Two weeks ago, I hosted an event that will surely be one to remember. I had the privilege of working alongside Moxie, DBA, Idea Planet and the good folks at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium to host a Facebook Live Event on the Chick-fil-A Facebook page. Throughout the event, I interviewed a living legend – Jack Hanna. Jack’s preparation was flawless, his content was king and he was a joy to learn from.

Here are a few things I learned by hosting a Facebook Live event:

Interaction is everything: We spent time thinking through how we wanted the guests on the other end of the feed to feel. Keeping the audience engaged is crucial, so we used interactive trivia, polls and live questions to communicate how we wanted the audience to interact with us.

Hire the best: Matt Bunk with DBA was a monsta in his keen preparation for the event. Matt spent two phone calls and two live sessions with me ensuring that I felt comfortable and knew the ins and outs of this particular interview. We had an incredible crew all around but I was reminded of a key element in all events. If you have great talent and people that remain positive and nimble, it can cover a multitude of mistakes and changes.

Draw out the fun: Before you go on air, know your guest and make them feel comfortable. Jack and I spent some time before the event getting to know each other, as we laughed about a new show idea we came up with called “Jack Rabbit and the Billy Goat Show” (I think it would be a hit). Because we had great banter beforehand, I was able to have some fun joking around with him and chasing some humorous moments during the segment.

Ask questions: Here are some of the questions I asked before we started.
1) Will the AC remain on or will it be turned off for the noise factor? (This matters when you are in an environment that could be very cold or warm)
2) Can I hold the animals? (Because I asked this, they let me hold 3 of the 5 animals we brought out and that certainly added humor and authenticity to the conversation)
3) If the handler is asked a question, do we have the capability to hear their answer? (This question brought out the role of the animal handler and how we were to interact with them)
4) Who will be in the room and who won’t be? (We were in a Yert, aka. Jack Hanna’s Base Camp, and I wanted to know who would be present in the space or who would be outside feeding me information on the teleprompter)
5) What are some things I should not say or ask about? (The primary audience for this Facebook Live event was families, so our goal was to keep the conversation fun and easy. There are a lot of thing you can say about the beautiful animals that we got to meet, but I was to keep it focused on questions that mattered most to the audience that was joining the event)

In summary, I am a fan of the Columbus Zoo staff and Jack Hanna. Jack is extremely passionate about his trade and truly wants to educate and entertain his audience. He does this so well in his many hats as the Director Emeritus at the Columbus Zoo, guest speaker on many TV shows and the host of his TV show Wild Countdown that airs Saturday mornings on ABC.

Thanks for reading along. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave any comments or questions below.

Want to see the full video? Visit Chick-fil-A’s Facebook page to see the fun and terror that took place. 

This week’s music inspiration: “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns and Roses


Your fan,
Billy Boughey