Live events are surging in popularity, with companies signing on to organize in-person events more than ever. In fact, in looking at industry data for last year alone, “...the number of companies organizing 20 or more events per year increased by 17%. ”
It seems like everyone is trying to get in on the live event craze, from B2B events like Dreamforce or Outreach’s Unleash to media companies diving in headfirst with the likes of Girlboss Rally LA or Forbes’ slew of events including their Women’s Summit, Healthcare Summit, and, of course, the infamous 30 under 30. There truly is a live event for everyone.
Beyond selling tickets to the actual event, organizers have realized the opportunity to monetize the live stream. But what should event organizers and live stream event video producers be prepared for before, during and after the event? We’ve created our live video broadcast checklist to help teams use this new monetization channel with confidence.
Before you decide on live streaming at events, you should identify the end goals you would like to achieve. According to Hubspot, you should determine your who, what, when, where, and how for a live video broadcast.
The “Who”: No, not the band. Your “who” is the target audience you want the live stream to resonate with.
Who do you expect will want or should be watching? Do they need to register beforehand or can they access the live stream while it’s happening? You should also consider who will be running everything on-site as well as in the background.
The “What”: Think about your main topic or themes.
What do you think will resonate with your “who”? Is there a certain high-value session that’s sold-out? Are you unveiling a new project? Determine what you want to highlight.
The “When”: Timeline is extremely important.
Will you be live streaming during a certain part of your in-person event or will it be for the entire time? That will be a huge determining factor in the number of resources you’ll need to pull off live streaming.
The “Where”: Locations and channels also matter.
Where will you be live streaming? Is it in a large auditorium or small conference room? Does the location have the appropriate broadcast internet connection and bandwidth to support live streaming? The “where” also includes the channels you want to show the live stream. Do you want it to be on your website or will it just go on social media?
The “How”: And of course, you can’t do anything without the right equipment and resources.
How will you capture your video? Have you tested your equipment or do you need to replace anything? Should you invest in a high-quality, scalable and user-friendly live streaming service that works across devices, supports easy monetization and integrates analytics?
Once you know these basics, you can then begin to mark off a few other tasks on your pre-show live streaming checklist.
If you know anything about Live Streaming 101 or the basics of event planning really, you should know that Murphy’s Law comes into full play. Chances are something will go wrong, but being prepared to react swiftly is how you can maintain and regain control.
On the day of and before you get to the venue/location of the live video stream, make sure you double-check that you’ve packed up all the right equipment. If you have to fly or mail any equipment ahead of the event, make sure you give yourself a few days for the equipment to get to the venue on time. Right before the show starts and your equipment is set up, test, test, test.
You might see a difference in audio quality because of the location’s HVAC system or some other background noise that you’ll have to adjust. And for the record, make sure you take care of yourself by eating something, drinking plenty of water, and going to the bathroom before you start the live video broadcast.
Here are a couple more pro tips to consider as soon as you hit record.
If you’re in a low bandwidth environment and notice an issue with stream quality, lower the streaming bitrate. By pulling back the bitrates, you can demonstrate consistency before you dial up the bitrates.
Use a local source stream to record, so that if there happens to be an interruption to your provider, you’ll have a quality copy of the broadcast locally recorded.
After the live event ends or at least the segment you wanted to capture, you’ll have to run through another live video broadcast checklist to close out the event.
First, you’ll want to make sure you end the live broadcast a few minutes after so you have space for future editing.
Next, archive your broadcast as a VOD with your provider so that other viewers can access later for playbacks. Don’t forget to include your locally recorded version in post-production as it’s usually higher quality than the live archive.
Lastly, break down your set up, collect feedback and make sure your marketing team repurposes content by including your live stream video assets as part of drip or nurture campaigns. Be creative with how you use your live stream videos post-show. The Content Marketing Institute lists several ideas on other ways to use the video, including creating clips and using within blogs and even creating podcasts.
Give yourself time to reflect on lessons-learned after an event. You’ll want to make sure you capture why certain things went wrong, if you had the right resources to execute a successful live stream, and if your audience truly enjoyed the broadcast. With this information, you’ll continue to produce high-quality live video broadcasts of your events.