Before You Live Stream Events, You Should Read This
Live streaming is easier than ever before. However, it’s still a technical process. There are a lot of things to get right. That said, do you want to know how to live stream events effectively? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
In this blog article, we cover a number of streaming solutions to help you start doing effective live streaming. Broadcasting live events can be tricky for first-timers. But with the right technology and streaming services, you can get a great result. And live streaming doesn’t just need to be for huge events. It turns out that live streaming makes sense for events of all sizes.
The fact is, live streaming can support any type of business. Online video is growing explosively. For example, online video viewing hours grew by 114% in Q1 2018, compared to the same time the previous year. The bottom line? To build your own successful live streaming events, you need to take the right approach.
Live stream your events–successfully!
Now, let’s take a look here at some key tips for live streaming events the right way. We’ll review a few different elements, beginning with planning the flow of a live event. Then, we’ll cover the process through the necessary post-event wrap up. In sum, this material should provide you with enough basic knowledge to take your live streaming events to the next level. Let’s get started.
Planning the flow for live stream events
The first step in any successful live stream event is to master the flow of the event. This component is critical even without a live stream, of course. However, when the cameras are rolling, all the stakes are higher.
First, you want a clear plan before you live stream events. You want to know when the different segments will start when certain technical events have to take place, and so on. Here’s a brief example of how such a plan can look:
- 6 pm – Launch live stream with a custom message and countdown timer: “Event begins in XX minutes” (you can use Dacast’s live countdown)
- 6:30 pm – Event stream goes live. Introduction.
- 6:45 pm – First segment
- 6:55 pm – Commercial break
- 7:00 pm – Second segment
- 7:55 pm – Finale
- 8 pm – End live stream
Verify sufficient internet connection speed (upload)
When viewers get a poor quality live video, they get upset. Their satisfaction and interest drop and they’re much more likely to leave—and to view your brand negatively. This is the outcome when your internet isn’t fast enough to support your live stream events.
To live stream effectively, you need a fast internet connection. Specifically, you need sufficient upload speed. Typically, internet speed is measured using two numbers: download and upload. Upload refers to how fast you can send information out to the rest of the internet.
A common internet connection speed might look like 25 Mbps (Megabits per second) download / 5 Mbps upload. These are “ideal” speeds, meaning you might not get all that speed in a real-world scenario. To check your real speeds, I recommend using a site like www.testmy.net. There, you can run a few tests and average the results to get your actual upload speed.
Then, make sure your encoder settings fit comfortably within your available bandwidth.
Check your equipment
When you stream live events, you really need professional-grade equipment for optimal results. This includes video cameras, microphones, tripods, monitors, audio/video mixing, encoder, and more. Plus, you’ll need the trained personnel to properly operate this live streaming equipment.
Before a shoot, you need to set up our equipment. Mount cameras, connect cables and make sure all batteries are fully charged. Test microphones and make sure equipment is functioning properly. Make sure to check all the little details well ahead of time.
This stage includes choosing the proper settings on all your gear as well. This includes resolution, audio channels, and more. Plus, it includes setting up your encoder. In general, software encoders are more popular than hardware. These tools run on a computer, which you’ll need to set up and test as well. We’ve written extensively about encoder choices and encoder settings in the past. Feel free to have a deeper look.
Assess your shots
Of course, the video itself is critical to any live stream. This includes making sure you get the right shots. Usually, this should be left to the cinematography professionals.
If you need a basic outline, try this 3-pronged approach:
- First camera focused on the “wide” shots
- Second camera focused on the “tight” shots
- Third camera mobile, to go to interesting locations throughout your scene
Develop a solid marketing strategy
Marketing is another critical element of a live event. To be successful, you need to have an efficient event marketing strategy.
“The rules still apply,” Beth Mock LeBlanc, chief creative officer, founder, and managing partner at MLB Creative, has said. “You need to have a plan for your live videos; it can’t just be ad-lib. Find out what your audience is interested in and come up with a plan that targets that.”
You want to use all your outreach platforms and channels. Use your website and social media. Work with partners and consider print advertising/flyers. Determine your target audience and target those people. When you plan effectively, video can be extremely effective. In fact, 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI (Return on Investment).
Embed your live stream on websites
Next, you need to be sure all your live stream embeds are working correctly. Embedding a live stream is easy. If you’re using Dacast, all you have to do is visit your management dashboard and navigate to the live channel in question. Then, select the embed code and go to your website.
Next, switch to a code editor, then paste the embed code into the page you want to embed the stream on. Publish the updates, test to make sure it’s working correctly, and you’re good to go.
You may want to repeat this process on multiple sites. You can also send this code to partners and they can share it on their websites. Make sure everything is working correctly before you start to promote these pages.
Wrapping up your live stream events
Before you even start to live stream events, you want to plan for the aftermath. This follow-through includes various elements. For example:
- Recording. Consider making the live event available as a VOD for people who missed the live event or want to watch again.
- Marketing. Continue to share the event recording and promote it. Consider emails, blog posts, social sharing, and so on.
- Edits. Consider creating some short promo videos using highlights from your event that can be used to promote the next event, or to get more views for this one.
- Feedback. What can you do to improve your event next time?
Some event planners fear that live streaming will decrease in-person attendance. However, the opposite is actually true. Research shows that around 30 percent of people who watch a live stream event will attend in person the following year. With that in mind, stream to your heart’s content!
With these tips, it couldn’t be easier to live stream events. It’s a great time to get started with reaching your audience and building revenue streams. Follow the above tips, and test everything thoroughly, and you’re well on your way to a great outcome.
To launch your stream, you will need an online video platform for hosting and delivering your video content.
Dacast offers top tier Akamai CDN delivery, monetization options, security functionality, analytics, and more. We also offer a 14-day free trial that includes full access to our platform to allow you to test it thoroughly. There is no commitment and no credit card required. Just click the button below to start streaming live in a matter of minutes!
Do you have further questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below, and we will get back to you. For regular live streaming tips and exclusive offers, you can also join the Dacast LinkedIn group. We’d love to connect there as well.
Thanks for reading, and good luck!