There are online events and then there are offline events. But what about offline events with an online component? Would that be the best of both worlds for you? Would that allow those who can’t physically make it to still make it and benefit?
This might not work for all the offline events you do, but I’m willing to bet that if you hold events regularly there are some that should have an online component. But how can you combine an offline event with social media?
Not on LinkedIn. They dropped their event section recently.
Not on Facebook. They haven’t revamped their Event feature in a very long time and there are no existing features to bring an offline event on to Facebook in an easy way.
Not on Twitter either since it’s just not that kind of platform.
How about Google +? Now there’s a social network that has some novel features designed to bring your live events online.
You’ll start by creating an event on Google +. You do need an account to do that so you may as well get started on this social network that already has millions of people on it. You might be surprised who you’ll find on there that you already know.
Anyway, you can see in the photo below the Event Creation box.
Now when you create the event you need to decide then if you’re going to make it an event On Air. That means you’ll have a live video feed of the event running through Google + “On Air”. This means the public can find and view the event. So, if you’re selling tickets and don’t want to share the event with anyone, you wouldn’t want to select this option.
Note that you need to select the On Air option when you originally create the event. You can’t add it later. You also have the option of making it purely an online event, which would be a Hangout.
In the picture below you can see the options for making your event a Hangout or an On Air event.
Those are the video options. You also have photo options to choose from. You can allow others to post pictures of the event on the Event page and anyone can +1 them, which is a Google+ action of Liking something.
What I really like is the ability to stream photos from the live event to the online event page. This is called Party Mode and you can learn more about it and watch a few videos on it here.
Let’s say you’re holding a very special event like a product launch. There may be famous people there, important speeches, and great product shots you want to share. Snap away and have the photos post immediately to the Google+ event page. Recruit a few attendees to do the same and you’ll have a vibrant and fun online component.
You can even add photos to the Event album after the event concludes. What’s great is that all the photos are uploaded to the same space and can be sorted by who took them.
Now you do need to be snapping the photos (and the video in the earlier section) with a Google+ connected device with a robust internet connection. Just want to make sure that’s clear.
I believe Google+ and Events are better together and these features are available now. If you want to wow your physical and virtual attendees of your next event with something new and novel, I suggest you start by creating your event on Google+.