Hosting a Google+ Hangout On Air
A 10-Step Guide
*Reflects product changes made 12/12/13
This guide will cover the basic steps required for setting up a
Hangout On Air, or HOA – a live, public webcast conducted
through Google Plus (+). It incorporates Google’s most
recent changes, creating HOAs as Events. It’s a good idea
to do a practice run of these steps before the day of your
1. Log in to Google Plus (+)
Don’t click this.
The Hangout button on this page, though identical in appearance to the one you’ll eventually
click, would start a chat between you and a few friends. That’s not what you want.
2. Choose your Company Page
You want to be sure you’re broadcasting from your Company Page and not your personal
3. Choose Hangouts from the side panel
4. Create your HOA Event
Click “Start a Hangout On Air”.
You can schedule it or start right away.
This step is new. It essentially lets you create your Event and Hangout On Air all in one. You
can choose to start the HOA right away, but it’s best to schedule it in advance so you can
promote it first. Note: Even if you’ve scheduled an HOA, it doesn’t start until you start it. Be
sure to leave Public in the Audience field so everyone can see your Event post; this does not
invite everyone to join the broadcast, merely to watch. You’ll invite participants later.
5. Launch your Hangout On Air
On your scheduled date and time, start your HOA from its Event page. You have the option
of turning on an audience Q&A feature; this must be done before you start the Hangout.
Note: When you hit Start, you will not yet be broadcasting live.
You should only have to do this part once!
A new window will open. If it’s your first Hangout On Air, you’ll most likely be asked to
connect to YouTube. You’ll have to enter a phone number and then a code that you receive.
6. Invite participants
Invite pre-selected participants by typing their name and selecting their profile. Make sure
beforehand that you’re in each other’s Circles. You can also invite Circles, Communities, or
no one, but fewer people is generally better. DO NOT invite Public – Google will yell at you.
And don’t worry if you forget someone; you can add more people later.
After you invite people, your webcam will turn on, but you won’t be on air. Your session will
load, and then you’ll see the button to start broadcasting. Before you go live, you can invite
more participants by clicking the person with the plus (+), or change other settings.
Don’t worry, you’re not on air yet!
7. Add the Hangout Toolbox app…
For clarity, your Hangout on Air name should match the name of your Event. Invite your
selected participants by typing their name and selecting their profile. You can also invite
Circles or Communities. DO NOT invite Public – Google will yell at you.
… and use it to set up your lower third.
The best feature the Toolbox app offers is the ability to set up a “lower third” name label.
You can upload a custom logo, or just let HOA use your Page profile image. There’s an option
to mirror the image as well, so you can see how your viewers see you.
will be here.
The Toolbox app also lets you monitor comments on specific Google+ posts, such as your
Event post. Get the link from the dropdown menu in the right upper corner of the post.
8. Start your Hangout On Air
Once your guests join and you’re ready to start, you can hit Start broadcast. It will say LIVE in
the top right corner and bottom of your screen, and your HOA will start streaming on both
the Event and your YouTube channel. In the bottom left corner of your screen, you can see
the number of viewers as well as links to share or embed your HOA.
Other cool features
Hangouts On Air has a number of helpful tools for screen sharing, interacting with viewers,
and managing participants. Practice using these, and decide which you’ll want to use for
your HOA. If screen sharing, have the screens you want ready in advance.
9. End your Hangout On Air
Hit Stop broadcast when you’re finished. Your HOA will automatically be saved on your
YouTube channel. Note: While HOA recordings don’t publicly display the number of views
like most YouTube videos, you can still see it in your Video Manager.
Not here, but here
Congratulations! You’ve just successfully hosted your first Hangout On Air!
Visit the PLS Blog for more Google+ and other tips.