What are they, who are they for and will you participate?
LinkedIn have announced they are trialling a beta of their new audio feature. This is part of the whole LinkedIn Events suite of tools and will allow members to participate in ‘fireside chats’, product launches and general conversations with their network.
If you have been keeping an eye on LinkedIn over the past 18 months you will have seen a lot of changes. LinkedIn Events have been increasing in number and attendance. LinkedIn livestreams have merged with LinkedIn Events (when you schedule a LinkedIn live using a third party such as Streamyard, a LinkedIn Event is automatically created).
Adding audio is the next step. How creators and organisations use the audio will be up to them.
On TechCrunch, product manager Jake Poses said:
“Our philosophy is to put the organizers in control. We want to make it easier to host virtual round tables, fireside chats, and more. Some may want the event to be more formal, or less formal. Some might want to communicate with their audience, to open up to the floor. We’re giving professionals interactivity and support.”
The goal, it seems, is to become a platform for a live events experience. Whether you are hosting a virtual or even hybrid event, you can use the tools LinkedIn will be providing, to give your attendees the best experience.
What is an Audio Feature?
If you have not heard of an audio feature, think of an online event you attend where you are only HEARING the speakers, not seeing them. Sort of like a podcast being recorded live, only you get to join in.
As with podcasts, there are audio spaces for every genre from real crime, to leading women in business to parenting tips.
For example – over on TwitterSpaces, Amanda Webb hosts a weekly ‘space’ each Friday with FOMO creator MayKing Tsang as a follow up discussion to her live video discussion on the latest weekly news in social:
Who can host an audio event on LinkedIn?
For the initial launch, it seems as though this will be available for those who turn on Creator Mode.
What is Creator Mode? Find out here
This is in addition to Newsletters and LinkedIn Lives which are currently available for those who turn on LinkedIn Creator.
Tip – work with a team like ours to help you create a strategic approach to your LinkedIn content and we can even help you with the implementation).
What will the audio space look like?
There are a few mockups being shared online from the team at LinkedIn:
Unlike the current set up for LinkedIn live, people hosting an audio space will be able to set it up and run it directly ON LinkedIn’s new event platform.
If you have been paying attention, you will have noticed that we can now host a live video conference call inside our LinkedIn messenger using ‘LinkedIn video meetings’:
What does this mean for your visibility on LinkedIn?
One benefit of using these new features means that when you participate, either as a host, guest or attendee, your whole LinkedIn profile comes with you. So you will be able to network, build your connections with people you are interested in finding out more about, and showcasing your own knowledge and expertise.
As an attendee, you can ‘raise your hand’ to speak and you can also carry on conversations with other attendees at the event.
How will people find the audio event?
LinkedIn will be using their own internal algorithms to ‘suggest’ events for you, based on who you follow and the topics you are interested in. (could this be the dawning of a new era for hashtags on LinkedIn?)
How to find a relevant Event on LinkedIn
Currently you can find events using the Search box at the top – filter on ‘Events’
Type your topic/company/person into the search bar and then click on Events.
The most relevant events will appear in a list – to attend one, simply click on the event and click on the blue Attend button
How is audio different from LinkedIn Live?
With LinkedIn live, the creator is on screen, on video and can be streaming a solo show or have guests on with them. These are pre-determined invited guests.
With audio, as an attendee, you will be able to raise your hand, grab the mic and have your own say. Think of this like being at a seminar, and you have lined up at the microphones on each side of the floor in order to ask your question of the person on stage.
When someone has the floor, the rest of the attendees can be muted. The person who is hosting the event, can invite someone to speak and can also mute anyone who is attending.
Attendees will be able to react with emojis’ as shown on the lower menu of this image.
Why is LinkedIn developing the Events feature?
Since LinkedIn Events were launched in 2019 annual virtual event creation has grown by 150% over the last year, and it has seen a 231% increase in LinkedIn Live virtual event attendees in the same period.
Although events moved online at speed due to the Covid pandemic, the benefits to event hosts mean that they are here to stay.
The cost and time spent in travelling to in-person events, being brave enough to join in a conversation, hiring the space, providing food and drinks to your attendees- all of these factors influence the way the events industry is moving.
I foresee a hybrid approach – for those of us who love meeting in person, we can host an event and invite others to join us virtually.
Investing in the future of events
LinkedIn have put their money on the table. Last year they acquired Jumprope, a video based startup which allowed creators to make and share how-to and mentoring videos. They also invested in a company called Hopin – a leading virtual and hybrid experiences platform.
I am looking forward to hosting and participating in the new audio events on LinkedIn. Now we just need to wait for them to arrive.