There’s no time like the present to learn about event live streaming. Now that planners everywhere are jumping on the virtual event bandwagon, live streaming is one of the buzzwords that have been jumping around. Now, this is far from being new. But considering the current state of events, many have turned to live streaming all over the world. And not just event profs either! Musicians, dancers, artists of all kinds have taken to different platforms to keep engaged with their audiences, offer entertainment, and keep turning a profit.
But how do you go about event live streaming? Where do you even begin? And how do you know you’re doing it correctly? Well, if you’ve been asking yourself these questions, you’ve come to the right place. Because on this week’s edition of Whiteboard Wednesday, our amazing host Will Curran is teaching you the right way to do it. You’ll learn everything from what exactly a platform is to what technologies you should be looking at. So, without further ado, here is your personal guide to event live streaming!
Choosing The Right Platform
We’ve already covered the importance of platforms when it comes to virtual events. And in the specific case of event live streaming, the first question you have to ask yourself is where you’re going to live stream. This could be something like Instagram Live, Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube Live, LinkedIn Live, wherever you want to go live. These are constantly changing and it almost seems like every day there’s a new live stream platform. But the important thing is that you make an informed decision.
Quality, Quality, Quality
So, let’s walk through our options when it comes to event live streaming. For instance, you can use your phone – we’ve all done it at some point in our lives. Smartphone devices have evolved spectacularly in the past few years, and they’re equipped with pretty good audio and camera quality. So if we’re talking about live streaming a birthday party, that should work just fine.
However, you’re probably trying to live stream something a bit bigger. And in that case, you’ll want some extra production value. You might not be able to settle for that shaky video camera footage that you’re getting from your phone. This is when we get into the amazing world of cool tech to elevate your event live streaming experience.
Okay, let’s be honest, audio is number one in the list of priorities. So you want to make sure that you get good audio. And when it comes to the microphone that’s on your phone, it’s not designed to pick up really good audio. What you’re going to want to do is grab a microphone. They actually make microphones that plug directly in phones now and they’re really cool.
And they’re great if you just need to capture some better audio in the room. They also make lavalier microphones. So if it’s just you talking to the camera into the phone, it’s very easy to do. And they’re not expensive! $20 for a good quality one is what you can expect to find. Remember that you’re also looking into keeping the audience engaged – and bad sound plus horrible phone camera recordings are not a good way to keep anyone invested!
Let’s say you’re at a concert and you want to capture the audio from the band. Or you’re doing a breakout room or general session that has multiple people speaking on stage. And you don’t want to just capture the air audio from a microphone and test your phone. You need multiple microphones. Well, you can take what is known as the mixer. This is what all the microphones and everything plugs into. And you can take one of the outputs out of it and they make cables that go straight into your phone.
Let’s Talk Image Quality
If you’re shooting on your phone and it’s a long presentation, you have to stand there and hold the camera for a long time. That can get exhausting! And that’s why we invented tripods and things to hold phones. Will has some recommendations on this front – the Peak Design’s travel tripod, a small thing that unfolds into a full-sized tripod, which is fantastic.
It has one feature that you can buy separately. If you just open up the bottom, it comes with a cool phone mount. Essentially, your phone can attach to it, and it allows you to hold your phone on a traditional tripod. Pretty awesome!
Another product that Will loves is the Gorilla Pod. It’s a tripod that has bendy arms that you can use to wrap around. So you can take that phone adapter for a tripod, screw it right on the top, and you got some stable footage for your phone. Fantastic!
Elevating The Experience
We’ve covered audio, sound, and some cool tech that can help you with event live streaming for a very nice price. But let’s say you’re ready to dish out a little extra money in order to elevate the experience. Let’s say you have a nice camera, which is already quite a bit better than using your phone. And you can also bring your laptop!
