Outdoor events are not going to happen anytime soon. The isolation is not over yet and (some)many people crave for entertainment and communication with others. You can provide both! You have the power to click “go live” and create an interactive space for your audience. A space where they can talk to you, engage with your performance or teaching, and exchange thoughts with all the other stream participants. Even when you are performing an act that allows them to sit back, relax and enjoy, there is time before and afterwards to make the event more interactive and personal.
Don’t let these times bring you down – shine in the spotlight of your own living room lamp, in front of the camera! Bring people together, bring them joy and let them experience wonderful moments.
This article will give you an overview of possibilities and ideas on how to make your event more interactive and engage your viewers, so they come back and bring some friends next time. We will give you a handy tech checklist to prepare you for your stream, followed by tips on interactivity and engagement before your event, at the start of the actual livestream, during the stream, at the end of the stream and after you go offline again.
When you are ready to stream, we would be thrilled to see your event submitted to our free online event calendar so we can share it with everyone who is interested!
Quick tech checklist for your next online live event
Technology is not always our friend. How many times have you witnessed someone that wanted to start a simple Power Point presentation or connect a laptop to an external screen and they were surrounded within minutes by a small crowd with zero technical knowledge trying to solve the problem for 15 minutes? I had whole meetings cancelled because of this! We want to give you some tips on how you should prepare to avoid this to be able to concentrate on engagement and interaction instead! Make sure the battery of your device is fully charged to 100% or keep it plugged in during the stream.
- If you are streaming from a smartphone, set all conversations and messangers to mute, as well as your ringtone. If you are using WiFi, just disconnect from the telephone signal to avoid someone disturbing the stream by calling you. Viewers could be annoyed or confused by the vibration or sound of incoming messages.
- Disable anti-virus software during the stream to avoid pop-ups while we don’t needit. Also it may slow down your device. Test your stream beforehand. No matter which app, software or website you want to use, make sure you fully understand the functions and test them with a friend before going live for the first time.
- Check your camera and microphone.
- Check that you have a stable internet connection with a preferance for a wired solution for improved connectivity and consistency.
Ideas for interaction at every stage of your live stream event
Now we get to the spicy part – the actual tips to engage your viewers and make your Event interactive! If you have any ideas that we could add, don’t hesitate to write us. We’re a community and we want to share your knowledge too!
Stage 1: Prepare your viewers for your event upfront
Prepare your fans and viewers for your upcoming live event and make them excited about it days before it takes place. The more you interact with your fans and followers before going live, the more of them will come.
Here are some tips on what you can do to get more people interested in participating in your upcoming event: Post a survey on your social media channels
Ask your followers something related to the upcoming event. Let them decide what you are going to show them. Unsure about the costume for the next live act? Let your fans choose between options and wear the option most people have chosen. Are you teaching them something, like yoga or meditation? Ask what your fans what they are interested in learning or what skills they would like to improve! Having a live music performance? Maybe your fans would like to hear a special song next time that you haven’t planned on performing?
Play a game and let your followers be even more involved
One of our Cybercircus community artists, Cybercitypunk, started a game called “Words and Art”. Followers would submit a word, answering to the according Instagram story, or commenting beneath the actual post, and our artist would choose 10 of the submitted words randomly and create a visual story of digital edits and videos containing the words each week. The story grew along with the engagement of the audience and fans started to write whole plots for the upcoming episode. She was happy to obtain incredible inspiration and create with others as they were happy to be part of a collaborative art series (At least they said so! 😉 )
Many of these things can be applied to any kind of event, but there are indefinite ways to build on the idea and make your own participative concept.
Start a social media contest and make your fans feel appreciated
Do you sell tickets for your events? Give people the opportunity to win some free entry passes! Do you teach for free? Give someone the chance to have a one on one session with you! Or maybe you want to spread more awareness about your art? Provide a huge discount or free offer on some of your merchandise! Make your followers and fans feel special and unique and they will become your biggest advocates and spread the word about you.
Stage 2: Interactive elements at the start of your live stream
Camera, sound, action! All attention is now on you and you should make the best out of it! This is the chance to engage with your viewers for the first time, and as we all know, the first impression lasts. How can you make a good and long lasting impression?
Introduce yourself and present the purpose of the event
It sounds so simple, but maybe you are a bit nervous, your setup may not be working as you planned, your cat may jump on the computer and press the ESC button and voilá – you panic and forget what you are here for. No worries. Your viewers will be more than happy to wait and you can just relax and start with a simple introduction. Welcome the viewers with a smile, thank them for participating and introduce yourself and your event. If you experience any technical issues, let the viewers know and they will understand and be patient.
