February 16, 2021

Planning for Livestream Events

2355 Productions
2355 Productions
Planning for Livestream Events

Show Notes

Episode 11

For this episode, we’re keeping it in the family. Ryan’s brother Scott is also a video producer and owner of Broadleaf Video Production in Illinois. The world of livestream has come on strong, and Scott has a lot of experience in this area. He’s sharing several things he has learned that can help make your next livestream engaging and successful. We’re discussing watch parties, location choice, virtual interaction, and more.



  • For more insight into livestream and hybrid events, check out Episode 9 of our podcast with Adam Rife, Event and Production Manager at Markey’s Rental and Staging.
  • As always, feel free to contact us if we can help make your livestream event a success.

Episode Transcript

These transcripts are computer generated

Ryan Sarver 0:10
Hello, and welcome to the marketing and engagement podcast brought to you by 2355 Productions. This podcast is all about exploring different tactics for marketing, but also strategies and techniques to create lasting engagement with donors and customers. I’m your host, Ryan Sarver, and this is episode number 11. businesses and organizations are still trying to get back to normal with events and meetings, if you haven’t noticed, but it seems we’re all still a ways off from getting back to to where we were. So with that in mind, we talked with Scott Sarver, if you recognize the last name, it’s because he’s my brother, but also happens to be a video producer in Illinois, who has been producing quite a few virtual events for organizations this past year. And those organizations have seen some great success. He shares with us some of the questions he’s been asking on the front end to help everyone be prepared and get and get their minds all in the same place. And, and also some of the things that that didn’t work well. Virtual events are here to stay for a bit longer, and he offers some great tips. So if you think you’re gonna be hosting an event anytime soon, virtual or otherwise, I think he’s got some great things to say and for and for us all to take note of. So with that said, let’s jump right in. Well, Scott, thanks so much for joining us today.

Scott Sarver 1:34
Oh, thanks, Ryan. It’s good to be here with you. Sit down a little chat brothers.

Ryan Sarver 1:38
Yes, brother, brother, chat, family time,

Scott Sarver 1:40
it’s like looking in the mirror. Almost.

Ryan Sarver 1:43
It’s a little distorted. When you look at a funhouse mirror. It’s a funhouse mirror. things go south. All right. So Scott, tell us a little bit. Let I know what you do. But tell everybody else what you do where you’re at all that good stuff.

Scott Sarver 1:55
Sure. Yeah. So I’m in Central Illinois, Bloomington normal, and I run broadleaf video production. Do the the storytelling for clients try to make compelling pieces of video that will engage and have a good return for the clients. But in this last year, what we’re sitting down to talk about is jumped kind of both feed into some live streaming live stream events production.

Ryan Sarver 2:22
Yeah, so those kind of came on pretty strong this last year, things are slightly off. And so tell us a little bit and you’ve done some small live stream things where you just help people take like, digital meetings public for some public, you know, right for the county, government, county government and so forth. But talk to us a little bit about events, like what is what are the some of the types of events that you’ve, you know, you’ve shot the video for, but you’ve also kind of produced it what, tell us a little bit about the different kinds of events? Sure, yeah.

Scott Sarver 2:52
So I, I’ve been in a live production setting. Really, since I got into video all kind of jump back a little bit in at our alma mater, I worked in our video production department where we would capture live events, multiple cameras, learned a lot of the switching and whatnot, and then spent some time at a large church here locally, where I did the video production for the Sunday morning event. So you know, very, very familiar with the production in that aspect, not just the pre produced video, but doing live things. And then for the last couple of years, I’ve been doing some live streaming for county government, and right about the time that everything went crazy. March, mid March, last year, I was actually producing some video for a longtime client. We were wrapping things up and we everybody could see what was coming. And you know, I tell them, I said, you know, we can transition and move to a live event. In most of my clients, I kind of reached out to some of them and said, Hey, I know that I work with a lot of not for profits that do fundraisers and things of that nature. And I said, I know that this is the main source of income for most of you, or one of your main fundraising events, you know, we can transition and do some things like this. And really, I think a lot of people were expecting us to only be locked down for a couple of weeks. Right? And so about July, people said, Okay, this is going to be going on a little bit longer than what we initially expected. So let’s look to see what we can do. So what that transitioned into was never really run kind of the full gambit of just restreaming some stuff, you know, some some zoom meetings or whatnot for the county government so that they could be in compliance with open meeting. But then taking some of these Gallas, some of these banquets and figuring out how to do them in an engaging way. So we’ve gone I think, since August, I have done somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 plus events, low 20s. And I’ve probably done close to a half million to $600,000 total funds raised between all the events that I’ve done. So yeah, just took a look to see how we could transition into that space. And there’s been a couple of things along the way, whether it’s been a true live stream where we are just putting content out and pushing it out for someone. And then some of them were interactive, where we were, you know, engaged with the client, some of them. fundraising, they were asking folks to do some bidding and some voting and whatnot, and, and did a little bit of that as well.

