Virtual events are a big deal in the new digital landscape.
Following the coronavirus pandemic, companies have had to find new ways of bringing immersive experiences to their audience. The digital world, complete with access to live-streaming video and endless tools for engagement could be the perfect tool.
But if you’re planning on live streaming an event, tutorial, or workshop, you’ll need to have the right plan of action first.
Here’s what you need to get started.
Step 1: The Setup
The first step is setting up your environment for streaming.
If you’re going to be live-streaming a webinar or video experience, then you need people to see you. A built-in camera could seem like an easy option, but most of the standard laptop cameras that come with devices today aren’t as high-quality as they could be.
Think about upgrading your audio and video equipment for the sake of your event. After all, 70% of event organisers say that good microphones are essential to a successful event, while 60% say that the most important component is the camera.
Once you have your camera and audio system in place, think about your surroundings.
Is your background clean and tidy, or is it going to distract your viewers? Do you have the right lighting to showcase you positively?
Set up the entire environment and test it ahead of time. You can even try a pre-event call with a friend to make sure your microphone and camera are working well.
Step 2: The Hosting Experience
Once you have your environment for your live event in place, you need to think about the technology that’s going to bring your content to your audience.
Start by checking your broadband connection. On average, the minimum bandwidth required for video conferencing is around 10mpbs for downloading, and 1.5mbps for uploading. For a quality video Zoom session, you’ll need around 10-25mbps download speed and at least 3mbps upload speed. Check with your hosting provider to see what they recommend. If you’re not reaching the required speed, use a postcode checker to see what options are available to upgrade to.
Speaking of hosting, you also need to choose the platform you’re going to be streaming your content from. Some of the most popular options include:
- Zoom: Among the simplest solutions for video streaming, Zoom is quick and easy to use, with a host of great features like virtual backgrounds and live transcription.
- Google Meet: Popular for beginners in the video world, Google Meet comes with support for video and audio preview screens, adjustable screen settings, and more.
- Microsoft Teams: The most professional streaming solution for many, Microsoft Teams comes with plenty of fantastic features, including live backgrounds, and even PowerPoint presentation settings if you’re going to be showing slides.
Depending on the nature of your video streaming experience, you could also consider things like Facebook Live, YouTube, or Twitch. Live streaming platforms are available all over the web today.
Step 3: Organising the Stream
After choosing your streaming solution and making sure you know how to use all the features properly (from mute to slideshow presentations), it’s time to start setting up your stream. You’ll need to ensure that the solution you use for hosting allows you to control the permissions that users have. You don’t want guests to be sharing dangerous files or muting other viewers on your stream.
Ideally, participants will be able to join your stream as a guest, without having to download any new software or sign up for an account. Having to create a login is often enough to put a lot of viewers off the idea of getting involved. If software or login is required then make sure to make it clear to participants ahead of time so they don’t have any last-minute panic trying to set up an account.
To boost your chances of as many attendees as possible, you’ll need to create an experience that’s streamlined, straightforward, and fun for your attendees. Consider looking for something with a chat function, so your viewers can engage with you during the stream.
When you’re ready, you can begin notifying your attendees with email messages that let them know exactly when your stream is going to take place, and how they can gain access. In some cases, it’s a good idea to set passwords to ensure that only approved guests can join.
Make sure that you keep your attendees up to date about any changes that happen in the lead up to your event and provide your contact details in emails so they can get in touch. It might also be helpful to add links to your social media pages in your emails, so people can follow you for regular updates.
Enjoy Your Stream
You ready to start running fantastic video events!
The more you launch and host these events, the more comfortable you’ll feel with them. You’ll also have an opportunity to use your video streaming services to collect information about each event that you can learn from. For instance, how long did it take for your attendees to sign in? When did they start to lose interest in the event?
Some solutions like Microsoft Teams and Zoom even allow you to add polls to the end of your event, or surveys where you can get feedback.