What’s Behind a Successful Interactive Video Event?

I’ve had a blast over the past year putting together the CredibilityLIVE events with our team at DandB team. We’ve been able to bring some great guests to our small business community including:

As I prepare for this Thursday’s event with Brian Tracy (How to Overcome Professional Obstacles and Grow your Business), I’ve been thinking (and documenting) the different pieces that go into creating a successful interactive video event…  and thought it might be interesting to share some marketing and production tips that go into making a successful event. .

 

Marketing/Promotion

Of course, getting people to show up for an event is not as easy as you might think, even for free events with great guests.  So what have we been doing that works? 

With each event, we always look for our strengths.  Does the guests bring a natural audience?   Is it something that would appeal to the DandB email database?  Is this something we can get people excited about through social outreach and/or social ads?   Is there anything unique we can bring to the marketing?

For example, for this upcoming event, Brain Tracy recorded an intro video.  Because he has a great studio at his offices, this was a no-brainer for his team to create and I think makes a great case for joining us:

This was a great “extra” piece of marketing we did for this last event and something I know we’ll do more of in the future!   Of course, developing the marketing/promotion plan is not all that hard… It’s all about executing to get people to show up and that’s something that should never be discounted!

Productions

The production behind these events isn’t trivial either… especially as our events have grown we’ve increased the quality of each event as we’ve progressed.   While early events were recorded over Skype, our last round have all been done in studios… most done with multiple cameras, teleprompters, green screens and often streamed on location!

The real trick with the production of a live-streaming event is to test, test and test some more. Test (and retest) the upload speed of the internet connection.  If you’re running multiple cameras, test that your “hub” can handle it during event settings.  If there’s natural lighting involved, make sure to test the lighting at the time when you’ll be streaming. If you’re in running a green screen, test what everyone is going to be wearing. During a live event, you can’t always know what’s going to go wrong, but at least you can minimize the chances of technical problems if you test, test and test some more!

While running a live video event isn’t trivial, it also isn’t nearly as complex as you might expect.  I’ve got some great software (Wirecast) that runs on my Macbook Pro and can create quality video shots (including shots from multiple cameras, screen grabs and more) and push them directly to our streaming service providers (some popular ones are LiveStream, uStream and Justin.tv).   Throw in a tool like Facebook’s Live Stream that lets people chat in real time while watching the video and you’ve got yourself a very compelling set up!

The best part of these events really is the interaction with prominent educators, thought leaders and business executives.   It’s always fun to see where the audience is going to take a conversation!

Hope that gives just a taste of some of the marketing and production work that goes into creating our events.   If you haven’t seen one of our live events, then definitely sign up to attend our next event with Brian Tracy.  He’s a great speaker and we’ll be running it out of his studios near San Diego, so there’s sure to be tons  of great value (and did I mention it’s free?)…

Photos from my CredLIVE trip to DC

I’m just finishing up a great trip to Washington DC where I came out to manage the production of a CredibiltyLIVE event with the President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau.

Since I mentioned how much I enjoy taking and editing photos with my iPhone 4S in my last blog post, I thought I’d share some of my favorites from this trip.

U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
"In this temple as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the union the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever"
Lincoln's Stare
Lincoln
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Behind the Scenes with the AP Video Production team
Behind the Scenes with the AP Video Production team
Hutch Hutchison & Steve Cox on CredLIVE
Hutch Hutchison & Steve Cox on CredLIVE
Washington Monument
Washington Monument #1
Washington Monument #2
Washington Monument #2
Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle
White House
White House

The making of a Q&A video series: CredibilityLIVE

I may have been a bad blogger here at 4realz over the past few months, but have been working away on some projects with the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility team that are just now coming to fruition… and so I thought I’d share some of what’s been keeping me so busy.    While working with D&B Credibility, I’ve hired a social media outreach team, created and updated numerous social media profiles (such as our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and WordPress accounts), helped develop strategies with the business development team, played numerous ping-pong games, and spearheaded a project that’s near and dear to me: CredibilityLIVE.

Built based on my experience running Spinnio events, we designed CredibilityLIVE to be a series of monthly events where business owners will get a chance to learn from experts on issues around credit and credibility.  I’ve had the chance to have extended discussions with our first three speakers: John Assaraf, Robert Berkman and Paul Chaney, and can positively say that they’re all fascinating people who will be sure to host informative and interesting conversations!

To take part in the first event with John Assaraf, you need only show up at CredibilityLIVE at 11am PST and use the Facebook chat widget to ask questions!

Interestingly, organizing this series has been a lot more time consuming than any Spinnio endeavor to date… and included rebuilding the platform from the ground up.   The new platform has all the stuff you’d expect from a company like D&B Credibility, with an integrated registration system, white labeled video streaming, well thought out watermark design, and a top-notch marketing/PR campaign… (plus lots of testing!).

There are already over 600 people registered for the first (FREE) event with John Assaraf where he’s going to be talking about how business owners can use the latest in brain research to help reach their potential!  Please, please consider joining us and if you know someone who would be interested, don’t hesitate to invite them!  (It’s free, remember!)

By the way, for some interesting insight into what’s got me so excited to be working with the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp team, check out this interview with CEO Jeff Stibel by Ben Kuo of SoCal Tech.  In the interview, Jeff gives a nice overview of the process of raising $200M to buy and grow the small business unit of D&B and the crazy hiring going on out of our Malibu office.