Ryan Sarver 5:21
Yeah. So what have you seen that you think has really worked? Because I mean, we’ve seen a lot that’s worked and not worked out there. And you know, having done 20 different events with different kinds of clientele. We do a lot of stuff for nonprofits as well. But what have you seen has been the most effective because transitioning from a live thing to a to a recorded thing is weird, and no one knows really what to do. But what have you seen has been some of the the events that have been most successful? What what’s that interaction? Like? Has there been interaction? What is it what you know, what are they doing? Yeah,

Scott Sarver 5:51
so there are, as I look at things there, there’s some things that I tell people that are important to remember, whenever you start thinking about doing a live stream. It isn’t feel the dreams, you know, so it’s not if you just broadcast it, people will come to it. And I think we’ve all figured that out. Right? Yes.

Ryan Sarver 6:07

Scott Sarver 6:08
just want to reinforce that with the clients to say, we have to think about how we watch this. And one of the questions that I always ask them is to say, we have had a plethora of live streaming events. You know, we’ve all seen things on our social media feeds, we’ve been invited to things and I say, Did you go to it? Did you attend? if you will? Did you watch or did you not air quote,

Ryan Sarver 6:29
attend? Alright,

Scott Sarver 6:30
so one of the things I always ask is say, what events? Have you gone? What events have you watched? And why did you watch them? You know, and what did you like about them? Because sometimes we can get so close to what we’re doing. It’s important to us we go I’m I want to watch it, I’m gonna watch it. Because this is my not for profit, and we get excited about it. But yet, no one else, no one else is excited about one else’s. So the very first thing that I always say is what do you want to see? What what interests you to sit down and watch? And then some of the other strategies that I throw that one out there first? What is it that you would take time out of your day? especially being live that you would want to watch?

Ryan Sarver 7:09
The other? And that’s a great question like, right, because getting out of that is like

Scott Sarver 7:15
everything, because I don’t watch media, it there are very few things that I watch in real time, whenever they air, right? I live off of you know, I watch YouTube a lot. But you know, we all have our services, whether it’s Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, we watch asynchronously, right? We don’t watch when it happens. Mm hmm. And a lot of times if it’s going back to TV, because that’s really how we have, you know, trained ourselves to do this. If I can watch a whole series, back to back and binge it, I’m gonna do that

Ryan Sarver 7:49
rather than wait every week anymore, right? This isn’t this isn’t the 80s I want my time on it

Scott Sarver 7:54
now. Right? There are very few things that I go that I get so excited about that I go, I am willing to take this as it comes week to week is so I always looked what what brings you to the table, what brings you to your computer, your TV to watch a live stream. But then some of the other things that have been very important is as much as possible, and as much has been safe given conditions, localities and all that sort of stuff, if you can have and host a watch party. Right. So a lot of these places, a lot of these events that we’ve you know, kind of taken the place of have been banquets or gala or things like that. So you generally have eight to 10 people that you’re sitting with, you have a table captains of the community, right? So I’ve encouraged people to say, if you can get a group of people to host watch parties, if they’re comfortable having three people if they’re comfortable having five people you know, whatever it is, that is that’s going to be really key, right? Because you’ve got a a champion on site to say, hey, please come to my house. And we’re gonna watch this. And then when you have that champion, if you will, that your your host. They know why they’re going to that banquet, right? And let’s let’s drill down to it, most of these gals and events are fundraisers, right? So they’re going to be there, then there’s, they help set that expectation to say, when you come to this, you know, hey, this isn’t just coming over my house to hang out and watch something fun. We’re raising some money for a good cause and you’ve got your champion there in person doing their thing. The other thing that’s really important with that is you get the opportunity. You set it at an event a date, if you invite me over for dinner. And I say yes, the chances of me going to that are huge, right? Because right, rarely Am I gonna go Oh, yeah. Hey, Ryan, I’m not coming over tonight. I said that I would, but I’m not not going to.


