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    What You Need to Know About Event Live Streaming

    Nowadays the term “live streaming” has become ubiquitous. It’s everywhere, from social media feeds to now-necessary virtual events. Event planners know the importance of keeping up with current trends and advancing technology, but live video for event marketing has been fast-tracked from a neat tactic to an essential tool. And not only is it essential, but it is expected.

     

     

    Whether you are a seasoned pro or just getting started, our Event Live Streaming: The Ultimate Guide will help you understand and better execute your next event’s live video strategy.

     

    Event Live Streaming: The Ultimate Guide

     

    As consumers become more accustomed to digesting information by video, the expectations of live streaming productions will shift in tandem. Consumers will seek to connect with brands and companies in authentic, immediate ways through live video. From remote events to special product announcements, live video helps humanize your brand while continuing to deliver on-point messaging that aligns with overall market strategy.  

     

    Figuring out how to live stream an event can be intimidating. There is a lot of information out there, and it is dependent upon various factors such as your content strategy, purpose, goals, budget, and audience. Our Event Live Streaming: The Ultimate Guide will outline a comprehensive checklist for planners, whether novice or expert, covering all topics from video platform options to the equipment you may need.

     

    Before you go shopping for high-end cameras, you’ll first need to consider a few big-picture items. These 6 actionable to-dos will ensure your strategy is built for live video consumption, help you plan, and stay within your budget. While video-on-demand (VOD) results in an edited, polished final product that allow users to stream at their own convenience, live streaming is in-the-moment. Therefore, planning is of the utmost importance.

     

    Here are the top 6 to-dos that to ensure your event is ready for live video consumption:

     

    #1: Define your event’s purpose.


    The decision to utilize live streaming in your event might come as a necessity, but it is much more impactful when it’s planned as a purposeful part of your strategy than if it’s included as afterthought. With this in mind, consider the purpose of the event and how you want your audience to engage. This will help you determine what roll live streaming will play. For example, you may choose to live stream the entire event or just specific portions of it. In addition to live streaming content, MeetingPlay offers the ability to pre-record a presentation to be saved and released at a later time. Some speakers may feel more comfortable with this option.  

     

    #2: Create a content strategy.


    Content is king. It will determine each component of your event’s production. What content should be live streamed? What lighting and camera angles best capture the essence of your brand and its representatives? How private is the content and will additional encryption security be necessary? How can content be presented in an engaging, interesting, and fresh way? Does the content support other pieces of marketing communication? Creating your content strategy and making sure it translates well to a targeted audience through live streaming video is critical to your event’s overall success. Bonus? While live events are fleeting, depending on the platform you use, your video content can have a shelf life. The video can be re-watched, repurposed, and repackaged to support other marketing and sales endeavors. Live streaming also creates a sense of inclusion and connection that, if executed well, sticks with a person. Now that’s a pretty powerful content strategy, isn’t it?

     

    #3: Decide where your content will be viewed.


    Where is your audience going to find or have access to the live stream? Is it shareable? Your live stream can be imbedded on your website, shared on your social media channels, and/or viewed on a live streaming platform. If your event is private, you should consider embedding the stream on your website or create a password-protected event. If your event is public, capitalize on a larger audience by allowing your content to live on multiple platforms and websites. Making the content shareable also helps increase reach and “event traffic.” Once you determine which is best for your event and most appropriate for audience, you will be able to move forward with planning.

     

    #4: Keep the end-user experience as a focal point while planning.


    If we’re being honest, user experience is what can make or break an event. You can have a panel of fantastic speakers lined up, but if the audio fails or the lighting is too harsh, the takeaway is that the presentation was less than stellar. Your job is to make the audience experience seamless and enjoyable no matter how (or from where) they are participating. If the event is live as well as live streaming, the online quality should be on par with the in-person experience. Make the live steaming audience feel like they are there without interfering or interrupting anyone in the live audience. Plan the live and/or live streaming event with careful consideration for the end user. Enhanced production features such as those offered by MeetingPlay provide an enriched viewing experience and are sure to make a positive impact on audience members.

     

    #5: Test, test, and retest everything.


    When creating an event timeline, leave ample time for testing technology. No matter the setup – from basic to advanced – it is crucial that you test everything, and most importantly, your stream. Test primary equipment workflows, backup equipment workflows, audio quality, video quality, internet connection, and any and all redundancies. Also, confirm your upload speed by testing your connection at a website like www.speedtest.net/. If your event has an on-site component, you should schedule time to test all of your video production equipment at the venue. Here are 5 important things to test and/or consider prior to your event:

     

      • Internet connectivity – It is best practice to use a dedicated, reliable internet connection. A good benchmark is to have twice as much upload speed available as the bitrate you need to stream at. You may want to connect directly via Ethernet and stream on a dedicated network to reduce bandwidth fluctuation and interruptions.
      • Power – Do you have enough power on the available circuits to power all of your equipment? It’s best to have lights, audio, and encoders all on their own circuit. Is there a backup power plan? Having extra batteries to charge phones, cameras, and mics is also a good idea.
      • Switchers and encoders – An encoder is a piece of hardware or software used to convert live feed or pre-recorded video so that it is viewable over the internet via computers and mobile devices. Switchers are what you use if your event setup includes more than one camera. A live production switcher allows you to mix between multiple cameras and angles during a live broadcast. Be sure to test that your encoders and switchers are working and supportive of your event needs.
      • A Dedicated Tech Setup Space – Whether you are recording in a small space or are working with a large venue, it is important to trial run your tech setup to make sure nothing is in the way and that equipment has the appropriate space to be safely and effectively used. This might mean checking to make sure there is a table for equipment to rest on, gaffer tape to secure wires, extra cables such as HDMI, Ethernet, and XRL, backup power strips, extension cords, and enough chairs for the tech crew to sit and manage all live streaming efforts.
      • Access – Be sure to request and test access to the building and/or rooms being used. Nothing is worse than not being able to unload heavy tech equipment through the most convenient doorway because you don’t have the key or code to get in. If the event is 100% virtual, test virtual platform firewalls, access codes, and passwords as necessary.

     

    #6: Plan for Mishaps


    You know the saying, “Anything that can go wrong…” Whether it is within your control or not, as a seasoned event planner, you know that mishaps happen. Be prepared for anything so you are flustered by nothing. Keep moving and have a backup plan. Working with a professional event service, such as MeetingPlay, will provide the added support to deliver a seamless event each time.

     

    If you can check off these 6 items for big-picture planning, you are well on your way to creating a powerful, live stream event that will align with your brand’s purpose, capitalize on your content strategy, and deliver a superb viewing experience to your target market delivered by tested technology.  

     

    To move on to the next step in planning, you’ll need to consider key components such as budget, streaming platform preference, and level technology you need, from basic to advanced. This will help you produce an optimal streaming experience that is best suited for your event’s purpose, size, audience, and end-goals. Download our Event Live Streaming: The Ultimate Guide to learn more!

     

    Event Live Streaming: The Ultimate Guide

     

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