One of the great things about making mistakes and experimenting with new things is that it gives me a lot of ideas for blog posts. The latest adventure inspired +Mark Vang and I to take our hangout experience and create a “how to start a Google Hangout On Air as an event,” as a live demo and a follow up blog post. We’re both big believers in sharing our “lessons learned the hard way,” so that other people don’t have the same experience.
As moderators of the Google+ community, Sanctuary, we like to provide a safe place for people to learn about various social media tools, inbound, marketing, SEO, and other related topics. Google Hangouts make it possible to share information through video chat and features like screen share make it easy to create an online tutorial. Before attempting a Hangout on Air, which is a hangout that is broad cast live, we decided to experiment with it first.
One of the features on Google+ is the ability to schedule an event. An event can be anything from a birthday party to a business meetup, and it can also be used to schedule online meetings and hangouts. It seemed logical to schedule an “On Air” event and so that’s what Mark did. I received the invite, accepted it, and we thought we were good to go.
Saturday morning we both sat in front of our computers waiting for the hangout to automagically launch, but nothing happened. After a quick video chat, we decided to do the hang out on air anyway and figure out what went wrong with the set up later. Mark followed the tips he found in the post, Hangouts and Google Plus Events – a Bad Combination, by +Ronnie Bincer (the Hangout Helper) and whala, it worked!
How to Start A Google Hangout On Air as an Event
1. Set Up an Event – this can be done the same day or weeks ahead of time.
a. Navigate to your events from your home page or within a community and click on “create event.”
b. Set the Event up as an on Air Event (this will not automatically launch an on-air event, but it lets people know that the event will be broadcast).
c. Fill In all the details, save the event, and invite people. You can invite individuals or circles.
2. Launch Your Google Hangouts On Air (15 minutes to an hour before the event starts)
a. Navigate to the Google+ Hangouts Page.
b. Name and Launch Your Hangout.
c. Click On Embed (next to the “Start Broadcast” button) and copy the YouTube URL.
d. Paste the YouTube URL into the field labeled YouTube. You’ll find this by selecting “Show Me More Options” under “Advanced” edit options.
Whala! Now your live broadcast can be viewed from the event page as well as on YouTube and from the Google Hangouts page.
Once you have everything set up from a technical perspective:
- Invite the people that accepted the Event invitation to the Google+ Hangout On Air
- Do a sound check and let everyone get settled in
- Click “Start Broadcast”
When you see the word “On Air” in red, you’re broadcasting a live show!
Relax and have fun, you just successfully created another way to share information, build your personal or business brand, and a way for customers to discover you.
Here are a couple of additional resources for you to reference and learn how to start a Google Hangout as an Event:
Download this detailed step by step PowerPoint with detailed screen shots for your reference.
Watch this live demonstration, courtesy of +Mark Vang and Google+ Hangouts on Air.