I’m signed up for some live stream stuff. In the middle of my day, even in the middle of a pandemic. I’ve gone out I don’t want to do this or the yard needs to be mowed or my dog wants to be walked. And I skip right right. When you’re fundraising, it’s important to have people right there because there is a little bit of energy around that. So as best you can get some community involvement around it, right? If it’s a sport, yeah, I talked with some sportsmen about doing some stuff, they’re like, how do we get people to watch it, I said, Take the money that you’re going to spend for your venue, your location, or your catering there and get a flat, you know, get a hotel pan of chicken wings, you know, still engage your, your catering vendor, have people sign up ahead of time, we need 10 people. So I need, you know, 100 wings, right, and a case of beer or whatever. And a bunch of guys are going to sit around and eat wings and watch this and do a bid. Right? So. So having some type of involvement engagement in that one,

Ryan Sarver 10:48
physical engagement, you know, I think that’s the thing that we’ve, as we’ve talked to some others is that digital is one thing, but like, there’s got to be some kind of physical engagement, because I mean, that’s what you’re losing with the event, you know, you’re not just losing the presenter on the stage or losing some of that human community interaction and energy that helps you raise money. Absolutely. And then the other thing that I oftentimes encourage people to do is say, this is not going to be a one to one drop in replacement for what you’ve done in the past. setting those expectations,

Scott Sarver 11:24
right, we need to think about your presentation. A presentation that works really well live may work well digitally, but it may not as well. So how do we how do we overcome those things? And it’s the same question that we sit and we ask a client, whenever they say, Hey, we want a video. Or you want a video, but really what you want is something else, you either want a new customer, you want to do this, and you just see the video is your vehicle. That same conversation happens here. And then the I think the last most important thing that I encourage people to think about is your marketing efforts surrounding this need to be as much if not more than what they were for your live event. Just getting out in front of your base, whether you use a CRM, whether it’s phone calls, or whatnot, you need to be out in front of people encouraging them and, and participating with them. And with that, you need to do good follow up. Right? It’s, it may take you a week and a half, two weeks to do it. But you need to get on by email, you need to get on the phone, and you need to talk to the people that were part of your event. So there’s a little bit of legwork that goes in and around both sides of that. So those are the the big tips that I always kind of tell people, especially for a fundraising event for a live stream event, here are the things that I think that are most important as we sit down as we talk about the technical details of how we want to do it.

Ryan Sarver 12:55
Yeah, I was just thinking about, you know, I look at my email account sometimes and I see like, oh, we’re gonna have this live webinar at 3pm. And, you know, like, Oh, that’s, that’s interesting. And then it’s like, again, something happens, or, again, I’m distracted or whatever. And it’s just like, yeah, it’s not worth it. But I think, you know, coming back to that main point, maybe I’m just beating a dead horse or but you know, like, if I might have an appointment, my friends, like, I get to hang out with my friends. And we’re gonna watch this together. And that has a much different, you know, I want to be with my friends. And we happen to watch it, you know, like in connecting those two that you want to make it so they want to put it on their calendar, not that it’s another task on their calendar. You don’t I mean, it’s not not an obligation, but it’s a it’s an enjoyment thing for them.

Scott Sarver 13:39
Right in there is and I’m gonna pick up an incredibly broad brush here and paint within

just a second.

Ryan Sarver 13:44
All right, there we go.

