Live-streamed virtual events have increased in popularity over the last couple of years. Studies have shown that live streaming is a more effective method for keeping your audience’s attention. In fact, live content generates 27% more watch time per viewing than on-demand content. This is because there is an exciting feel to watching an event streamed in real-time.
Live webinars or conferences help you grow an audience and interact with your followers, but only if done right. If you’re considering live streaming your events, then we have a few tips that will help.
What is live streaming?
First of all, what even is live streaming? Live streaming refers to the broadcasting of real-time video or audio content over the Internet. It allows individuals or organizations to transmit live events, performances, presentations, or any other form of media directly to an audience that can access it remotely.
Why is live streaming popular?
Live-streamed content provides a sense of immediacy and real-time interaction. Most people prefer it because it allows viewers to experience events as they unfold and often includes features like live chat or audience participation, enhancing the sense of community and engagement.
Interactive live streaming offers a more authentic and unedited experience compared to pre-recorded videos, as it captures real-time reactions and events. Live-streamed content can also create a shared experience among viewers, fostering a sense of excitement and anticipation.
What are the benefits of live streaming?
Event planners have found live video streaming to be a unique alternative to other types of communication. It has proven to be very effective for engaging with audiences.
For example, it is more affordable for bigger businesses. The cost of live-streaming content is significantly less than hosting a full-on virtual event or producing on-demand content. Once you find the right streaming platform and an adept tech team, you can have a smooth and successful live stream.
Live streams allow you to engage with your audience in real time. What attracts viewers to a live stream is knowing that they can watch the action as it is happening. Viewers can ask questions on the spot, exchange ideas, and interact with the speakers during the stream.
Recording your live stream offers you great, reusable content. You can record, download, edit, and repurpose your videos to keep engaging with your audience even after the live stream ends. You can either post the entire playback on your site or use snippets of videos on your social media pages.
Since live streaming holds your audience’s attention for longer, you can pack in more rich information or cover more than one topic.
How to live stream your event
If you’ve decided that you want to live stream your next event, then you can follow these basic steps:
Prepare the content.
Before you even begin to prepare your content, you must determine the purpose of your live stream. Why are you doing your live stream? Are you educating, entertaining, or engaging your audience? Clarify your goals and what you want to achieve with the stream. You must also know your audience. Understanding who your target audience is, their interests, and what they expect from your live stream will help you tailor your content to meet their needs and preferences.
Next, you can plan your format. Decide on the format of your live stream. Will it be a Q&A session, a tutorial, a panel discussion, a presentation, or a combination of different elements? Some people opt to live stream their webinars or conferences to reach a wider audience. Knowing your format can help you outline the flow and structure of your content.
Once you have your format, you can then create an outline. Develop an outline or script that outlines the key points, topics, or segments you'll cover during the live stream. This will help you stay organized and focused. Lastly, include visuals and props. Consider what visual elements or props you'll need during the live stream. This could include slides, graphics, videos, or physical objects. Prepare and organize them in advance.
Now that you have an outline, you can start creating compelling and engaging content that captures the attention of your viewers. Use storytelling techniques, interactive elements, and examples to make your content more interesting and relatable.
Your content and audience will then help you decide what streaming platform is the best to use.
Choose the right streaming service.
There are plenty of live-streaming platforms available. The one you choose will depend on your goals and your audience. Your choices range from free live-streaming websites for a small audience to platforms that offer advanced features so you can broadcast a smooth stream to multiple channels.
However, if you want a quality stream that can be broadcast to a large audience, you’ll want to go for an advanced platform, once that offers features such as the ability to stream to several platforms at once, RTMP support, the ability to stream pre-recorded videos or overlays, its compatibility with different devices, good video and streaming quality, flexible payment options, video storage, stream analytics, ability to record in video or audio format, and ease of use.
With good streaming software, you can customize your live stream and connect with your audiences.
Hire a live-streaming technician.
If you choose to broadcast your stream to a large audience, then hiring a live-streaming company is a smart move. Streaming technicians are professionals who specialize in setting up and maintaining live-streaming setups, ensuring a smooth and high-quality streaming experience for viewers. They can help you set up the necessary equipment for streaming, such as cameras, microphones, lighting, and capture cards. They ensure that all the hardware is properly connected and functioning correctly.
