In technical terms, it is the broadcasting of real-time video to an audience over the internet. But in event marketing, it is much more than that. We are living in a time of unprecedented access to content and a multitude of methods to present that content. Brands need to stand out from the crowd and live streaming is a powerful way to do so.
The decision to utilize live streaming in your event might come as a necessity, but it is much more impactful when planned as a purposeful part of your strategy than included as afterthought.
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. Though live events are fleeting, video can expand your content's reach and shelf life.
How will your audience access the live stream? Is it shareable? Will your live stream be embedded on your website, shared on your social media channels, and/or viewed on a live streaming platform?
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 streamed, the online quality should be on par with the in-person experience.
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.
Be prepared for anything. Keep moving and have a backup plan. Working with a professional event technology partner, such as MeetingPlay, will provide the added support to deliver a seamless event every time.
We created this ultimate guide because we believe in the power of video. We’ll get you up to speed on the nitty gritty details on how to live stream, which platforms to consider, and what technology and set up you need depending on your budget and event goals. Check these off and get on your way to planning an awesome live streamed event!
When compared with SEO and other types of content marketing for events, live streaming is often a cost-effective implementation. Generally speaking, it allows for a positive return on investment (ROI), especially when the ROI is measured by audience satisfaction. That being said, there is a range of live streaming options depending on the event needs and technology required. But don’t worry, there are options for every skill level and every budget!
Basic live streaming: If you don’t have the spending power, or your event doesn’t warrant it, you may opt for free or low-budget live stream options. The tools you’ll need can be as simple as a camera with a Wi-Fi connection and an internal microphone. The technology you’ll need might be something as straightforward as Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, YouTube Live Events, or Twitter. These services are easy to set up and allow you to stream to a larger audience. Most events streamed on such social media sites can be shared, which increases your reach. So, if your goal is to simply record a presentation or a demo with limited audience interaction, this is a great, budget-friendly option.
Basic level tech requirements:
Basic level tips:
There are many options from free or low-budget sites to high-end, comprehensive apps you can choose for hosting your live stream event content. These are some of the most popular sites and apps you may consider:
Audiences can watch live streams on Facebook Live via either their Facebook app or the web. Viewers can also make real-time comments while the live video is on and they share the video with their friends and to the public.
Twitter allows users to stream live videos directly from the app on iOS and Android operating system. Live streaming on Twitter is possible via Periscope (you do not need to download the Periscope app). The streaming video displays within the app and you can determine if just your friends or the public can view the video. To be able to stream your event live on Twitter, your Twitter account must be public; profiles set to private can't stream live videos. To switch your account from the public, go to “Settings and Privacy” and disable “protect your tweet.”
The Instagram live story feature is embedded in the Instagram app. It is very easy to use and requires little or no technical expertise. While your live broadcast is going on, viewers can like and comment on it. You can share videos as long as one hour but once the live broadcast is over the videos will disappear. When you start streaming your event on Instagram, your followers will receive a notification, or a live tag will appear on your Instagram story and your audience can click and watch.
Streaming your events on YouTube is easy and you can do it using a desktop computer or a mobile device. Audiences are very familiar with this platform for accessing video content.
If your live streaming event is taking place in a physical location, you’ll need check your venue for these critical components:
Hardwired internet is preferable, in which case you’ll need to locate the Ethernet access point. You’ll want twice as much bandwidth as your stream’s bitrate. Having a dedicated network is best for live video; you don’t want to share your connection with anyone else.
Know where your outlets are and make sure 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 a good idea. Also, consider the physical limitations of cable lengths, depending on where outlets are located. You may need extension cords and power strips.
A dedicated tech setup space
Whether you are recording in a small space or are working with a large venue, it is important 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, and extension cords, and enough chairs for the tech crew to sit and manage all live streaming efforts.
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 code or key to get in. If the event is 100% virtual, test virtual platform firewalls, access codes, and passwords as necessary.
Armed with all of this live streaming knowledge, you are ready to hit the ground running! MeetingPlay Studio and our professional streaming software make it easier than ever to get started. Our platform is the best way to grow your event content strategy, increasing your brand’s awareness, engagement, and reach across your industry. If you’re ready to take on the world of live streaming, we are here (and ready) to help!