Guide to Live Streaming Events
As recent trends have shown dropping Covid-19 case numbers and hospitalizations across the country, many people are understandably excited at the prospect of returning to life as we knew it prior to the pandemic starting.
This is especially true for those who work in events. The prospect of getting back fully in-person, and at full-capacity, for conferences, product launch events, and other events has event planners and marketers chomping at the bit.
However, it’s important to realize that while many things will return to “normal”, there are also a lot of practices from the pandemic that would be short-sighted to get rid of completely. One of those practices is live streaming events. While many aspects of your event will only be available for in-person attendees, live streaming the big reveals and other key presentations, allows you to reach a much larger audience. In fact, the live streaming market is estimated to have reached $70 billion in 2021, and is predicted to grow to more than $220 billion by 2027.
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With this type of massive growth, the writing on the wall is that consumers will continue expecting live stream options for events well into the future. This guide will take a deep dive into live streaming to help you ensure you are set up and prepared to offer a high-quality live stream for your events.
Selecting a Platform
The first step when planning to set up a live stream is picking out a platform. Different platforms have different advantages. Some of the options include:
- YouTube Live – This platform is great if your main goal is registrations and attendees. It’s easy to use and you can change the settings so that only people who have registered get a link, or you can send the link directly to certain individuals. You can also change the privacy settings to meet your needs, so the event is either open to everyone or only to registered (and sometimes paid) individuals.
- Facebook Live – This platform often gets more interactions than other streaming options, and is also relatively easy to use. However, it has less to offer from a pre-registration standpoint than Youtube Live. This is a good option for smaller, less-formal live streams, while still getting a lot of eyes on the video.
- Vimeo – This is a platform specifically made for live streaming. It allows users to stream high definition video through their website and social channels. This platform can connect with YouTube and Facebook so that the stream can be available on multiple platforms. This is a great option for large events with high-level streaming needs. It allows for interaction by the audience on the stream and can be customized with branding and graphics.
Setting Up Internet Connection
One thing that is very important to consider when preparing to live stream an event is that your bandwidth needs will likely go up quite a bit. Live streaming takes up a lot of bandwidth, and you want to ensure that the connection is reliable so the stream doesn’t freeze or lag, or even worse your audience drops off all together.
The first step in this process is determining how much WiFi your event needs. By assessing factors like how many people will be using the internet in-person, the type of content (video, high-resolution graphics, etc.) that will be presented, how many presentations will be running at one time, and how many people will be viewing the live stream from home, you can get an idea of your internet needs. This information can be put into a bandwidth calculator and you will be able to determine an estimated amount needed for a reliable, fast connection.
Event Wifi Rental from eTech
Once you see how much bandwidth is needed, the next step is making sure you have the equipment needed to meet the requirements. The provided WiFi at event venues, or within your office, is oftentimes not sufficient. This is why many people turn to eTech to boost their bandwidth during events with 5G hotspots. Remember, the faster your internet connection, the better your streaming quality and experience you provide to the audience.
A/V and Lighting Equipment
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While a handheld phone and an overhead kitchen light might be more than enough for your favorite TikTok influencer, you likely want to have a bit more than that for streaming your big event.
Having quality camera equipment, lighting equipment, and audio equipment will make the quality of your live stream a lot better. As with how having a good internet connection can prevent lagging or low-quality video, a high-definition camera and lighting will make the video much more enjoyable for the audience. If they can barely see or hear what the presenter is saying, they are more likely to lose interest or close out of the stream altogether.
It depends on how often you plan on live streaming events to determine whether you should buy the equipment, or look into renting it short term.
After all the logistics have been figured out, and the proper equipment and platforms selected, the next step is preparing the content of the livestream. In order to provide a memorable experience and leave an impression on potential future clients, you need to make sure what is being presented is engaging every step of the way. This includes what the speaker is saying and the presentation itself.
The challenge that many companies face with live streamed events, is that oftentimes virtual audiences are multitasking, unlike in-person attendees. It’s very easy for virtual attendees to check their email, chat with a coworker, or step away from the screen for a moment, meaning they can potentially miss really important information.
One way to avoid this is building in presenter/viewer interaction. This can be done in multiple ways such as opening up Q&A to live stream viewers, building in polls to survey the audience’s opinion on topics being presented, quizzes where random people can be called on to win giveaways (virtual gift cards, etc.), and more. For further inspiration on providing engaging live streams to an audience, check out this article about comedians who live streamed comedy shows during the pandemic.
About eTech Rentals
eTech Rentals is a national technology solutions provider located in Southern California specializing in rental technology integration. eTech is committed to long-standing client relationships and consistent, reliable local service, trusted by expert event planners, film and entertainment production companies, and businesses in California and nationwide.
Learn more about eTech Rentals at: https://www.etechrentals.com/