Small talk – get to know your audience
Ask questions to engage with the people in your chat if you have this option. Try asking them where they are from or if they are already familiar with what you are doing. Pick up some of the chat messages and comment on them and you can build a stronger connection with your audience and make them want to communicate more with you and the other viewers.
Engage with the feedback of your fans
Have you received any nice comments lately, or perhaps some constructive feedback? Let your audience know about it! Read it out loud and say a few words why you appreciate it and how it helps you to evolve. Let the viewers know that their love and support for your performance or lesson is valued and that they are not talking to a wall!
Stage 3: During your live stream
Not every event needs to be interactive while it’s happening. Whether you are performing an act, presenting a show or giving a concert, you want your audience to relax and enjoy. However, be aware that the internet connectivity or other technical issues may occur so take care of them as soon as possible. If you are trying to teach some new skills, it would be valuable to collect feedback on their progress.
Pay attention to the technical status of your stream
A weak internet connection may cause trouble during your event. Always check if the quality of the stream is consistent and prepare some fast troubleshooting for the event before it starts to make sure you can react efficiently. Keep your audience informed on what is happening and that you are taking care of it. Also, it may happen that your computer or anti-virus software need that super important update exactly when you don’t need it and they just disturb the streaming. So take a look every now and then on your device to make sure you are actually still live and visible!
Pay attention to your students and their needs
Are they having trouble to implement what you are teaching? Would they like you to repeat the last step? Ask if everything is alright and empower the viewers to tell you when they need some repetition or additional clarification on what you are trying to teach them.
Stage 4: More interaction with your viewers at the end of the live stream
Don’t just say goodbye and wave into the camera once you are done with the event. Plan in a little bit of time afterwards to start a conversation and turn first-time viewers into admirers of your work and art. You have done a great job so far and your viewers appreciate you – so show them some love as well!
Say thank you!
Thank your audience for taking their time to watch what you have created for them. Simple, but very important!
Ask them for valuable feedback
If you have taught them some new skills, ask them what they would like to learn or improve on next time. Not being able to be present with your students like in a real class is challenging – for you and for them. Maybe the progress is a little bit slower and they need some extra time or help. ListeN to them and implement the feedback in your next class.
If you have performed a show or an act, ask the viewers what they liked most and what they would like to see in the next show, if you are flexible with the concept. Maybe they love how you played the fire hoop and want to see more of that? It will surely make them want to come back to see you playing it again!
Start a Q&A session
If you have enough time, you can offer your audience a Q&A session after your event. They ask, you answer. Easy.
Chat contest – rewards for interaction and attention
I mentioned above the possibility to engage your viewers by starting a little contest upfront. If you feel like this is too much work for now, here is an alternative. Ask a surprise question about something regarding the event that took place just now and who answers first, gets a little present. You could ask a knowledge question (What is this yoga pose called again?) or some funny question (How many bananas was I juggling?). I am sure you are creative and will come up with something!
Stage 5: How you can follow up with your fans on social media
Your event was a success and you are done now, right? Nope! You can certainly follow up with those who have participated and engage those who haven’t yet.
Post a follow-up post
Just say thank you again. A simple post on your social media platforms will show your viewers that you are grateful for their time and that you appreciate them. Perhaps someone had to leave your event early and didn’t get informed about important announcements? This is your chance to inform them and keep them engaged!
Make a ‘best of’ montage video with scenes from the stream
If you have saved the event as a video, you could choose some nice moments and make a short “best of” video clip. It reminds the viewers of the fun they had and makes potential new viewers interested in your next event. They will surely be happy to leave a comment beneath.
Now it’s their turn – Challenge them!
Make the event even more interactive by letting your followers participate in hallenges! Let them show the new yoga pose they have learned, make them create an interpretation of a song you have performed, or maybe challenge them to juggle some lemons! Whatever suits you. Create a special hashtag for the challenge and repost some of the videos or photos they upload on your Instagram or Facebook page or stories. If you use TikTok, make a video and let them answer it.
What’s your ideas for interaction?
We hope that you enjoyed our tips, as some of them come from experience and worked well for us and our followers. We want to inspire you to build up on the ideas presented in this article and evolve them and make up your own live stream interaction plans for your audience. If you have further ideas and want to share them with other artists, write us an email or drop a message on Instagram, we would be thrilled to hear from you! If you have any events planned, make sure to add them to our event calendar for free 🙂 .
Don’t forget to share this article with artists who might need the tips and inspiration!
Stay safe, stay awesome!