Face for Business recently hosted its first Google Hangout on Air and we’d like to share our experiences with you. Like most things, the process gets smoother with practice! (To view the hangout, entitled 'DIY SEO' click here).
Top Tips for Hangouts on Air
- Set-up the link for your event with plenty of advance notice.
- Ensure that any participants are within your circles prior to the event.
- Verify your You Tube account to your Google Plus page – allowing your hangout to be recorded and sent straight to your You Tube channel.
- Practise makes perfect - practise your hangouts with all participants to ensure all equipment is working, your You Tube account is verified and that the recorded video is available to view, post-event.
- Check all webcams, microphones and internet connections. Ensure that you won’t be disturbed during the hangout.
- Pin the presenter - this function enables the presenter to be on screen throughout their presentation and means they won’t drop off mid sentence.
- Mute the participants – all participants have a function where they can mute themselves, so any movements do not switch the screen off the presenter.
- Have a technical person on hand to assist with any unforeseen glitches!
- Finally, relax and take a deep breath!
What did we learn from our first hangout?
- We needed to verify our company YouTube account to our company Google+ page. This allows the hangout on air to be broadcast live via YouTube, with a copy of the event recorded and uploaded to the YouTube account.
- We also had three attempts and practises all of which seemed to go well. However, on the day of the event, we found that not all participants invited could access the pre-scheduled hangout and join live. We overcame this by setting up a new event and re-invited all participants. Even then, one of our guests was unable to access the hangout, and we’ll be reviewing this on a subsequent hangout. This technicality also meant that the promotion of the event link was invalid, and any people who were using the original link to view could not access the event – meaning a last minute attempt to promote the new link during the hangout.
- Another glitch, was that we discovered that whilst one of the participants was typing during the hangout (to promote the new event link) it caused the focal camera to be on her and not the presenter – we have since learnt that there is a function to ‘mute’ participants and ‘pin’ the presenter’s screen which would minimise any disturbances.
- Finally, we experienced loss of internet connection from our iPad, which we were using for the Live Q&A running alongside the event on Twitter. Fortunately we had back-up in the form of an iPhone hot spot and the connection was reinstated.
Do feel free to share any of your tips and advice, with us, we’d be grateful for any input!