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How to Extend the Conversation after Events and Conferences

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Last week, I participated in an #engage365 Twitter chat. Donna Sanford (@DonnaEngage365), the Community Manager for, engaged me in a debate on “livestream vs. capture?”

I took the stance that livestream is the best way to provide event content, whereas Donna took the other side, arguing that capture (and later replay) is the way to go. Unlike the traditional debate in which the debaters pontificate and the audience listens, Donna and I invited everyone (on Twitter) to participate, especially the #eventprofs community.

Capture and Engage

While some participants noted that they value the “on demand archive” of a virtual conferencesession (or presentation), Donna continually emphasized that captured content is most effective when viewer interaction is facilitated around it.

Specifically, Donna is a fan of providing “mini events” (online) after the face-to-face event, where captured content is broadcast “simulive” and the presenters (from the session) are available to engage the online attendees.

Conference TV: A Concept Worth Considering

During the course of our dialog around captured content, the concept of “Conference TV” surfaced:

Here’s how Conference TV might work:

  1. Mini-event (held online) the week after the conference (e.g. 1-2 hours in duration).
  2. A host (or, co-hosts) “break down” elements of the conference. Think of it like ESPN’s “NFL Primetime” with Chris Berman and Tom Jackson, which airs after Sunday’s NFL action has concluded.
  3. A selected session (from the conference) then airs, in “simulive” mode.
  4. The speakers from the session engage with the online attendees during the simulive session.
  5. At the conclusion of the session, we return to the host(s), who provide further commentary about the session.
  6. A week later, this entire “program” repeats, this time with another session from the conference.
  7. Meanwhile, users are welcome to login 7x24x365 to view all of the on-demand content.

And here are the benefits:

  1. Extend the conversation and dialog well after the event or conference.
  2. Create more effective learning and comprehension (for attendees) of the conference content, which creates more satisfied attendees.
  3. Provide a useful service to people who attended on-site (i.e. don’t you hate it when two great sessions are scheduled for the exact same time?).
  4. Extend the reach of your conference content globally.
  5. Generate additional revenue, in the form of sponsorship or paid access.

I found it interesting how a “livestream vs. capture” debate helped spawn this Conference TV concept. I’m intrigued by it. Use the comments section below to let me know your thoughts. Would this “always on” TV concept work well for your event or conference?


Post contributed by Dennis Shiao

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