5 Keys to Keeping Your Audience On Throughout A Livestream Event

Fundraising in a virtual world is today’s reality. Many nonprofits are having to move their events online, in order to keep fundraising and power their missions.

But how do you engage your supporters when they aren’t in the room with you?

Thanks to the industry experts at RJ Whyte Event Production, we’ve got the inside track to keep your audience during a livestream event.  These are 5 Tips you won’t want to miss!

1. Keep the Program Short

This is probably the most important point because, unlike an in-person event, viewers can simply log off or change the channel if they don’t want to view your program anymore. You as a producer want to ensure that the program is of a reasonable length, it should not be the same timing as an in-person event.

Think about some of your favorite tv shows, they don’t go longer than one hour long, and if they do how often have you flipped channels?

Think about your audience!

Keep remarks short, keep the different segments of the program quick, and make sure that the overall program is no longer than 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Variety is Key (Performances, Dynamic Set Design)

If you have the ability to switch up the set or change locations within a space, do it! Also because this is a livestream there will most likely be other performances or speakers.

With social distancing in place, remember, those people will be streaming in from their homes which are essentially other “sets”.

A change in scenery keeps things fresh. With all of our virtual events we have always had at least two different sets. One for the main program and a side set for either silent auction, a performance, or an interview.

3. Engage Your Audience (Text to Give Push Notifications, Watch Parties via Social Media, Hashtags, Q&A if Appropriate)

Even though your audience is not right in front of you it is still important to engage with them and interact. Use these two great tools for engaging in a virtual world:

  • Social Media – Be sure to get a social media plan in place for your event.
    • Think about different ways you can encourage guests to participate
    • Use creative hashtags
    • Encourage watch parties
    • Live behind the scenes on social channels
  • Text Messages – Through your fundraising platform you should be able to collect cell phone numbers of your guests through registration.
    • Send push notifications throughout the show
    • Remind viewers to bid on auction items
    • Create urgency to donate to your fund-a-need
    • Provide updates on times, fundraising progress and closing times

The ideas are endless for how you can use social media and texting tools to grab attention, increase engagement and ensure fundraising success!

4. Think Outside the Box and Get Creative with Sponsorships

With there being so many different virtual events out there, think about what helps you stand out from the others! Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there something you can do that’s different?
  • What about your cause, your mission and impact sets you apart?
  • How can you reach your audience and keep the program entertaining?
  • Is there something that you can do to make your donors feel special?

Don’t be afraid to get creative! This could be a personalized touch like a bottle of wine for a viewing party, or a gift certificate to a local restaurant for dinner that night. Maybe there is a local business/restaurant that you could partner with to provide a gift.

You want your VIPs and donors to feel special and chances are you know them well, so figure out what they like that would make the viewing experience even better!

5. Give Viewers a Reason to Stay ‘Till the End

There has to be a reason for viewers to stay tuned-in throughout the show. Think about tactics that keep people watching, including:

  • Important information that’s being released
  • Fundraising Updates
  • Discount code
  • Entertainment or performances
  • Videos, photos or mission moments
  • Giveaways

And if you have celebrity connections this is the time to use them. Maybe they offer a special performance or a shout out! There are endless options but again think about your audience and what will appeal to them.

Just remember, fundraising in a virtual world doesn’t have to be daunting. Just follow these simple steps to create a program and experience that keeps them tuned-in and engaged with your cause.

Guest Author: Kirsten Gooden, Senior Event Producer & Brand Management

Kirsten Gooden

Kirsten has an extensive background in event management, non profit development and congressional relations. Kirsten has overseen large fundraisers, award ceremonies and political events. As Senior Event Producer she executes events and leads RJ Whyte’s marketing and strategic development efforts.

RJ Whyte Event Production

RJ Whyte Event Production