This article will explain what a Google+ Hangout On Air is and show you how to set one up.
To recap, there are three types of Google+ Hangouts:
- Chat Hangouts
- Hangout Video Calls
- Hangouts On Air [streamed live on Google+, YouTube, or website, and recorded onto YouTube]
Out of the three, a Hangout On Air is the most important because it offers the greatest audience reach and participation. Let’s get into it.
Google+ Hangout On Air
The major difference between a Hangout Video Call (Video Hangout) and a Hangout On Air, is that a Hangout On Air is recorded to your connected YouTube channel whether you’re a Google+ profile or page.
To simplify things, a Hangout On Air is often just called a “HOA” and that’s a term we’ll use occasionally in this article.
Let’s start. To begin a HOA go to the Left side drop down Menu that says “Home” and click on the drop down arrow. Then click on “Hangouts”. Clicking on “Hangouts” will load a screen that has in the top tool bar “Home”, “Hangouts On Air”, and “Video Hangouts”.
The benefit of the Event page is that it acts as a Landing Page thereby dramatically increasing your audience reach before, during and after the Event.
Hangout On Air Dialogue Box
Here are the steps to complete the HOA dialogue box:
- The first text box is what you will call your HOA [name or title of your HOA]
- The second text box is for the description of the HOA which will be shown on Google+ and YouTube.
- You can then start the HOA now or schedule an Event for later. Click “Later” to schedule an Event. This is when it’s referred to as a Hangout On Air Event because it is being scheduled and planned for a later time.
- Select the date, time, and Duration. The Duration can be up to 8 hours.
- The main purpose of specifying duration is to give your audience an idea of how long the HOA will go for.
- If the HOA goes overtime or finishes early it does not affect either the broadcast or the subsequent video.
- You will note that the time is specified in your local time. However the commencement time of the HOA will be shown in the timezone of your audience.
- The commencement time also generates a Countdown time and is also shown on Google calendar.
- Although there is a commencement time, you can start earlier or later, and end earlier or later.
- The last entry field is for Audience. If you’re going to invite the Public as well as specific groups, make sure you always invite the Public circle first during your first invite and any Communities (no limit to the number of Communities).
- The benefit of inviting the Public and then any Communities first is that the post will appear in the Community in the section of “Upcoming Events” which is a very visible area of the Community.
- Then click the green “Share” button.
This will take you into an Event and you’re in the Events area of Google+. The HOA is now a Google+ Hangout On Air Event.
Or you can Upload a photo or add in a graphic or image. The photo or graphic size needs to be 1280 x 720px. When selected click the blue “Add trailer” button.
Edit the Hangout Event
To edit a HOA go to the top of the Event page where there is a “Edit event” button.
Importantly, this allows you to change the “orange” default theme by either selecting one of the pre-built image themes or uploading your own branded image. Using your branded image is professional and gives a uniform identity for your brand.
To do this click on the “Change theme” button There are a number of pre-built images to select. From the “Select a theme” box, choose an appropriate theme and then the image you want. When you have finished click the blue “Set as theme” button.
If however you want to be fully branded, then you will want to upload your own branded image (size 1200 x 300px). Click on “Upload” Select your branded image from your computer and when it has uploaded it will be shown in the “Edit Hangout On Air” dialogue box.
Inviting Additional People to the HOA Event
You can invite more guests to the HOA buy going to the “Events” page.
To get to the “Events” page go to the Left side drop down Menu that says “Home” and click the drop down.
Clicking on “Events” will load a screen that has in the top tool bar “Your events”.
On the HOA that you want to invite more people, click on the ”Invite more”. This will bring up the “Invite more people” page.
You can invite more people by selecting a Circle, name, or email address. After you’ve selected who to invite, press the blue “Invite” button on the bottom right and you’re returned back to the “Events” page.
If people click “Yes” or “Maybe” then a reminder is put on their Google Calendar. If they said “Yes” then an Alert is sent to them 24 hours before hand and then 10 minutes before hand. If they replied “Maybe” then an email Alert is sent 24 hours before hand.
For people who have been invited or have found the HOA Event if made Public, they will see the Trailer video if they click on the player button and after the video is finished they will see the Countdown Timer. If an image has been added and they click on the player button, they will see the Countdown Timer.
If people come to the HOA Event after it’s started, during or has finished and click the Player button they will see the recorded version of the Event.
Further Edits to the Hangout On Air Event
Further edits can be done to the HOA Event. Go to the “Events” page, as described above, and click on the “Event Title” to view event. This takes you to the HOA Event and edits can then be made. You can “Edit event” to change:
- Date & Time
- Guests can comment
- Guests can invite other people
- Guests can add photos
- Edit event [same function as above]
- Manage guest list
- Duplicate event
- Delete this event
Below the drop down arrow there is a Links icon.
- Event page
- YouTube page
- Video embed
Finally, when you create a Hangout On Air Event, you have also created a Post. The Post will show the video, the title, the description, and the player which will also show the trailer if it’s been uploaded. There is no Event Theme in the Post.
For help on Hangouts On Air from Google+ click here.
This completes the setup procedure to conduct a Hangout On Air.
To recap, in the first article of this Cornerstone Series on Google+ Hangouts, we discussed what Google+ Hangouts are. The second article showed you how to Setup a Google+ Chat Hangout. The third article showed you how to Setup a Google+ Hangout Video Call.
This fourth article has shown you how to setup a Google+ Hangout On Air.
The next series of articles will look at the features and benefits of various Hangout On Air apps. We’ll start with the most important for branding purposes and that’s the Hangout “Lower Third”.