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Live streaming: Why do it and how to do it well.

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May 10, 2017

We love live streaming events and since our first foray into live streaming almost three years ago we’ve gotten pretty damn good at it. There’s a real buzz when you live stream your events much like live TV anything can (and will) happen. In this blog we explain why you should stream your event and then outline a number of points to ensure that the worst won’t happen.

So why would you Livestream an event? There are many benefits:

  1. To raise brand awareness – Live streaming your event creates an online conversation about your company – our social channels are busiest when we are live streaming
  2. Generate revenue – Free live streaming means that you can reach out to potential new clients and a paid revenue live stream can generate income.
  3. Increase event attendance – Your event can surpass the physical capacity of the theatre you are in – with online channels available to all no-one is excluded from your event. Anyone can watch anywhere in the world with no physical limitations.
  4. Save money – Long distance employees can watch online saving money on travel, hotels and subsistence.
  5. Offers authentic human element to digital engagement – Your viewers get to see the people behind the brands.
  6. Longer viewing time than pre-recorded video – You can’t fast forward a live stream. Viewers are more engaged with live streamed content than they would otherwise be with pre-recorded video
  7. Marketing opportunity – Live streaming offers excellent marketing opportunities. Ensure your stream is well branded and leverage that online conversation that you are creating.

All these points are valid points however they also offer up reasons to make sure that you get your streaming right. How many Livestream’s have you seen where its too dark, the sound is awful, or the picture quality is terrible.  Well,  you won’t see any of that with our content.

There is a reason for all of these issues and the answer usually lies in preparedness.  For us, it is crucial that we work closely with venue and event staff well ahead of the event and a visit to the location is essential.  This collaboration and visit can help us address the following key points that will help you get the most from your event online:

  1. Lighting – Ensure lighting levels work well for both the venue audience and your video content.
  2. Camera positions – find the best positions available taking into account number of seats that you are going to take up, visibility and health and safety (all of these variables have an impact on where cameras can be located). Ensure you have at least one camera at eyeline level with the performer this ensures that the your presenter can connect with the audience at home making them feel part of the ‘performance’ and makes for a more immersive visual experience.
  3. Audio – be certain that you can obtain a high quality audio feed.  It’s best to have a clean balanced feed from the sound desk and mix this with a feed from inside the auditorium so that you pick up audience atmosphere.
  4. Production gallery – ensure that you have a location to work from outside of the main event space.  This is so the live streaming director can talk to camera operators without disturbing your audience.
  5. Test the internet connection – never just take someones word that it’s just going to work. You need to know in advance exactly what upload/download speeds are available in the venue.
  6. Projection screen – most events will have projections screens of some kind – usually they are quite large, ugly and don’t get on well with cameras. Make sure, where possible, that this is above head height of the speaker/performer (see point one above!) so that you don’t see it in all of your shots. Screens often create shadows and make for poorly framed shots. You can cut to a wide to include speaker and screen where the viewer may need to see a slide.
  7. Branding – It’s easy to forget that the live stream will be hosted by a third party – create a landing page that is branded to your company/event. We would then be able to create lower thirds and on-screen logos that can be displayed on your stream and will connect the viewer with your brand. Below is an example of animation that we created for TEDxBrum 2016 using their branding.  This was used as a teaser for the event as well as top and tailing each talk after the event.

The more immersive you make the viewing experience the better for the end user, ideally the viewer needs to feel engaged by the speaker/event and feel as though they are in the room with you. Take a look at some of our examples that are dotted through this blog to see how branded, live streamed content can really work for your event.

If you like what you see then drop us a line here.

 

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