How livestreaming is changing the face of the events industry: Part 2, launching your first livestream
This article is the second of a three-part series. To start at part 1, please click here.
With the right bit of kit and an eye for production, your event could be up there with the royal wedding and Coachella festival, beamed onto laptops and tablets all around the world.
After all, why not aim high?
Launching your first livestream is easy. So get your team together to discuss the four most important elements of broadcasting: technology, people, platform and ideas.
By technology, we of course mean cameras, microphones, computers and all things smart. The phone in your pocket is more than capable of clipping simple livestreams – a speech, a catwalk, even a show, to an extent. But your viewers won’t want to watch your broadcast if the audio is grainy or the video is stuttering.
If you want to build a loyal audience you’ll need to invest in some real equipment.
One camera is good for static shots, but you can make viewers feel as though they’re really part of the show by operating multiple cameras; some close-up, some panning the scene, others focused on the crowd.
Sound quality is arguably a bigger deal. Lapel mics are good for structured interviews, but aren’t quite as effective at large events where you might end up chatting to everyone and anyone. A good wireless dynamic vocal microphone can be relied upon in most circumstances.
At the business end, you’ll need a mid-to-high power computer or laptop, a capture card and access to a fast internet connection. Most providers recommend a minimum internet upload speed of around 10 Mbps (that’s megabits per second), so double check that your venue can provide at least that.
Your livestreaming tech checklist
- How’s the sound? The volume of your focus (your interviewee or host) shouldn’t be too loud or too quiet. You don’t want to deafen your viewers, but you don’t want them to switch off either.
- Is the internet on? A good connection can make or break your stream, so check with the venue before you hit play.
- “It won’t reach!” – spare batteries, extension cords and multitaps are the heroes that often get left behind.
Livestreaming is a people business. You’ll almost certainly want someone in front of the camera, guiding your audience through the events they see before them. And behind every good livestream is an even better production team. They’ll ensure the sound levels are right, the stream is running smoothly, and the shots are in focus.
Where will you stream? In part 1, we looked at a few of the most popular platforms. YouTube Live is generally suitable for all kinds of events, while Twitch is better for events associated with the entertainment and video games industry.
The top five free live streaming platforms:
What will you stream? How long will you stream for? How will you get your audience involved? These are just some of the questions you’ll want to answer before starting the show.
The best streams often involve some form of audience interaction. You could set up a poll and let your viewers vote – the outcome could even affect the live show. Or set up a live Question and Answer session about your business, a new product, or the event you’re hosting. The possibilities are limitless. Here’s a few we recommend you should try.
- A pre-event tour. Let your online viewers go behind the scenes before anyone else.
- Free product demo. Why restrict product demonstrations to the real world? Host a live stream and show everyone what your product has to offer.
- Avoid downtime. Between keynote speakers or performances set up a couch area where the host can interview guests or chat with the livestream audience
For extra ingenuity, link up your live show with your social media, website, and advertising materials. Your livestream should represent your brand, so you should decide what your broadcast says about you.
In part 3 we’ll learn more about what livestreaming can do for your brand. Follow us on Twitter to be the first to read when it’s released.
The salesy bit: sometimes things can go wrong in the middle of a live broadcast – and usually it’s because of the flimsy internet connection. To livestream in high definition, most providers recommend a minimum internet upload speed of around 10 Mbps (that’s megabits per second). That might be more than the venue can provide. We can deploy a fast and reliable internet connection at any site in the country so you can livestream your event without a hitch. Simply get in touch and tell us what you need.