Live-streamed events have recently skyrocketed in popularity. Many people prefer live streaming as there is an exciting feel to watching an event occur as it happens in real time. Live streaming, coupled with virtual events, offers the benefits of convenience, accessibility, and maximum interactivity.
However, even though live streaming has many benefits, some event planners still prefer sharing pre-recorded material or producing on-demand content. This is because they can’t get around some of the challenges that live streaming creates, such as technical considerations.
For example, a virtual peer conference might pose challenges such as technical constraints, low engagement and interactivity, or lack of personalized networking.
Cadence was a monthly series of live-streamed peer discussions where professionals in the events, communication, and marketing industries were invited to share their perspectives and expertise on relevant topics around cadence in business. Each episode aimed to tackle a different topic that was trending at the time, such as how to monetize virtual events, how to thrive in the new world of work, and how to take care of your mental health in an increasingly virtual world. The series ran for a full year, from August 2021 to June 2022. The main objective of Cadence was for professionals in these areas to meet virtually and form new relationships with their peers. It was a success.
LIVE STREAMING CADENCE EPISODES
When Cadence was in the pre-event planning stage, there was much talk about whether to stream the episodes live or pre-record them and then share the recordings with the audience virtually. Pre-recording them would have allowed the speakers to make errors freely, as these would simply be edited out.
Live streaming the episodes meant the speakers needed to be better prepared, and that all technical errors needed to be addressed on the spot. However, we opted for live streaming because we wanted the experience to be more interactive for the audience. Here are some of the common challenges we faced and how we overcame them:
Streaming Platform Stability
We needed a platform that would be dependable and capable of handling our desired stream quality. In the past, we had been using the Remo platform, which is excellent for networking, because it is set up with virtual tables that allow up to six people to have a conversation. However, the streaming quality of Remo was not up to par with our expectations.
So, we decided to combine them both. Since Remo was an excellent choice for the networking portion of the event, we hosted the event using the Remo platform and invited all attendees to join on Remo. Additionally, we set up a stream in Streamyard and sent this invitation link only to the speakers. Using their RTMP streaming feature, we were able to send the live stream directly to the audience at Remo. This meant that the audience saw a smooth stream the entire time, and still had the ability to network with each other on the Remo platform.
Hardware and Software Setup
Setting up the necessary equipment and software for live streaming can be complex, especially for beginners. Ensuring compatibility, configuring settings, and troubleshooting technical issues can be time-consuming.
To override this issue, we had a streaming technician who was familiar with Streamyard with the speakers. Our streaming tech gave the speakers a brief tutorial on the basics of the platform and showed them how to be camera ready. He had full control of the overlays and was able to bring up the speakers on cue, ensuring a smooth transition.
Keeping the audience engaged throughout the live stream was also a challenge. This is why we decided to have a host guide the discussions and technicians on the Remo platform to show the guests how to use the chat features and to address any technical issues on the spot.
Before the event, we asked the speakers to keep an eye on the chat through Remo so that they could interact with the audience. At the beginning of the event, the host let the audience know that they were welcome to add any comments or questions to the chat. This worked well because the audience would constantly chime in whenever the speakers said something that resonated with them.
We also included an interval after the first session, where the speakers were able to move from table to table and talk to the guests. During this break, the audience was able to give their input and ask other questions to the speakers. After the networking session, the speakers were brought back on stage by the streaming tech, and they continued the conversation based on what had been said at the tables. This layout helped maintain the interest of the audience throughout the entire virtual experience.
For many event planners, it is difficult to drive meaningful connections virtually. Videos are live-streamed, but there are minimal opportunities for people to interact directly with each other. Since our main objective was for our audience to form new relationships, we left space for a networking portion. During this time, the speakers went to different tables and met with the audience. The attendees were also able to move around freely.
Using a customized floor plan, we created the tables to include a maximum number of six seats. With this small number, the conversations were more intimate and meaningful. Some people also chose to break away from the crowd and have one on one conversations with other guests.
After each Cadence episode, the audience walked away with knowledge of new tools and trends in specific industries. More importantly, though, they walked away having formed meaningful connections and relationships. Towards the end of every event, almost all participants would post their social media accounts in the chat and ask to connect with others.
While event organizers will continue to face challenges, there is no denying the value of live-streamed events, particularly peer discussions. By combining a powerful networking platform like Remo and a live streaming service such as Streamyard, we can create highly engaging and interactive events.
If you want to live stream your next virtual event but want to ensure you have maximum interactivity, reach out to us or request your demo today. See how we can take your event to the next level by providing you with our knowledge of different virtual and streaming platforms.