Streaming technicians are familiar with various streaming software and platforms. They can assist in configuring the streaming software, optimizing settings, and ensuring compatibility with your desired streaming platform. They can also help optimize your network connection to ensure a stable and reliable internet connection, minimizing lag and buffering issues during the live stream. This may involve troubleshooting network issues, adjusting router settings, or recommending network upgrades if necessary.
If any technical issues arise during the live stream, a streaming technician can quickly diagnose and resolve them. They have experience in dealing with common streaming problems like audio/video sync issues, dropped frames, or software crashes. Additionally, during the live stream, a technician can monitor the stream's performance, keeping an eye on quality metrics, bandwidth usage, and any potential issues that may arise. They can provide real-time support and troubleshooting if needed.
Overall, a streaming technician plays a crucial role in ensuring a professional and smooth live-streaming experience, handling the technical aspects so that you can focus on delivering your content to your audience.
Do a tech check.
Your technician will also walk you through all the equipment you need to use and do a tech check with you. Some key components are a camera, audio equipment, and a stable internet connection.
Depending on your budget and requirements, you can use a professional camera, a webcam, or even a smartphone with a good camera. You can also invest in a microphone or audio recording device to capture clear sound. A headset is also a good option. Finally, high-speed internet is crucial for uninterrupted streaming. Use a wired connection when possible, or ensure a strong Wi-Fi signal if you're using a mobile device.
If you have multiple speakers joining your broadcast, ensure that all of them have their tech working properly before the main event. Ensuring you have proper equipment results in a smooth, high-quality stream.
Schedule a rehearsal.
Once all the speakers are familiarized with the platform, do a rehearsal or several before the main event. A detailed show flow will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Have speakers practice their presentation or discussion topics beforehand. Everyone should be familiar with the script, key points, and transitions. If the presentations include any video clips, slides, or other media elements to incorporate, rehearse the timing and transitions. Test any screen sharing or multimedia features planned to use during the live stream.
If possible, consider having a small test audience join the rehearsal to simulate audience engagement. Practice responding to comments, questions, or interactions that may occur during the live stream. Lastly, evaluate technical aspects. Run through the technical aspects of your live stream, such as starting and ending the broadcast, managing overlays or graphics, and switching between different camera angles or scenes. Ensure all software and platforms are set up correctly.
After the rehearsal, evaluate the overall performance. Take note of areas that need improvement and refine your content, delivery, or technical setup accordingly. By following these steps, you'll be well-prepared for your live stream, minimizing technical issues and delivering a professional and engaging experience for your viewers.
Promote your live stream.
Promoting a live stream is crucial for attracting viewers and increasing engagement. It can also give your audience time to plan if they want to attend. Here are some practical ways to promote your live stream:
Use social media. Leverage platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to announce and promote your live stream. Create engaging posts with compelling visuals, enticing captions, and relevant hashtags. Share teasers or exclusive content to generate interest.
Create a dedicated event page. Build an event page on platforms like LinkedIn or Eventbrite. Provide details about your live stream, including date, time, topic, and any special guests or highlights. Encourage attendees to invite their friends and share the event page.
Send emails. If you have an email list or newsletter, send dedicated emails to your subscribers, informing them about the upcoming live stream. Include a catchy subject line, an enticing description, and a clear call-to-action that leads them to the live stream.
Remember to plan your promotion strategy well before the event, build anticipation, and maintain consistent messaging across all promotional channels. Encourage your existing viewers to share and invite others, and provide incentives for participation, such as giveaways or exclusive content during the broadcast.
Don't be discouraged if your first live stream doesn't go as planned. Take feedback from your audience, evaluate your performance, and strive to improve for next time.
Interested in live streaming your events?
Ultimately, deciding to live stream your event depends on your goals, audience, and available resources. Evaluating these factors and considering the potential benefits and drawbacks will help you determine whether live streaming is the right choice for your event.
Not only does live streaming allow you to expand your event's reach beyond physical attendees, but it also enables real-time engagement with your audience through comments, questions, and other interactive features, such as polls and surveys.
Interactive live streams can serve as a marketing tool, helping generate buzz and awareness for your brand, organization, or future events. It can also allow you to repurpose the recorded content later for promotional purposes.
Did you know? One of the services we offer is Live Streaming. If you’re planning to live stream your event to multiple channels, ACE Virtual Events can help you reach the maximum number of viewers while ensuring top-notch production quality. Send us a message and one of our streaming techs will get back to you.