Scott Sarver 13:46
I have been to any number of banquets, right. Any number? Well, where I’ve sat down, they’ve had rubber chicken and undercooked green beans, right. And, and you spend a lot of money to do that. And that you know that you know that there’s funds that are going out of that ticket price back to your organization, which is which is great. But there’s there’s a lot of cost there. One of the best pre pandemic fundraising events that I went to was a dueling piano event. And the organization took about 10 minutes in the middle of a kind of their intermission. And they talked about their organization we shared showed a video that I created for him. But that whole event basically was just getting together and having a good time. You know, you were able to talk with people, you you kind of had a little bit of that fun atmosphere. And at one of the events that I had done, there was a viewing party in the same hotel where we were set up. And it was a participant It was a version of Dancing with the Stars. And one of the dancers hosted his watch party there and he came down afterwards and he said, you know what I really loved about this event he goes, doing it live is great. But what I loved about this is I could interact with people that were around me. We weren’t in a big crowd in a ballroom he’s like I could actually see the dances better. Because we videoed them beforehand. And he said, and I got a lot more social around this and, you know, built around this event. And then the nice thing about that event total was, that was their second best Dancing with the Stars event that they had ever done. And they raised, I think the final number was about $275,000. That night, a couple dollars. Yeah. And, and here’s what it was, it was fun. You know, we didn’t get too serious. You know, obviously, there was a, there was a couple, please, they talked about the organization, we shot a testimony of you know, how the organization had impacted the people that they serve, which I think is an important thing. You sit down, you get, you get somebody to talk about your organization from that aspect from your service standpoint. And again, this is mostly not for profit, you know, kind of view. But then everything else was fun. You know, and it was, you know, $1 in this is how it worked, it was $1 per vote. And they raised about a quarter million dollars plus, right. And one of the things from a development standpoint, just for development directors that are out there, potentially listening to this is they had more small dollar donations at that event than what they had ever had before. So a lot more of the 510 dollar donations. And one of the things I may be jumping ahead, one of the things that I’m looking at here in 2021, is obviously, there’s a lot of hope to return back to some of the things that we had been able to do before. But my prediction would be is that your virtual type event is here to stay in some type of capacity. And I think it’s important to look at this, whether it’s, you know, an add on to your already live event, to be able to reach out to more people, right, and be able to, to encourage some of those folks that don’t want to pay the money for a ticket or don’t have the time or or even if they don’t feel comfortable about going out in public yet again,

Ryan Sarver 17:04
or if they’re not in your location even right,

Scott Sarver 17:06
yeah, so you can have a an international watch. So this event happened in Champaign,

Ryan Sarver 17:13
Champaign, Illinois, Vermont,

Scott Sarver 17:14
yet Champaign, Illinois, and I could see where viewers were happening. And we had viewers in Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, there a couple West Coast states, I think Utah, California checked in. So there were there were viewers that would not have been there at that live event that they were able to participate and watch. And and I didn’t have access to see if or how much they donated. But the development directors just like, this is spectacular. We’re seeing donations that we didn’t get before. We’re seeing those smaller donations that we weren’t getting before. And I think it’s in part because we opened it up to a broader audience.

Ryan Sarver 17:52
Yeah, you know, and I think it’s about thinking about things differently. And it’s not kind of going back to that Field of Dreams analogy, like you can’t just throw put up on a screen what you’ve done in the past. And you’ve got a there’s got to be some time thought about it. And I think you know, some of the other development directors we’ve talked to is kind of that same thing is like there’s this broader base. And there are people that you know, maybe it’s not as we go back to it, and that there’s things that go back to the traditional thing where it’s maybe Yeah, it’s $100, a ticket or something like that. But there are some people that just don’t want to do that. Right. And that doesn’t mean they don’t want to give or participate. And so how can you incorporate those two, those two things together? Because honestly, at this point, we’re recording this right now. And it’s the very entertaining that January, January 3, are you trying? Yes, we’re at the end of January. And I don’t know where we’re gonna be in the next 11 months. Right. Yeah. I mean, and who knows? Yeah,

Scott Sarver 18:44
the interesting thing is, I already have clients booked out into April and May, and even looking at some fall events, that it’s the fall events happen. They’re going to be hybrid, but the April, you know, jobs are true virtual.

So yeah, I

mean, it’s, like I say mean, whether, whether we are able to go back to large gatherings and ballrooms or not, you know, that’s that’s yet to be seen, or how that works or what the timeframe is, and then even if there are people that still are, if you will, socially scarred, right, I mean, that they did, it’s just gonna take them a little bit longer to be comfortable, right? Being in and, you know, no judgment on that. But just to say that’s, that’s the reality is that there are people that even you know, in in five, six months, I can still see people going, Yeah, okay. I would like to but there’s going to be three 400 people there and I’m not sure that I want to go to to that size event. Yeah, but I mean, so yeah, I’ve done everything from the big we’re pushing everything out. You know, there’s no interactivity to a couple of events that happened to at some local bars where it was, you know, how to make your own cocktail. And again fundraiser for not for profit, but That was a zoom meeting where they wanted the interaction between the hosts and the bartender. And, you know, the guests, you know, toward the guests could ask questions about the drinks that they were making. So, you know, and you can do that, right. I mean, some people really want that, that response portion of it. And, and honestly, I’ll throw this out there for a freebie, anybody listening, zoom is still the best way to do that. It’s the best platform that I found in a, you know, inexpensive way to be able to do that. You know, and you can do things, you know, one of the things that as a video producer that I bring to the table is a multi camera setup, right to where we can do pre roll video, we can do three, four or five cameras, you know, I did what I call drink cam, for that we had one camera up close on the on the actual beverage being mixed, but then we were able to switch between, you know, a couple other camera angles in one. But it was still able to do that interaction. And some speakers really want to, you know, standing in front of a stand in front of a camera without any excitement in the room is not the easiest thing in the world, it’s a different vibe is a different vibe, and sometimes for your speakers. And again, depending upon what your content is, that is a great thing to do. You know, to do zoom, we can set it, you know, you can set up multiple monitors to see as many people as we need to see you can mute them all unless it’s unless you asked to unmute them. And that is a that is a great platform for most not for profits, right? It’s it’s not the $10,000 solution, which you know, to go up to a ticketed a true ticketed event and all that. Yeah, it’s out there. But YouTube, Facebook, nobody else has set up to do ticketing. So zoom still really offers the best, in my opinion, the best vehicle to do that that’s accessible. Right? And that’s part of the The other thing, right is you want to, you want to look at a technology that’s accessible to people on the other end, right? Easy

