Well it happened again. SXSW becomes the tech playground where an underdog app gets all of the attention and goes viral in the blink of an eye.
In a nutshell, if you are in the world of events either as a planner, marketer, attendee you have to play with Meerkat. Now. Don’t waste time.
Meerkat is a simple app that lets you live video stream instantly from an iOS or Android app from any device, and to promote your content with all your Twitter followers at once. Boom. Live casting has never been this easy ever.
Here’s the main awesomeness of Meerkat:
- Instantly live stream from any device
- Follow great personas and minds to know when they will have their live casts going on
- See who from your tribe is on it – @tojuilius, @danberger, @eventprofsedu, @lawrencecoburn, @alonalroy, @crowdmics and follow them
20 days ago Ben Rubin, co-founder of Air, @benrbn, the owner of Meerkat, posted on www.producthunt.com (a great resource for apps, gadgets, one of my favorite websites) that he was dabbling in this new platform and needed some feedback. Little did he know that it was going to be blowing up in front of so many people and getting covered by mainstream tech publications.
The rules of engagement are simple. And I think this is why it’s appealing. It’s simple, and the power of easily streaming any content from your device sounds amazing, doesn’t it? While viewing a live cast, you are also able to see the full conversation of all the viewers, as well as who the participants are at that moment.
I’m not endorsing the app, but I do believe that when tech providers and innovative groups can get together and give us such a powerful tool, we need to first evaluate how we can make it part of the event marketing mix, who the right people will be on it as a lead, and to NOT shy away from it or overthink it!
Here are some killer ways that event professionals can use Meerkat before, during and after the event:
- Instant video content at your fingertips: At your next event, identify key attendees and speakers (make sure they are comfortable with the app and their own mobile device to pull this off) as your Meerkats. Heck, let them where the shirts with the cute Meerkat on it. Let them be recognized. They are responsible for capturing the content during the event. Imagine the viewership if you have key footage of your speakers, breakout sessions and more to be broadcasted from your event?*The conversation of privacy of the speaker content will come up here. I know it. Don’t overthink it.
- Sponsorship opportunities: Your sponsors want something different? Here it is. Create a Meerkat product demo or info spot (hopefully not a full on infomercial but of educational style) and promote it ahead of the event. Maximize your viewership and followers by adding not only the #eventhashtag, but industry hashtags of potential audiences (broaden your tribe – you said you wanted more butts in seats at your event, so here’s a way of doing it!) and don’t forget to include industry thought leaders as well in the mix.
- Event marketing tactic: Get key personas that are attending or participating in your event to start your event marketing and promoting your event earlier than that email campaign you’ve got planned. What a different kind of way to promote your event ahead of time. Let them use Meerkat to promote the event for you and put their personal spin on it, and have their outreach through their twitter tribe do the rest.
- Event co-creation and curation tool: I’m a huge believer in co-created session topics and discussions. I’m not the only one, Jeff Hurt [@JeffHurt] and Adrian Segar [@ASegar] hold the same thoughts on how we can not only flip the session model, but also infusing new ideas on how we can make knowledge sharing and sessions more fun. By using Meerkat, you can have speakers share with their Twitter community via live video stream what the intentions are for the session and what ask what THEY would like to hear or learn more about. You are co-creating the session beforehand, you are creating dialog, and you are potentially creating registered attendees within the tribe.
- Meerkat specials: Almost like flash sales, but with a cute animal involved. By creating new Meerkat events the live stream ‘attendees’ can win a promotional code or discount for the event, a specific offer just for those tuning in or retweeting the Meerkasting [new buzzword via @bsolis] to their tribe on Twitter.
My top 3 enhancements that I would love to see Meerkat do (which I’m sure they are working on):
- Provide the ability to schedule live streams to your Twitter followers further out than 24 hour in advance.
- Add ability to monetize the content
- Create that experience across other social media platforms and not only Twitter**
This is what makes our work of planning and creating “mind stamping” event experiences so much fun. You get to try new ways of doing new things. How will you use Meerkat?