How to host private live streams and virtual events

Vidsummit Conference

Over the past month, I have been working nights and weekends to finish a book that will really help push the world of video communications forward. The Virtual Ticket: How to Host Private Live Streams & VIrtual Events is now available for free here and online at most major online retailers in paperback. The book uses over three years of research reflecting on the new “experience economy” that has emerged.

The recent coronavirus outbreak has stopped the events industry in its tracks. For good reason, large gatherings have been altogether banned in many countries. I hope this book will help event planners rethink their online strategies and become better prepared for a brave new world. From a simple business standpoint, virtual tickets can make any event more profitable and even more diversified as a result. Event planners may not be fully immersed in online technologies; however, the book encourages modern event planners to do passive research to better understand online audiences before planning their own online experiences.

For example, the list above shows commonly paid for virtual experiences, and it’s incredible how common the modern consumer pays for virtual content. Over 500,000 influencers on Instagram are either working with brands directly or putting up their own paywalls to monetize their “digital experiences.” As of 2020, Patreon (a creator subscription service) has paid out over $1 billion dollars to creators offering premium digital subscriptions. In the book, I encourage event planners to experience the feeling of premium digital content subscriptions. Through exclusive access to an awesome Instagram Influencer or Patreon creator, they can better understand the modern online consumer experience that’s evolved from this new “experience economy.”

By understanding modern consumers, the book reviews tried and true ways of engaging audiences. This is a topic I am passionate about, having produced hundreds of live shows myself; also includes amazing research from the authors of the Experience Economy (B. Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore), who have pioneered this topic for business owners globally. Whether you are an event planner or a regular business with the need to connect an audience with an experience, a foundational understanding of experiential marketing is worth reviewing.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a transformational experience for viewers that helps inspire viewers to achieve their life goals. Sound like a big ask? It takes time and practice to understand the way that viewers can engage with your content, which then produces a valuable win-win reaction. When we first started live-streaming, we had no audience — which makes understanding engagement almost impossible. Once we started growing, the most valuable information we received was feedback about our products and services. I remember being blown away by the idea of crowd-sourcing new ideas based on feedback from around the world; now, event planners can be blown away by the thought of live-streaming their events in multiple languages using live translators.

The diagram above is from the chapter about innovations in video conferencing, live streaming and content delivery. Zoom video conferencing, for example, will now allow event planners an easy way to deliver translated content to groups of virtual ticket holders in the cloud. Zoom is easy to use and, after researching what event planners really need, it’s absolutely perfect.

Over time I have come to realize that the ultimate goal is a delivery of education, entertainment and ultimately transformation. The Virtual Ticket applies this type of thinking to actual case studies from large conferences with hundreds of thousands of attendees to virtual summits with only a handful of in-person guests. Using my background in video production, I hope to inspire event planners and marketing professionals alike, to build experiences that can amaze and transform their audiences.

Please feel free to download a free copy here.

Or pick up a paperback copy on Amazon here. (I would love a review if you enjoy the book).


Paul Richards

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