Ryan Sarver 21:55
to easy to engage with and easy to do what you need to do, right?

Scott Sarver 21:57
You know, I’m in my 40s, our parents are in their mid 70s,

Ryan Sarver 22:03
early, early,

Scott Sarver 22:04
early 70s, they’re in their 70s. How’s that? And, you know, I think, how easy would it be for my mom and dad to jump on and follow this? Right? And so you want to make that technology accessible. And I’ll use that as a springboard into, you know, the platform conversation, it’s, if you decide that you want to that you want to do like a Facebook or YouTube or something like that. You need to think about your viewers experience, not just in what’s going on on the screen, but how viewers interact with how they watch it. Right? So as of this recording, Facebook is really hard to get onto a big screen TV. Yes, it right, unless you attach your mobile device. And you can, you know, either share your screen up to your TV or not. YouTube provides a great resource to get it up onto a TV screen. Right? And that really is, is you’re going back right? And you’re looking, you’ve got your group of people there in somebody’s house, right? Because remember, we talked about that, what’s the best way that they’re going to watch that, you’re certainly not going to sit around a laptop and their table or streaming multiple devices, because you want that community engagement. So you want it on the TV, you want it in somebody’s theater room. YouTube is a great way to do that. For a couple of events. I used a service called box cast. Because it was we were doing some musical performances, some concerts and whatnot. And, you know, just to avoid any, any issues that YouTube might have their their AI might have done, where they felt like we were in copyright infringing, right. And in any of the musical events that I’ve done, we have mechanical rights to be able to perform those things. But just to avoid any issue with YouTube, shutting it down, I use box cast and box cast has an app for both phones and most smart TVs, Roku, Apple TVs and whatnot. So So thinking about that viewing experience, you want to you know, Facebook as accessible to almost everybody, but how is that group of people gonna watch it? And when I watch TV when I watch TV show, yeah, sometimes I watch it on my, my computer or my laptop, or you know, my laptop or my iPad, if I’m in, say, bed, or whatnot. But most of the time, I want to sit on the sofa and watch it on my TV. Right?

Ryan Sarver 24:30
Yeah. So yeah, that’s great. You know, it’s about it’s about meeting people where they are and making accessible especially if you’re going to try to do that interactive, dynamic with a group it’s got to be, you can’t all be huddled around a 15 inch laptop, kind of it does. If you got music and you got dancing stuff and you’re all huddled around a small screen, it doesn’t work very well. And so how do you how do you make that as easy and simple for people to interact with you as possible. Right.

Scott Sarver 24:54
And that is that’s one of the key things and with a couple of events in that communication that went out early. If there was, say, a live auction component that was going on with it, if there was voting, you know, the stands what the stars event? In that communication it, people are encouraged to have two devices with them. All right. So yeah, just so we went back, there was a, there was an event that you and I together, yes. And the client wanted, they were looking for engagement, you know, people to to comment or to write back, which is, which is great. That’s great idea. That’s, that’s a fantastic way to get people involved. What we learned from that event, and and there was a lot of learning that went on in this last year, right? Even everybody’s learning even the professionals we’ve gone. Oh, didn’t think about that. If you were watching YouTube on your TV, there is no way to write a comment. Yep, on YouTube. So you have to encourage them to have two devices. You know, if you’re looking for them to share an experience back with you, and you’re not using zoom, or you’re not doing that, they have to have two devices in front of them so that they can type a comment. And you can come up and you can see it on the other side of the stream. And that was one of the things that we walked away from that event. We’re like, oh, okay, yeah. Oh, yeah, it

Ryan Sarver 26:20
makes a lot of sense now, right.

