Got an exciting event coming up? It would be a shame if it wasn’t enjoyed by as many people as possible! Live streaming is the perfect solution for widening event audiences or hosting events remotely. However, you might be unaware of how to live stream an event for your business. That’s where we come in.
We won’t pretend live streaming is a complete breeze – but that’s why you’re here! Live video involves a lot of moving parts, and you’ve got to get it right on the day. Therefore, you need to plan thoroughly and carefully consider ALL of those moving parts before hitting ‘go live’.
As well as having a concrete plan you’re 100% confident with, you also need to have the right kit and prepare other elements in advance. So… are you ready to learn how to live stream?
Set out a solid plan
Before you even go about buying any equipment or gathering your presenters, you need to figure some things out.
- Purpose of your live stream
- Type of event you are live streaming
- End goal
- Intended return on investment
The answers to these, like any marketing campaign, will inform how you should go about the stream itself.
For example, you might have a pretty hefty budget to play with. What’s more, your goal might be to attract some high-profile investors. Therefore, your best plan of attack is to produce a high-quality live stream in an appealing location.
On the other hand, you might have completely different priorities and a much smaller budget. You might just want to boost your brand awareness and connect with your customers. So, this might warrant a more DIY-style live stream over Zoom, using a basic webcam app. This would create a feeling of authenticity and work perfectly for a lower budget.
Once you’ve got a solid plan, you can progress to the next steps.
Get a good look around the venue
If you’re live streaming on location, it is crucial to survey the venue well before the big day. You should do this to identify what kind of space you’re working with, as well as any potential problems to address.
Once you’ve looked around the location, you’ll know where to set up your cameras, microphones and lighting (if lighting is needed). Also, you’ll get a great visualisation of what it’ll be like on the day (it’s kind of like a house viewing – you never really KNOW until you’re there).
Choose your live streaming platform
Next, you need to decide on the platform you are going to use to host your live stream. There are now many options to choose from: Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Vimeo Live. In addition, there are platforms purpose-built purely for live streaming. For example, Twitch or Uscreen.
Your decision will be based on your audience and what they’re likely to use the most. For instance, if your target customer is active on Facebook, it’s a wise idea to choose this platform. As a result, they can easily stumble upon your live video while they’re sitting feet up with a cup of tea.
Get your live streaming equipment
If you’re going for the higher end of the scale budget-wise, it’s now time to source your equipment. This includes your camera(s), microphone(s) and lighting (again, if you need to improve the existing lighting conditions).
To convert your video into what the internet will understand as a ‘live stream’, you’re going to need what’s called an encoder. This will sort the converting of your file in real-time to a digital streamed video, ready for your viewers’ hungry eyes.
If you’re unsure of what equipment to get or how to use it, it might be best to take advantage of a video agency’s live production services. They’ll know the best kit to use and how to get the most out of it. If your budget allows, we recommend this option for complete peace of mind and guaranteed quality.
How is your live stream going to look?
Next up, you need to work out exactly how you’re going to present your live stream to viewers.
How many different arrangements of video and audio are you going to switch between? This is important if multiple things are going on during your event that you don’t want your audience to miss.
Alternatively, if you’re only having one arrangement, this is fine too. Just make sure it remains engaging for the viewer. We’ll explain how to achieve this below…
Create titles and motion graphics
To offer clear communication, transitions and a strong sense of branding, your live stream should have titles and graphics.
Titles should tell viewers who is speaking, or where the event is happening. As for graphics, you can have still graphics or motion graphics. That being said, motion graphics will achieve better engagement and breathe more life into your live stream. They’re basically still symbols, text, or logos that are manipulated to move.
Set up a ‘pre-roll’ screen
A pre-roll screen can be an image or countdown video that you display before you start your live stream. Pre-rolls give you a buffer in case there’s a delay. Furthermore, they build suspense and anticipation in your audience and give them time to join the stream before missing anything.
Again, including branded graphics and titles on your pre-roll screen is a good idea to maintain brand awareness.
Do a trial run
To make sure you iron out all potential issues and risks before the day, you need to do a trial run of your live stream. Stream to a private destination, and run through from beginning to end.
A trial run has multiple benefits:
- Tests if your internet connection is strong enough to host the live stream
- Identifies anything that could go wrong on the day and gives you a chance to fix it
- Allows the speakers to rehearse and get more confident before the stream
After your trial run, you’ll be much more prepared and confident to go live for real. This will only help your viewers’ impression of you and your business.
Finally… it’s time to stream!
Things to remember before going live
- Promote your live stream well ahead of the day on social media or in the press
- Make sure your audience knows how to access your live stream
- Make sure you’ve set up your equipment and software in exactly the same way as you did in the trial run
- Have fun, and if something goes wrong, own it!
- Remember to press record if you want to save your live-streamed video.
Monitor your live stream
While you’re streaming, you can’t forget to continue interacting with your audience in real-time, too. This is why it’s beneficial to have multiple people on hand on the day. One of these people should be monitoring comments and questions coming through.
Furthermore, continuously monitor your audio and video to ensure they’re good quality and remain synced up. People can forgive a bit of cut-out audio; however, take extra care with your visuals, as this is more likely to make a viewer drop off!
After the event
You’ve just successfully lived streamed your event to lots of potential new customers – well done! However, it doesn’t stop there!
If you recorded your live stream, you’ve now got an abundance of content to cut up, edit and play with. This gives you the opportunity to post out a new series of social media content, or simply repurpose it for other marketing materials. (Learn more about the effectiveness of video on social media here).
Secondly, if you managed to get any behind-the-scenes content, utilise this too! A live stream shows authenticity on its own, but what’s even better is maximising this by sharing a look behind the project. It also shows your audience that you’re dedicated to providing great content.
Finally, assess how well your live stream went. How many viewers did you have in total? (Even if they didn’t watch all the way through). How many reactions? How many comments, and what did they say? Then, use this information to inform your next live stream!
Are you feeling more confident to live stream your business’ next event? We hope this guide has started you off with some crucial tips on how to pull off a live video successfully.
If you’re still looking for help, and even a few extra hands – get in touch with Stada Media. Our live streaming enquiries have recently shot up due to a surge in demand – and we’ve expanded our business to accommodate that.