Events and Facebook live

March 9, 2017 Matt Coyne

For those of you that missed it this week, Facebook launched their Live function to most of the world. It was already, umm, live before, but now almost everyone can do it.

If you're on Facebook, you’ve probably already seen it, especially if you follow people like Zuckerberg as he often shares a lot of what Facebook are up to via Live, but I’ve also seen it from a lot of the surf contests I follow online, for example.

For those of you not in the know, Facebook live allows you to use your phone to share “moments” instantly with anyone that follows your Facebook feed.


I'm going to see if I can share one of my triathlons Live this year. Though I think you'd only see a sweaty mess looking down at the camera in desperation (and technically phones aren't allowed at these events)! Anyway...moving on.

In these past few days, I’ve already seen a number of friends sharing Live their lunch with friends or colleagues. Maybe it’s a generational thing… I don’t get it! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to share stuff on Facebook, but I hope you never see me awkwardly sharing my lunch with the world (unless it’s like REEAAALLY good).

To see what some people are up to with Live, check out this short clip:

So lunches, parties, big waves aside, what can Live do for your events?

The clue’s in the title, it’s LIVE. Your events are LIVE. Facebook now offers Live. If you get it by this point, this blog isn't really for you.

With Live, you can get your delegates / exhibitors / press / media / anyone with a smartphone and on Facebook to share moments from your event. You could cover the launch or opening of the event with Live or show cool features, demos, new products, famous faces…whatever you can capture on your phone you could give people in real-time via Facebook.

Here's the thing. You’ve already been able to do this with services like livestream tv to your website for some time (but perhaps at arguably higher costs?!) and apps like Periscope or SnapChat have been available for a while (among other apps). Facebook is also free. And it has a LOT more users. According to January figures, 1.591 billion active users, with just over 1 billion active daily. Wow right?

And your event?

According to Facebook, Live video is 10 times more likely to receive comments / interactions than just a video. They had over 100 million hours of video watched on it's site PER DAY!

If users are more likely to comment. Then they're more likely to share. You're more likely to extend your reach.

If you avoided the likes of Periscope in the past, you really shouldn't ignore this. It adds a new freedimension to sharing more of what is actually going on at your event.

But how do you make use of this really simple free software?

Three things:

  • Grow your Facebook audience (B2B events / audiences are notoriously low)
  • Embed your Facebook page into your website (to stream from there if not just on your Facebook page)
  • Share your live feed

So it’s actually pretty easy. It gives you a chance to showcase live content at your event with next to no budget (if any?) but also gives your customers (exhibitors / visitors / speakers etc.) a chance to share live what is going on around them.

This brings back the old adage of events creating experiences for people. Make it that extra bit special for customers. If you have something cool. Something new. Something exciting. Someone amazing. They may, just may share it live on Facebook and you can extend your reach a little bit further.

But what about paid for conference sessions.. are you going to stop people from streaming live? That could open up a whole new can of worms...

Meanwhile, want to see me eating my lunch? (click here)

And no, you will never see me eating my lunch live, sorry.

About the Author

Matt  Coyne

Matt has been working in events & exhibitions for over 10 years. From organising, to design, to website, and onto registration and intelligent data services, Matt has extensive experience at every level. With a background in organisation, marketing and design Matt is able to cut through the technology and approach data and registration solutions with the end users in mind. As Technology Engagement Architect for GES and an active participant in the industry, Matt has been involved in a variety of industrywide research projects and is an expert in how to prove ROI and manage data effectively.

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