Scott Sarver 26:21
And that was early on. And a lot of this live streaming stuff, right is to say, Yeah, okay, if we want them to respond, we need to encourage them to have two devices. One to watch, if that’s your TV computer, however you’re viewing it, but one to watch the event and one to interact with, say your auction items, one to interact with, to make comments to post photos, you know, sometimes a couple of events, it was like, Hey, take a picture of your group of yourselves, you know, hear this and shoot us a picture, you know, to this email address or text it to this number. And then on the fly, we’d create a slideshow, and we’d throw pictures up. Oh, hey, look, there’s Bob and Sue, you know, and they’re in costume. Because a couple of these things were theme events, right? Oh, boy,

Ryan Sarver 27:07
this is another layer.

Scott Sarver 27:08
Right? So okay, so there was a speakeasy event. Right? So everybody dressing your, your fine. 20s, where

Ryan Sarver 27:15
I’ve got so much 20 Where am

Scott Sarver 27:16
I? Right. And the nice thing about that was is to build kind of the synergy is they they created a little bit of swag for it, right? There’s a signature drink. You showed up at a certain place, you picked up your food from a chef, it prepared that you were going to warm up for your guests, you know, here’s your ingredient list for your drink. Here’s how you do it. And then send us a photo. Right? And we’re going to share that later on. And that kind of helps everybody know, oh, yeah, hey, I’m, I’m watching this event. But oh, there’s Ryan. And I see that he’s watching that event with, you know, his family. And that’s awesome. And here I am with, you know, my family and my dog and great. Hey, you know, and you kind of build a little bit more community around that as well.

Ryan Sarver 28:01
Yeah. Cool. Very good. So, as we’re talking about this, we’ve kind of talked about platform, just some general questions. So as you’ve filmed quite a few of these events, what have you seen that’s worked and not working? And we talked about this a little bit earlier about, like, there’s some stuff to translate and some stuff. There’s some stuff that does not translate. So talk to me a little bit about that. That live aspect. You know, we’ve talked about we, you and I have produced videos that have gone out on the live stream, but what about that live aspect? What works? What doesn’t work? So what have you seen is that dynamic that makes it interesting, and not a total? Total? Total? mess? Yeah. burning house fire loss.

Scott Sarver 28:42
The The biggest thing that I probably would say is this is don’t have one host. And what I mean by this is, if you have just one person up there talking, right, it’s hard for them to to maintain that energy. We hit on that a little bit earlier. Right. So I think of it this way, I’m not a sports fan. But I’ve seen enough sporting events on TV and whatnot. Tiffany likes to watch who’s Tiffany Tiffany is the girlfriend.

Ryan Sarver 29:15
Okay, I just want everybody

Scott Sarver 29:17
Yep, likes to watch the Cardinals. And we didn’t grew up watching sports at home. So she watches sports and I I make fun of the sports casters, but there’s two of them, right? You’ve got your you’ve got your guy that’s calling the game. But then you’ve got your collar man that’s jumping in there with interesting tidbits and little factoids and things like that. If you can have two hosts that can kind of riff off and play off each other, that to me, works really well. Right? It helps you can kind of build some energy, right? You’re not just trying to generate it out of thin air. Having to host is always to me, it’s one of the easiest low hanging fruits to say here’s one of the best ways to build a little energy right rather than it just being This monotonous Hi, we are here today to raise money for armour to give you money right now, right? Yeah. So having those two people to be able to riff off and they can have that conversation, right? And so then you feel a little bit more like, Oh, hey, there’s some people that are actually having a conversation.

Ryan Sarver 30:15
Yeah, you’re maybe more of you’re an observer of the conversation instead of someone’s talking at you without blinking right into your soul through the television screen. Right.

Scott Sarver 30:23
So that’s, that’s one of the the first things the The second thing, it goes back to one of those first questions I had is what is it that you want to watch? Right? And if it’s not something that and that’s hard, right? Because you have to be honest to say, Do I want to watch this? Or do I not, and, and remove yourself from being someone that’s representing your organization? So looking at that, and then thinking through how long your event needs to be? Right? A lot of these events have had a dinner component. And so when do we need to jump in and talk to people about dinner? What when do we expect them to eat their dinner? How does our livestream function during that. But having something that is interactive within it is, to me is is important, whether it’s interaction with a swag bag, some some swag items there that you’ve gotten, whether it’s food from, you know, a chef, catering, whatnot, that you can kind of talk through and do something with love the voting that we did with the stance where the stars thing, right, because you, you’re engaged, right, you had to be there if you wanted to see things happen. So thinking through your viewers, and what their experience is, right. So it’s not just somebody droning on for 45 minutes, an hour, or something like that. It’s just making sure that that works. The ones that I’ve really enjoyed, have been the ones where we have done something a little bit interactive, we’ve had, we’ve broken them up into different segments where there have been some levity, there’s been some fun things, there’s been some things that were important to see live, right. It wasn’t just

