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Live, pre-recorded & on-demand virtual events (and the advantages and disadvantages you need to know)

If your goal is to find and connect with your audience, get more leads, and grow your business, one of the most effective things you can do is host a virtual event.

In the past year, the number of organisations embracing virtual events such as webinars and seminars has increased exponentially— from corporate offices looking for smarter collaboration, to the entertainment industry finding creative ways to broadcast events to an at-home audience.

The benefits of virtual events are clear, but when it comes to live broadcasting vs pre-recorded or on-demand, what is the best option for your business? We unpack the three best broadcasting options for your next event, including the benefits and disadvantages of each.

Benefits of broadcasting live

If you’re looking for the most natural broadcasting option that encourages interaction between you and your audience, live broadcasting might be the right choice for your next event. This doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice every time—live broadcasting doesn’t leave much room for error. Let’s have a closer look at the benefits of live broadcasting.

Engagement

When an event is broadcast live, it gives an unparalleled opportunity for audience engagement. With features such as live chat and Q&A sessions, your attendees can interact with you and each other, which helps improve engagement and build trust. Whether it’s a product launch, internal training, a marketing webinar or a company all-hands, live broadcasting or live streaming as it is also known, is the closest you’ll come to replicating the experience of an in-person event.

Live Q&A, voting and polling

The best virtual event platforms will offer live Q&A sessions, voting and polling. This is especially important if your event is a strata meeting, virtual or hybrid annual general meeting (AGM), webinar or investor update. Live Q&A and voting sessions contribute to more informed and collaborative discussions and help you to gauge a better understanding of your audience.

You can still record your session

Your virtual event doesn’t have to be confined to the people who registered live. Once everything has wrapped up, your virtual event provider should supply you with a recording of your event as well as any requested transcripts. These recordings can be shared later as a downloadable asset or spliced up for social media and other marketing purposes.

Disadvantages of live-streaming 

Just like warts and all of live television, streaming your event in real-time can be engaging and spontaneous, but without professional help to ensure everything runs smoothly, you could open yourself up for something going astray. Here are some of the disadvantages that can occur with live streaming.

There might be mistakes or delays

Hosting a live event means being very prepared to work with problems as they arise. If you don’t have an experienced virtual event provider working with you, it will be up to your organisation to ensure that you can overcome any connectivity issues, delays from remote presenters and other mishaps.

You’re restricted by schedules

Just like an in-person event, live broadcasting can restrict your number of attendees as not everyone will be able to join your event at the time you choose to hold it. If you’re marketing your event to an international audience, time zones have to be kept in mind also. Working with an organisation that offers a recording service is the best way to minimise this disadvantage.

Benefits of on-demand events

With the right virtual event platform, on-demand broadcasting can offer the best of both worlds. Let’s have a closer look at the benefits your organisation could experience.

You can reach a broader audience

If your audience is unable to attend your live event or if you want the value of your live event to last, so that future audiences can access and engage with it, on-demand broadcasting may be the right choice for you. On-demand events help broaden your reach and allow you to capture the biggest audience possible.

You can edit out mistakes & improve your content

Let’s face it — live events are open to glitches. Perhaps a speaker can’t make it on the day, there are technical issues, attendees can’t work out how to stream your event or you’re not 100% happy with how some of the content has come across. With on-demand broadcasting, you can enjoy the benefits of an interactive live stream but with the bonus of being able to edit out the bits you’re not so happy with, tighten up segments and even include new content—such as audience interactions, music and extra interviews—that can improve the value of your event.

Disadvantages of on-demand broadcasting

There aren’t too many disadvantages to on-demand broadcasting, except that your audience may experience some of the cons that we mentioned as relevant for live-streaming. Remember though—any mistakes can be edited out for future audiences.

Benefits of a pre-recorded virtual event

When an event is pre-recorded, you have complete control over the content and how polished the end result is. All you have to do is record and then stream once you’re ready to go live. Let’s have a look at the benefits of a pre-recorded broadcast.

Accommodate for every schedule

Rather than one broadcast time, you can schedule your event to stream at the best time for every timezone that your target audience lives in. This makes your event feel live but will maximise your reach. If there are people who still can’t make it at the designated stream time, simply make your virtual event on-demand.

Edit for impact

Your ability to edit for optimal impact is even better than on-demand broadcasting. You have greater control of the end product than you ever could with a live broadcast.

Consider a live/recorded hybrid

Why not pre-record some polished content and include it as segments in your live or on-demand event? Not only does having different media to cut to in-between speakers help increase engagement by breaking up the flow of speakers, but it can also add a professional feel to your overall event.

Disadvantages of pre-recorded broadcasts

When an event is too polished or you can’t interact with your audience, it’s hard to build trust and engagement like in a live event. Let’s take a closer look at the disadvantages of pre-recorded events.

It’s harder to build hype

Marketing a live virtual event can be easier than a pre-recorded video because you can create hype and a sense of urgency. People are excited to hear speakers in a spontaneous setting and that’s hard to replicate.

You take the spontaneity out of it

When a presenter is spontaneous it can help to improve engagement and create authentic moments that build trust with your audience.

You can’t gain the valuable insights that come with interactivity

Polling a live audience or holding moderated Q&A sessions can give you unequivocal insights into your target market that can benefit every area of your business. With pre-recorded virtual events, it’s much harder to gain those benefits in a way that feels authentic and encourages off-the-cuff conversations. If you must do a pre-recorded virtual event, consider sending out follow-up communications asking for feedback or conduct a post-event survey.

What’s the best option for your business?

As you can see there are pros and cons that go with any broadcast style. However, one thing that ties them all together is that with the help of a professional and experienced virtual event provider, you can experience all the benefits of live or on-demand events while avoiding almost all the disadvantages.

At Express Virtual Meetings, experienced virtual teams and leading web conferencing platforms are bursting with features that can help you create the ultimate event that will help you reach your organisational goals and delight your audience. From moderating, managing and troubleshooting a live event, to helping you record your on-demand event for maximum impact, we’ve been there to help Australian businesses for over 20 years.


Book a demo with us today, contact the team or call 1300 849 300.

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