So what’s fantastic about bringing a laptop is it allows you to do a couple of things. When you’re using just your phone, you’re only getting the camera footage. But let’s say, for example, you want to bring some graphics. You want to overlay some text over it or you want to bring in a big logo to take over the screen in between presentations. Well, that’s where your laptop comes in. There’s a lot of software now that’s easy to use to do full live streams with multiple graphics.
The Tech You Want To Look For
What you’re going to want to pick up is a capture card. And it has a little HDMI input that allows you to take the output right from your camera and plug the other end into your computer. This way, you can use your nice professional camera as a webcam to be able to do live streaming. That’s how you can be able to get some better footage which, again, goes a long way in keeping the virtual audience engaged.
But let’s say you’re ready to take it even further and you want multiple cameras. And if you’ve ever watched a live stream before, which had one single camera just panning back and forth or even just locked off and static, that can get pretty boring to watch for an hour. Or for even more than five minutes. So what you want to do is introduce multiple cameras. It adds some energy to the production. And it allows you to get multiple angles, allows you to get closeups, to get far away.
Installing Multiple Cameras
But when you’re using things like your phone or a laptop, it’s a lot harder to be able to take multiple cameras in. So you want to be able to pick up what we call the plug and play system. And before you do choose this option, you want to make sure that either you or someone on your team who’s into film or technology can understand how some of this works. Because this is where you’re starting to set things up.
An example of these systems is a Sling Studio. And what it introduces is a very important piece of technology in AV called a switcher, which essentially takes in multiple camera inputs and allows you to switch between them. So for example, you can bring in a laptop that’s running a PowerPoint, or you can bring a laptop that’s running video content. You can bring in all kinds of things. You bring GoPros, you can bring in drone footage live if you want to
You can even use an iPad to control it wirelessly. So you can use a couple of different phones from different angles. Again, keeping the costs low so you don’t have to buy lots of professional cameras. Very inexpensive, too. The studio system is around $2,000 all in.
Rely On Your AV & Production Company
If you’re reading this and thinking nope, that’s just too much trouble, I’m already overwhelmed just reading about it! Well, what you can also do, is rely on your AV and production company. A lot of planners don’t realize that things like the multiple cameras, the audio boards, the microphones, a lot of times, an AV company is already providing it.
So instead of reinventing the wheel and getting all these cameras, your production company may already have it ready to go. Especially when it comes to vendors that specialize in virtual events as well. And it depends on what your production looks like and what you’ve got going on. But rely on your AV company. They know what they’re doing!
Event Live Streaming: Bonus Tips!
Now that we’ve covered the options you have, we want to share a couple of bonus tips in regards to event live streaming. Because far too often we hear about all the tech, and we want to talk about the apps and all the cameras. But we don’t talk about the basics and the strategies when it comes to this!
The first one is related to a hardwired internet connection. If the internet goes down while you’re live streaming, you don’t have a live stream. So what Will recommends you do is always have your internet connection hardwired into however you are doing your live stream. Because hardwire is a lot more reliable. You don’t have to worry about wireless interferences, the wireless network going down, anything like that.
The next is, don’t sacrifice your audio quality. It doesn’t matter how good the video is, if it has bad audio, people are tuning out. However, if you have a bad video with good audio, people are more likely to listen. Maybe they might minimize it and not look at it as much, but at least you’re going to stay tuned and at least listen to what’s going on. Don’t ever sacrifice your audio quality.
And last but not least, engage your audience when it comes to event live streaming. No one wants to sit down below and not get feedback, and not be interactive. Gone are the days of just watching TV. Now everyone wants to be able to choose their adventure. Acknowledge your audience, play with them, ask questions, give shoutouts. They’ll appreciate it!
And that’s a wrap on this week’s episode of Whiteboard Wednesday! Yes, that was a lot of knowledge at once. But hopefully, now you’re more familiarized with the ins and outs of event live streaming. Remember you can always chat with us if you’re looking into planning a virtual event – we’re here to help. Don’t forget to tune in every day for more amazing Endless content!