Ryan Sarver 32:05

Scott Sarver 32:06
it wasn’t just oh, I can catch this later, I need to be a part of this. Now live, you know, here’s some really cool things. And we’re going to talk about how much money we’re raising the the organization that I had worked with, and was filming the video for right at the beginning of pandemic we did their event in and was that September, October, they all kind of learned together this this last year was just a crazy blur of live events. They had two hosts, they had a talk show host and then a guy that does DJing for weddings, right, so these two guys were great behind the camera, they were able to do things did a lot of talking through live auction events, but they had a blast doing it. We were in a fun space. And this is honestly this is one of those things that I look at it, it was a fantastic space for what this event was this organization works with children that need either occupational therapy, physical therapy, things like that, right there, their intervention therapy type things. So whenever we film back in March, they were all excited, they’re like, we need you to come in and film a video about this new space that we are moving into this summer, it’s going to be awesome. We need to show people what we’re doing. We’re moving out of our small facility into our new facility. Well, pandemic kits, their banquets got moved. And then they decided, hey, we’re gonna do it. And we’re gonna do it in our new space. Right? So there was, there’s like a jungle gym, there were slider rails, there was a big foam pit, there was kind of a climbing wall there was, you know, so these guys were able to interact with, with these things, right? So it became fun to do to do that. And then we were able to look at where their revenue was, you know, in that event and be like, Hey, you know, thank you for bidding on this. This was awesome, guys. We are at $70,000, you know, just a little bit more. It’s gonna be great around that. And all told that event did about 110,000, I think is what that event ended up at. Which, you know, you sit there you talk with your clients, I’m like, Did this meet your expectations? Or like, yeah, this actually exceeded our expectations. Right? So we looked at the space, we looked at what it was, and we said, let’s make this fun. Let’s make this engaging. We could have stood there and talked all day long, right? We could have had somebody behind the podium saying we’ve got this great new space, and it’s got, you know, and here’s a photo of it. But we shot a video of the first girl that walked into that facility, you know, and had her first therapy session, we shot a video with her mom and her mom talking about how much that meant to, to them. We talked with a therapist and the therapist is like, I’m no longer limited by my space and a holy cow. That’s amazing. My mind is just all over the place thinking about that. And so it was fun. We had that call to an emotional appeal. You know, we’re seeing the space and the people out there that are donated to it could see the space and see things So things like that really work? Well, I would say if if your event is mostly one person talking, you know, you might want to re rethink

Ryan Sarver 35:13
or not it can’t work, but you need to get as someone that’s really burning in some, cuz I think that’s, I think I think that’s the thing is just, we did a live stream with someone and it was almost you got 543. And then you hit the two one and it was like you could feel the tension in the room just like ratchet up. We all knew it was happening, but it was just like, everybody’s kind of cleaning it up. And so like having people that can come, you know, like, you can give and take until you can work warm your warm yourself up to that not warm,

Scott Sarver 35:47
warm yourself up to

Ryan Sarver 35:49
warm. I’m from Southern Illinois.

Scott Sarver 35:50
Yeah, you want to avoid the Ricky Bobby moment? Yeah, what do I do with my hands?

Ryan Sarver 35:55
Is that Ricky Bobby? Okay. Yes. So, uh, yeah, so, you know, it’s just that it’s not that one person can’t do, but they got to have a lot of experience, you know, being out there. But you know, talking, having another voice is always right.

