Technology at events is a double-edged sword. On one hand, internet-connected smartphones have made event gamification and mobile event apps completely viable ways of spicing things up. On the other hand, these devices have also made content sharing an inevitable part of every event.
At intimate concert halls, ushers may still walk up to audience members who are snapping photos or recording videos of the performances, and ask them to stop.
At packed concert venues with thousands of fans and smartphones though, it may be practically impossible to stop even livestreams of your event from ending up on Facebook Live or YouTube.
If you don’t want attendees livestreaming your event, just tell them
This is a simple but often overlooked bit of advice. You’ll be surprised at the different a few simple announcements will make in reducing the number of people who are streaming your event.
The thing is, most people aren’t pirates. In fact, if they’ve paid to show up at your event, they probably have some level of respect for intellectual property rights. The thing is, they may not know that livestreaming at your event is “wrong”.
So, make it clear. The event and all its content is for their eyes only. Streaming the event is wrong, and they should not do it. This won’t eliminate 100% of livestreams – but you can then be sure that the only people still streaming your event live, are the people who are flagrantly breaking the rules and ignoring your nicely stated requests.
While throwing attendees out of your event (or confiscating their devices) are options available to you for dealing with rule breakers, it may be better to be creative with your penalties. If you have gamified your event, let people know that they (or their team) will be penalised for breaking the rules.
And when someone streams your event illegally, hit them with a point deduction. It’ll sting, but is a much kinder “punishment” than the earlier options.
Report the videos/users
Post-event, you can report these videos and their uploaders to their respective social media platforms.
Companies such as Facebook want to avoid the legal hassles of dealing with copyright infringements from their users, and are always ready to ban users who stream content illegally.
Take a cue from Frozen’s Elsa and… let it go
As smartphones and livestreaming become a bigger part of every life, sometimes it may be better to simply let it go. Better yet, plan your event with livestreaming in mind. Assume that some audience members will stream your event, no matter what, and plan contingencies around that.
Planning on announcing an exciting product launch at your event, and don’t want the shine taken off your big announcement with low quality streams leaked by audience members? Why not stream that portion of your event live (and in high quality video and audio), on your own social media accounts?
Or better yet, livestream your entire event (if it makes sense to do so). After all, who’s going to watch a low-quality stream from a random audience member, when the official channel is showing a better quality stream?
Otherwise, just focus on putting on a great show and providing the live audience with an amazing experience that simply can’t be replicated on a stream from a mobile phone. This way, those streams may convince people who’ve missed out, to get tickets to your next event!