For Event Organizers, Virtual Watching Parties Hold New Potential
Whether it’s watching the latest episode of your favorite show with a group of like-minded fans, or laughing at silly memes with your best friends via mobile screen-sharing, live streaming is transforming the way we interact—and holds valuable lessons for event organizers
Indicating the importance of interactivity in our digital lives, new apps such as Squad, which lets you video chat with friends by either showing your face or a live screenshare of your phone, enables users to do essentially anything together, from browsing Instagram or Twitter to online shopping as a group. Similarly, Spotify’s new “Social Listening” feature lets users add songs into a queue that they can all enjoy and edit live, creating a can’t-miss experience that could get friends to download Spotify just for this feature alone, and driving subscriptions and time spent in-app.
Newly released content is also becoming a focus within the context of live streaming. Youtube, for instance, now allows creators and music artists to “Premiere” their new videos at a particular time, creating an additional layer of excitement to the content drop. Cosmopolitan, meanwhile, recently held its own virtual watch party for the Netflix drama “You,” which included exclusive content drawn from interviews with the cast and crew, shown side-by-side while watching, helping to supplement what was going on as the show progressed.
For event organizers, these examples help to show the possibilities of live streaming. This could mean virtual conferences that pull on the resources of people located around the globe, helping participants focus together on the content and interact with each other to build on the ideas they learn, or even interactive brand showcases that stream on platforms like Twitch or Instagram, creating a link between offline and online events.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the recent outbreak of Covid-19 and the result it's had on numerous in-person gatherings, watching parties show us how impact-making events can be held partially or entirely online thanks to live streaming.