On 22 and 23 July, we set up a live stream from the Commonwealth Games Business Conference.
As well as the YouTube video stream, we used every channel at our disposal – twitter, LikedIn, Google+, our websites – to stimulate the debate.
It was a huge effort for a small team. Three of us – including Erica Goodey, who led on this project -were at the event. I was backup and tech support, though thankfully I was not needed for that. Everything went smoothly. Others back at the office pitched in too, publishing updates live on our sites.
So, roughly half our entire available resource tied up for two days.
And there have been months of planning, preparation and practice leading up to these two days.
In all, we estimate our total effort involved in these two days is 124 hours: equivalent to one person working on nothing else for nearly a month. And we’re not even half-way done yet. Much of our planning is around what we do with the material we’ve gathered now the event itself is past.
You can see how the two days were received on our storify.
This was a first for my team, and for Scottish Enterprise/SDI too. We have been a publisher for years, but this was the first time we have been a live broadcaster.
So, how did it go?
Well, the headline figures are: over the 2 days we had a total of 2,950 playbacks and a total viewing time of 1,415 hours. The most people watching at any one time was 290, during Mark Carney’s speech. The average length of a session was just under half an hour.
(Playbacks are defined as “The total number of times the video has loaded, which includes page refreshes and change of camera angle. This number does not increase when a viewer switches resolutions.”)
Day by day, it looked like this.
- Playbacks: 1179
- Peak concurrent viewers: 119
- Total viewing time (hours): 606.95
- Average session length (minutes): 30.9
- Playbacks: 1771
- Peak concurrent viewers: 290
- Total viewing time (hours): 808.325
- Average session length (minutes): 27.4
But the raw stats from YouTube are only a small part of the story. Let’s look in more detail.
On 23 July, the live stream was watched from 80 countries around the world. 1,236 playbacks were from within the UK, which means we had 535 overseas viewers. 28 of those were from Australia, 16 from Canada.
Interestingly, we had 49 playbacks from the USA – not even part of the Commonwealth – who watched for almost 16 hours in total, an average of just under 20 mins per session.
The live stream is just the start of the story … it’s a talking point, and we use it to provoke discussion.
Twitter is the most promiscuous medium; let’s look at that first.
That looks impressive. Let’s look at the fine print.
@scotent had 127 mentions and 348 retweets in 48 hours. The most popular featured a short video interview with the First Minister, which was retweeted 22 times, including by @AlexSalmond, and attracted 6 favourites.
— Scottish Enterprise (@scotent) July 22, 2014
Sentiment was overwhelmingly positive for the hashtag #Glasgow2014biz
Over at @ScotDevInt it’s a similar picture, with 48 mentions and 178 retweets over the 48 hours. Again, sentiment was completely positive.
Three tweets were retweeted 9 times. Popular topics included the Governor of the Bank of England, the Kelpies, and Lena Wilson‘s dress.
— SDI (@ScotDevInt) July 23, 2014
According to twitter analytics, tweets from @scotent were seen by twitter users 103,771 times on 22 July, with 97,224 impressions on the 23rd, giving a total of over 200,000 impressions over the 2 days. These impressions generated 1,531 engagements (all clicks anywhere on a tweet).
The account had 327 retweets and 30 favourites. Twitter users clicked through to the target URL 328 times during the conference.
According to the Scottish Government’s situation report for 24 July, the hashtag Glasgow 2014 biz was used 1,533 times across social media.
Is it worth the effort to add the metadata needed to generate a twitter card when a user tweets a link to the site? Here’s the answer …
We posted three updates about the conference on SDI’s LinkedIn page.
The first update was posted about a week before the conference began to trail it. It was pinned to the top of SDI’s page, and sponsored. Organically, it performed well, with 31,677 impressions, 106 clicks, 62 interactions and an engagement rate of 0.53%. (Average engagement on LinkedIn company updates is 0.3%, so anything more than that is good.)
The sponsored update has so far gained
- 446,298 impressions
- 1,455 clicks
- 151 interactions
- 301 followers acquired
- 0.43% engagement
Overall, the post has been liked 164 times and gathered 24 comments.
The second update simply announced that the conference is open and available to view on live stream. It was posted organically and attracted:
- 11,411 impressions
- 35 clicks
- 24 interactions
- 0.52% engagement
- 17 likes
The final update promoted a short interview with Alex Salmond. Organically, it generated 9,959, impressions, 46 clicks, 25 interactions and 0.71% engagement.
We also sponsored this post and targeted it at Commonwealth markets, generating a further 72,782 impressions, 107 clicks, and 13 interactions. That gives a lower engagement value of 0.19%, but we did attract 18 new followers from this post.
With far fewer followers, LinkedIn is less fertile for Scottish Enterprise than for SDI, but we still got some results from the channel. We posted four updates, all organic, with the following results.
This final post was also sponsored as part of the Commonwealth Connections campaign, generating an additional 907 impressions, 8 clicks, 3 interactions and 1.32% engagement, plus one new follower.
In the first 3 weeks of July, excluding weekends, average daily metrics for the SE site were:
|Page Views||Visits||Unique Visitors|
For the duration of the business conference we saw a noticeable uplift.
|Date||Page Views||Visits||Unique Visitors|
|Jul 22, 2014||6,130||2,070||1,776|
|Jul 23, 2014||4,925||1,609||1,383|
In percentage terms, compared to average values, we saw increases in all these metrics across both days.
|Date||Page Views||Visits||Unique Visitors|
|Jul 22, 2014||148.71%||176.59%||168.50%|
|Jul 23, 2014||119.48%||137.26%||131.21%|
The business conference article where we had embedded the stream received more engagement than any other page on the site for the two days of the conference.
The bubbles on this graph represent the 10 most popular pages. Their size represents the time spent on the page. The business conference page accounted for over a quarter of all the time users spent on the entire SE site on these 2 days.
Most visitors (93%) were UK-based, but we also attracted visitors from around the world.
|14.||United Arab Emirates||1||0.1%|
Almost 30% of visitors used some sort of mobile device.
Almost a third of visitors came from twitter (t.co is their URL shortener) but we also received a fair amount of traffic from a story on the BBC news website.
In total, 35% of referrals were from social media. Most of the rest was from search engines.
The live stream on the SDI site saw 311 unique visitors over the conference. Just over 70% were fro the UK, so there was a more international flavour to the audience.
There seems to have been a more Commonwealth-focused accent, with India, Malta, Canada and Australia providing significant numbers of visitors.
Singapore and South Africa also made the top 10.
|17.||Korea – South||1||0.3%|
|18.||Isle of Man||1||0.3%|
As with the SE site, social media was the biggest source of traffic. Twitter again accounted for almost a third of unique visitors.
36 people were referred from LinkedIn. It may be worth following up with them.
Almost 30% of visitors came from theguardian.com, specifically from their politics blog. Another reminder of the importance of good comms in the runup to events such as this, making sure that established media are aware of and linking to our content.
|Business conference live||311|
As with the SE site, about 30% of visitors used mobile devices. Most of those were Apple iPhones and iPads.
I'm a service designer in Scottish Enterprise's unsurprisingly-named service design team. I've been a content designer, editor, UX designer and giant haystacks developer on the web for (gulp) over 25 years.