So you want to stage a LinkedIn Live event but you’re not sure where to start, or how to get the most of out the experience? Look no further. This article covers the practicalities of staging an event, and provides some best practice tips to help both you and your audience get value from the event.
The practical side of LinkedIn Live
The first step may sound obvious: you have to be eligible to stage a LinkedIn Live event. Only qualified creators and pages can stream live content, so check the eligibility criteria first. Your next step is to choose a streaming tool. LinkedIn itself recommends one of its partners, including Restream, Socialive or Vimeo, but it is also possible to use Zoom or WebEx. Having chosen your streaming tool, you need to use the resources provided by the relevant partner to connect it to your LinkedIn page.
Streaming tool practicalities over, you can create your event in your LinkedIn page’s admin view, and then connect the streaming tool to the event. Finally, you can enter the studio from your broadcasting tool and start streaming! If streaming is too much for your first attempt, you can set up a LinkedIn Audio Event instead, which does not require a third-party streaming tool.
Best practice hints and tips
The practical side is very much only the start of hosting a LinkedIn Live event, however. As with any other event, you need to be clear about why you are holding it, and what you want to achieve. You also need to think about your target audience, and pick a topic that will interest them. A LinkedIn Live event is, first and foremost, an event like any other. It is therefore worth considering the usual ‘five questions’ as a way to structure your preparation and planning.
There are a few differences with a LinkedIn Live event. You don’t need a venue, for example, so you don’t need to plan quite so far ahead; LinkedIn recommends starting about two to four weeks before the event. It also suggests sending out invites to at least 10 likely attendees as well as promoting the event using Event Ads, though this may just be a way to increase the use of paid-for activity. You might want to consider inviting some guests to ‘join’ you on stage. You can then ask them to promote the event to their social media followers, and increase your reach.
Another difference between in-person events and LinkedIn Live is the scheduling. We are used to events being during the day—but will that work best for your intended audience? Consider when they might want to attend when making scheduling decisions. This means thinking about their time zone, and also whether they will want to attend as part of their working day, or in the evening.
It is also worth considering the duration of your event. You need longer than about 15 minutes to let your audience discover you and engage. However, attendance will drop off after about an hour or two, so it is not worth going on any longer than that. It is also a good idea to check your equipment, and make sure that you know what you are doing. A practice run with an internal audience could well pay off if this is the first time that you have staged a live event online.
During the event, your moderator should try to engage your audience by asking questions, responding to comments, and using tools like polls to generate interest. Again, it is worth drawing on experience of other events, such as webinars, to create a good experience for your audience. Online presentations are harder than in-person events, because you don’t get to ‘read the room’. You may therefore want more eye-catching content, such as strong visuals, to grab people’s attention.
After the event: getting further value
One important function of a LinkedIn Live event is to create some resources that you can then share via your social media channels to increase ongoing engagement. You may, for example, be able to download the recording of the event, and slice it to create highlights. Creating a strong event hashtag will help to make your resources discoverable. Perhaps most importantly, you can and should continue to engage with event attendees via Twitter or LinkedIn, sharing resources and keeping the conversation going. This will ensure that you get full value from your efforts.