Has live streaming replaced physical events?

Author Cristiana
Updated May 21st, ’22
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Live-streamed events are nothing new. These things have been going on for a very long time, and surely each of us can think of an event of this type where we’ve been a spectator. Whether we are talking about sporting events, live music competitions, film, and music awards, or concerts, all of these are under the umbrella of live streaming.

With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the network of live-streamed events expanded, and new categories of live streaming content appeared. Categories that took place physically before. This new paradigm has emerged as a response to the health crisis, traffic restrictions, rules of social distance, and participation in physical events. As a result, companies have turned to streaming services to continue their activities. And while the general bias is that live events are not as effective and do not perform as well as physical events, this is far from the truth.

Even though it seemed that moving online separates and creates a deeper distance between us, it gave us some common ground to enjoy our passions outside the boundaries of time and space. It is enough to have a device connected to the internet to continue enjoying what animated us before the pandemic.  

What is live streaming? 

Live streaming means broadcasting live events online to multiple audiences worldwide. Live streams take place in videos without them being recorded, stored, and broadcasted. Instead, you have access to these videos in real-time using a video streaming platform. Nowadays, everything can be streamed. Like TV broadcasts, video games, social media videos, concerts, and any other type of event. Its main purpose is to allow you to watch a large and various video content when it happens. And, considering the actual context, live streaming is a method in which businesses adapt themselves to changes.

Moreover, live streaming platforms can be used by everyone, whether it is someone who watches a video streaming or the person who streams it. The latter does not have to be a celebrity, but someone to say over the internet. During Covid-19, many people have found the passion and talent of being live streamers. 

For a better understanding of live events’ popularity, between January and August 2020,  the number of video streaming events increased by 1468%. In addition, in 2021, the live streaming industry is believed to have reached $70 billion and will grow to $223.98 billion by 2028. Thus, because 90% of people watch online videos, it’s understandable why live streaming platforms have been so successful.

Differences between virtual and physical events

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we all have lacked physical connection. Many of us have not seen our friends and relatives as often as we would have liked, we have not attended cultural events, and we have missed the chance to see our favorite artists at live events. However, live streaming platforms had our back from the start. These have greatly contributed to our well-being. At the same time, they helped us not to go through these periods alone. But, of course, there are many differences between virtual and physical events, as you will see next. 

Perhaps the most intuitive distinction between the two is that virtual events can gather many participants in only one place simultaneously—even unlimited members. And the discussion goes to the point that it is an opportunity for businesses to accumulate leads and reach more people. It is a matter of visibility that can increase brand awareness. With more people present at your event, you enhance your chances to be a hot topic in the news. 

At the same time, new leads carry valuable information. Like data. Mass data. When it comes to physical events, they collect only registration data. It requires a great deal of extra effort from the marketing and sales team to identify potential prospects. In contrast, virtual events collect precise data and analytics about your virtual activity, so the target audience for future marketing uses will be more accurate. 

Did I mention the price for attending a virtual event? Of course, it is cheaper. Let’s take the example of a real-life concert. There are ticket costs, transportation costs, and in some cases, accommodation costs. You’ll get hungry, and you’ll buy overpriced food from the event. When you are in the comfort of your own home, you don’t have to face all this hassle. Internet connection, a charger, and some snacks, and you are all set. As for those who host a physical business event, it is also expensive to support the space rental, staff, transportation, food, accommodation, and any other. Thus, live events exclude travel costs or facility rental from the expenses list. 

Benefits of live streaming your events

What would our social life be without social events? Or entertainment and cultural events? What other food for the soul would we have? Businesses that used streaming services knew how to avoid such gloomy scenarios. And they offered alternatives to keep our lives as close as possible to what we call normalcy. Also, while live-streaming platforms have become some of our best friends, we could note several benefits. Even though it is a comprehensive list, we will present the most important and visible ones.

New ways to connect

We all miss going to all kinds of physical events. But we do not know when we will return to our life of shoulder touching shoulder concerts and festivals. Or to traditional business conferences to share ideas and opinions directly with other attendees. Businesses that didn’t have live streaming on their agenda until the pandemic broke out quickly adapted to the situation. Besides seeing an opportunity in live streaming platforms to keep up with their activity, the real advantage is that it kept people together. Alternatives were found to replace offline events and new ways to connect. 

