Are you considering live streaming an event? Statistics tell us that that’s a fantastic idea. As many as 67% of viewers are more likely to buy a ticket for an event after watching a live stream.
However, the problem with live streaming is that it’s… well, live. Many things can go wrong right in front of your viewers if you don’t take precautionary measures.
We’ve put together this seven-step guide to help you minimize the chances of that happening. Not only will it help you avoid the risks you may not yet be aware of, but it will also help you produce a high-end stream your audience will enjoy.
What Are The Benefits Of Live Streaming?
There are many reasons why you should consider live streaming. But here are the three main benefits:
- The ease of producing a live stream: Live streams typically take less time to plan than, say, blog posts or pre-recorded videos. Also, you won’t have to lose time on editing and tweaking the final product later.
- Connecting with your audience: Live streams offer your audience a way to engage with you in real time. Additionally, live streams feel more authentic since they can’t be entirely pre-planned or edited. They make your audience feel more connected with you.
- Doesn’t require a ton of expertise: Of course, there are better and worse ways to film live streams. However, they still require less expertise than most marketing materials.
With that said, you should still put effort into planning and executing your live stream. The rest of this article will help you do so.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Live Streaming Events
We’ve split the process of live streaming events into seven easy steps that you can follow.
1) Plan Your Live Stream
Live streaming events is a bit challenging. You have to consider numerous factors that influence the video quality, such as whether there’ll be a lot of background noise that would make your video content incomprehensible.
That’s why live streaming requires a lot of planning and prep. Here’s what you should consider before you start streaming:
- Technical details: Figure out where you’ll locate your camera, whether you need special lighting, how you’ll reduce background noise, etc.
- Video style: Determine the style of your video based on the nature of the event you’re broadcasting. Some live events, like concerts and informal parties, benefit from dynamic shots. Others require a more structured and professional approach.
- Target audience: What you’ll showcase in your video depends on what your audience wants to see. For example, if you’re live streaming a professional conference, your audience is likely to be the most interested in keynote speakers. Considering what your viewers want to see in advance will help you increase audience engagement.
- Replay: To make the most out of your live stream, consider publishing your video so that it can be replayed on demand. If you decide to do so, plan the scenes you’ll add to the intro or during transitions.
All these details will help you ensure high-quality streaming.
2) Choose A Video Streaming Platform
The next thing to consider is what platform you’ll use to host your live stream. The platform can largely influence your stream quality, as well as the overall experience you and your viewers will have.
For example, some live streaming platforms offer little to no support to their users. That means that you’ll be forced to solve any issues you may encounter on your own. Other platforms might lack other features or be unable to accommodate multiple viewers at once.
While there are numerous live streaming platforms you can choose from, the choice essentially comes down to two types of platforms:
- A professional live streaming platform: Dacast, IBM Cloud Video, Brightcove, Muvi, etc.
- A social video streaming platform: Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
A professional live streaming platform will ensure high video quality and give you more control. For example, you can organize private streams by password-protecting your videos.
But a social live streaming platform is likely to be free and help you reach a wider audience. Consider the pros and cons of both options before you choose either one.
With that said, every video streaming platform will require some getting-used-to. For example, you’ll need to know how to navigate the Live Producer to live stream on Facebook:
Live streaming on LinkedIn, on the other hand, is still an exclusive feature available to only those users that meet the platform’s criteria. To use LinkedIn’s live streaming solution, you’ll need to have at least 150 followers or connections, a history of sharing original content that meets community guidelines, and be based outside China.
In a nutshell, every live video streaming platform has its custom set of criteria and features. So, give yourself some time to explore several options and choose the one(s) that fit your needs the best.
3) Prepare Your Equipment
Live streams require only four essential tools: a camera, a microphone, lighting, and a stable internet connection. However, many beginners struggle to choose the equipment that will provide high stream quality. We’ll try to familiarize you with the options you have at your disposal.
When it comes to cameras, you can choose between:
- a webcam
- a phone camera
- a professional, high-end camera
Of course, a professional camera will offer the highest quality. But it might not be necessary in your case. A phone camera can often make live streams feel more authentic and personal
While you can get away with broadcasting with your phone, we wouldn’t advise cutting corners when it comes to audio equipment. Poor audio quality drives viewers away, so it pays off to invest in some higher-end audio sources instead of using the in-built microphone on your camera.
If you’re using a software encoder, you’ll also need a capture card that transfers video feed to your computer. But more on that in the next section.
Additionally, you might want to invest in other live streaming equipment, such as lighting, tripods, stands, and green screens.
4) Set Up Your Video Encoder
A video encoder is a device or software that converts raw video files into digital videos that can be streamed. Which encoder is the best for you will depend on the live streaming platform and equipment you’re using.
For example, if you don’t have a capture card, a hardware encoder is a better option. It already has an internal capture card. However, software encoders tend to be cheaper or even free in some cases.
Additionally, the encoder must be compatible with the platform you’re using and your camera.
5) Test, Test, Test
Always do a test run or two before you stream live events. That way, you’ll minimize the chances of experiencing somewhat embarrassing flops in front of your viewers.
There are three essential things you need to test before live streaming:
- Live stream app: Testing the live stream platform you’re using before the D day is an absolute must. You need to ensure that everything’s working well and get the hang of the platform’s controls and mechanics. If possible, do a private live video for your friends or colleagues and ask for their feedback.
- Streaming setup: You also want your equipment to work seamlessly while you live stream. So, test everything at least a few days in advance. That way, you’ll still have time to purchase new equipment if you discover that something is broken or isn’t working the way you expected it to.
- Internet upload speed: It’s recommended that you have an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps for live streaming. You can check the speed with some of the free tests online, like speedtest.net. If you discover that your speed is not up to par, try disabling other apps that might be running in the background.
6) Promote Your Live Stream
The last thing to do before you go live is to promote your live stream to your audience. You can do so through social platforms or by running ads.
Although this is the last thing on our list, it could be wise to actually start promoting your live before you do anything else. That’s because you’ll need a lot of time to spread the word and create a buzz around your event.
If you fail to start promoting your live stream on time, you risk losing viewers that would otherwise like to join.
A good rule of thumb is to start promoting live streams a month in advance.
Other Tips For A Perfect Live Stream
- Always bring backup: The last thing you want is something going wrong during your live stream. Reduce the chances of that happening by bringing backup cords, cameras, audio cables, connectors, etc.
- Prepare additional material: Although you may be filming a live event, that doesn’t mean that you should be streaming for the entire duration of the event. Prepare graphics that you’ll display during breaks or before you start streaming.
- Interact with your audience: Live streams work so well because they allow your audience to engage with you in real time. So, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to connect with them. Encourage your viewers to comment or ask questions, and make sure you occasionally greet new viewers during your stream.
- Check the lighting: Improper lighting may steal the focus away from the main subject of your live stream.
How can I live stream an event for free?
You can live stream an event for free by streaming on free platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.
How much does it cost to stream a live event?
Streaming live events can be free or cost thousands of dollars. The price mainly depends on the streaming platform and equipment you’re using.
You Can Now Launch Your First Live Stream
Now you know all the steps you need to take to successfully go live. We know just how much of a difference live streams can make for businesses, and we’re sure that you’ll experience the same fantastic results.
But maybe the idea of live streaming is a bit outside your comfort zone. In that case, you can hire a professional live streaming production company to do all the heavy lifting for you.
Our company can help, too. Reach out today to schedule a meeting at a time that suits you.
Bonomotion Video Agency
120 SW 8th St Suite #104,
Miami, FL 33130