Scott Sarver 36:08
And if you have one person, one thing that I found to do is I told them, talk with the camera crew, right talk with, you know, when we were doing these events, most of my events, I would have at least two camera operators there, I would be producing the show switching and queuing up everything. And we’d have a couple representatives from the organization. So there were maybe five or six of us in the room. And I told the person behind the camera, I’m like, let’s not be so formal that we can’t talk with. You know, we can’t talk with the crew here. Right? Yeah. And I encourage my crew, especially when it came down to fundraising. I’m like, Guys, give them something be excited about, you know, clap, give them, you know, give them some whoops, and hollers and whatnot. And let’s do what we can to kind of build things up, right,

Ryan Sarver 36:50
build some natural energy in the room. Right? So

Scott Sarver 36:52
if you do one person, have them talk with people in the room. All right, because there’s no secret there’s, there’s got to be somebody there. Right? Yes. So use that as your your engagement, your bounce off. But yeah, I mean, there, there are a lot of things that that can work. You know, it’s certainly if you are a presenter, so So one thing that we we haven’t talked about, you know, with this is, you know, a lot of just professional business stuff, can move into these live stream things as well, whether it’s trainings, whether it’s seminars, right. So I don’t know, tradeshows may be a thing of the past, you know, in the grand scheme, yeah. I mean, or they’re, they’re changing a lot, right? I, I used to work for an organization, and we were a small company, and a 20. By 20 square foot booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center, if we were there for a week, would easily be 40 $50,000. Right? By the time you traveled, pay for your electricity, pay to get your booth out there, all that sort of stuff. And then you look at what your return is on that to say, Okay, can I take and pivot half of that, and do more business? You know, so that, that’s one thing, I think, from that professional standpoint is say, how do we take a little bit of a tradeshow experience, maybe? And bring a little bit of that? You know, it certainly isn’t, it can’t take the place of physically touching a product or whatnot. But as I go back and think about my trade show experience, you know, sometimes I was just kind of lollygagging and going and looking by, you know, kicking tires. Yes. And I had three or four booths that I wanted to see. But you know, is there an opportunity within that to be able to take some, some corporate training, I’ve got a couple friends that do a lot of business travel, and we’re like, we’re just, we, even whenever we can travel again, we don’t have to, you know, there’s what we used to have to get on a plane three, four times to do, we’d get on a plane and do once, you know, do our pre events beforehand, and then get out there one time and see them in the end. And this was not an organization that I worked with, but I i happen I popped in because it was a live stream about live streaming. So I’m like, Alright, I think this might be important for me to watch. And this particular organization talked about, and I don’t remember, but they are an order of magnitude more money raised, both for their business, but then also for their clients by shifting to live live streaming. And it gets back to a broader audience more accessible. And then one of the things that they really highlight is they said, there’s no replays, right? You do it once, right? And it’s not going to be put out there for people to watch later. So you have to see it live. So I mean, like I say, I, everybody wants to go out and do more things. But I think that a virtual experience will be part of what we do, at least for probably the foreseeable future. Yeah. Well, good. Well,

Ryan Sarver 39:57
thank you so much. You shared a lot of information. Well, you’ve had a lot of experience with it this last year, again, everybody’s learning, but you know, just to hear some of those things about, you know, those are great questions, I think, for everyone to ask before they jump into a live stream event. And then, you know, I think that that interaction, you know, as we talked about there, the interaction piece is really big, and that it’s not just limited to nonprofits, but that it’s, anybody can use us because everybody’s trying to figure out how do we position ourselves in business? And, you know, the economy did obviously take a hit through all this stuff, and how can we do what we’ve done maybe with less of that cost, like a trade show or something like that, and still market ourselves and get our products and our message out there? So

Scott Sarver 40:38
right, and they’re in there? I think my last thing I would say is I’ve had some folks that call me and say, Hey, can we do a live stream? And I’ve said, I’m not, you don’t need a professional service to do what you’re doing? Right? So there are things that you can do, right? Don’t be afraid to try some stuff. But if it’s a larger event, I mean, going someplace where someone has had some experience, right? So you’re not trying to learn this all for the first time to sit down and say this work this didn’t, you know that that becomes crucial, right to say it’s it’s not really about the cameras, the equipment, it’s about the experience to say, here’s how to best do this.

Ryan Sarver 41:13
Right? Yeah. You don’t want to waste waste opportunities, right? Absolutely.

Scott Sarver 41:17

Ryan Sarver 41:18
All right. Well, thanks so much for joining us. And thank you for having me. Yeah. Well, thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Marketing and engagement podcast brought to you by 2355 Productions. If you’d like to find show notes and links and visit us at 2355 Productions.com, you’ll see a link at the top that says podcast of all things. Click on that and you can find Show Notes for this episode and our other past episodes. If you’re not a website person, you can just subscribe to us on Spotify or Apple podcasts or you know, wherever you get your podcasts these days, I don’t know there’s tons of places, so subscribe or go check us out on our website. We will be back in a couple of weeks. So until then, take care



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