In addition, neither interaction nor engagement did not suffer from the reimagination of interpersonal contacts. On the contrary! It has even been an increase in interactions with video streaming content than with pre-recorded videos. 

Video streaming makes events accessible

If implementing an event before the social distancing era involved a large amount of money, it is no longer the case. And this can be said by event hosts and event participants. First of all, there are no travel costs. Second, switching cities and even countries for attending an event is no longer a time consumer. 

And when there are no travel costs, it means that space barriers are removed. So, the event organizers, artists, and business conferences can reach new audiences from geographical locations where they wouldn’t be able to go in real life. The same goes for the participants. Those who could not attend an event they were interested in because of physical distance are now favored by streaming services.

Reach more people

Another benefit of virtual events is the limitless number of attendees. No matter how big is the venue an organizer rents, it will never hold an unlimited number of people. So although your event is a very popular one that many people would like to participate in, all of them could never come.

Therefore, using live streaming platforms for your online event does not impose any restrictions on the number of participants. However, if you want it to be a restricted event, you can set this condition to limit this number.

Perhaps you are not convinced that you can reach a larger audience if people have to pay for your live event. Live-streamed events have shown until now that this is not true. Moreover, this tool works to your advantage and brings you the reputation you need. Some happy people with your online event will attend it in person when the situation allows. The secret is to create an experience as authentic and engaging as possible. 

Record your live event

We know that the purpose of a streaming video is to broadcast the event in real-time. But for posterity, it is good to have it recorded. Especially if the event is a success, with valuable guests whose presence is worth archiving the video. At the same time, by recording the live stream event, you can watch the performance of the guests, the dynamics of the event, and figure out what could be improved in the future.

Moreover, you can use pieces of the recorded material for marketing and promotional purposes. Also, you can post parts of the video content on social media to create awareness and engagement. 

Best live streaming platforms to use in 2022

It seems that 2022 is also a marked year by broadcasted videos through streaming services. So, if you are a business or someone who wants to start live streaming over the internet, we invite you to learn about the best video streaming platforms you can use in 2022. 

Twitch is one video streaming platform where people come to see their favorite streamers playing games, discussing different topics, having fun, and interacting with each other. This platform is very interactive and engaging because people can send comments to the streamer and other viewers. At the same time, Twitch is a popular streaming service because it broadcasts e-sports competitions. Among other uses, you can stream your gameplay or watch others playing. In addition, you can follow and subscribe to streamers’ channels, give donations, and make gifts. All in all, it gives you the sense of being part of a community.

Another live streaming platform that gained popularity over the last two years is YouTube Live. This service allows you to video stream, host lives Q&As, teach classes, broadcast events or live entertaining video content. For content creators, YouTube Live is a means to reach their community in real-time. Followers can interact with one another and with the streamers themselves. 

Restream allows you to stay in touch with your audience by streaming videos, podcasts, and virtual events. What is disruptive about this app is that you can multistream to over 30 platforms at once. You can go live across popular channels like Youtube, Facebook, Twitch, or Periscope. Restream’s features allow you to engage your audience with Q&As sessions, live chat, and customizable templates. 

When a video streaming platform is used by more than 50,000 businesses worldwide, it surely does something good. And OneStream Live is one of them. It helps businesses to schedule and live stream their events. In addition, OneStream Live is an affordable solution that has the advantages of increasing reach, creating better brand awareness, and engaging viewers. 

From a distance, but still connected

For the past two years, joining virtually events has become the norm. As unnatural as this reconfiguration may have seemed to us at first, it is the only alternative that ensures the safety and continuity of our relationships with people. There has been a significant increase in live-streamed events lately, and it seems to be a very advantageous strategy for brand marketing. Contrary to popular belief, online streaming events increased brand awareness and engagement with the public and provided valuable insights about them. And according to actual statistics and foresight, live streaming has been here to stay for a long time.