specific speaker to extend to their own audience.
Satellite events are also in my thinking enabling sponsors or venue attendees to relay the conference back to a Board Room or Meeting Room set aside for employees to watch and take part in the event while continuing a semblance of 'business as usual' for customers and clients. Timely coordinated networking events at the satellite location are a possibility too with live streamed content being scheduled into the host's satellite's event. Extend The Audience associate hosts could be booked to 'anchor' satellite events with a communications channel going back to the venue-based event.
Extend The Audience wrapped events are about extending engagement as well as the event's audience capacity.
In my experience 'being there' is the preferred optimal value proposition in many's eyes but in the age the digital with 'produced preparation' that no longer has to be the case. For some I have worked with developing the digital audience experience concept large conference venues, the travel the accommodation the crowds are an idea of hell on earth.
Several proofs of concept Extend The Audience wrapped events have taken place. Arts & Audience in Reykjavik Iceland in 2014 (which at its peak had a reach of over 2 million), at the British Arts Festival Association's annual conference in 2015 & 2016 and most recently for Stuart Ross's High Growth Summit in October 2016. ETA scheduled sessions are available as podcasts on SoundCloud.
At last year's High Growth Summit a digital attendee met with a venue attendee at the video networking desk accompanied by Summit speaker Floyd Woodrow where a future meeting was planned and a great conversation took place. Even with the limited technical provision at this proof of concept delivery, it manifested this unplanned but engaged dialogue demonstrating how the Extend The Audience wrapper can bridge the digital divide.
A further valuable demonstration came from the British Arts Festival Conference in 2016 where a breakout session I delivered about digitally extending audience reach, which ran an open webcast, was attended remotely by Audience Agent's Howard Buckley who I subsequently met at a conference several months later and picked up the concept of extending audience in a chance encounter conversation.
It's now time for me to monetise which I am extremely excited about.
It was speaking to legal contracts adviser Heather Stanford over Skype from Stamford-Gould Business Management that I'm beginning to build the foundations for turning this audience adventure, informed and inspired by the work I've done with Audiences Europe Network into a deliverable offering for Event Organisers to commission as a wrapper to their future venue-based events.
Be Local - Go Global is my offering.
Social Media for an event can include scheduled Facebook Live, Periscope or Instagram 'streamed by the audience' curated output but 'Extending' is about increasing capacity to share the value the venue based event experience provides.
It's not opening the window it's about adding rooms.
and yes... I must write more.