Live-Streaming Options for Meetings

The internet was designed to connect people all over the world–and the event industry shares the same goal.

Event planners around the world are consistently looking for alternatives to face-to-face meetings, conventions, and trade shows. Whether you’re just getting started live streaming or you’re expanding your virtual meeting offerings; here’s everything you need to know.

iPhone livestream

The research is in: Video is the way consumers are going to continue to consume data. In 2015, the number of video posts per person increased by 75% as compared to 2014. By 2021, Cisco estimates that 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video. Video streaming nowadays is less about professional image and more about getting your message out there. It can be completed by anyone who has a mobile device, the right app, and enough bandwidth to stream the video. Today’s post will focus on the common questions associated with live-streaming and the answers that will make you say, “I can do that!”

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1. Isn’t live streaming only for large events?

The answer is an unequivocal no! Live video can and should be implemented for any kind of event – small, medium or large.

2. Is live streaming worth the investment?

Yes! At Dreamforce, it’s estimated that the conference reaches 75 times the number of live attendees. With 160,000 face-to-face attendees at last year’s convention, that means a reach of 12,000,000 virtual visitors! According to Hubspot, 52% of worldwide marketers named video as the content with the highest ROI. Lastly, Unruly has research that states video increase brand awareness by 139% and purchase intent by 97% compared to brands that do not use video in their marketing efforts.

3. Will live streaming decrease live attendance?

No! According to Digitell, 30% of people who watch an event via live streaming will attend the event in-person the following year. Think of it as a way to show virtual attendees how much fun, networking and educational content they are missing out on.

4. Will anyone watch it?

Yes! According to Facebook, users watch live video 3 times longer and comment 10 times more often than recorded video. In addition, once the live video is archived, you can use it for future event promotions via: social media posts, email campaigns, blog posts, and your website’s event page.

5. What should be recorded?

Besides the obvious (i.e. speakers, your CEO, and sponsors), you can live stream behind-the-scenes interviews with your speakers, special announcements and answers to attendees’ common questions. The truth is, let your imagination run wild and share great information about your event with the world!

6. What are the steps to live-streaming?

You need to determine how many designated live streamers you will have for the event. Provide them with a smartphone rental or tablet rental (users may not want to tie up their own devices), choose an app and give them some training on the app and what is and is not appropriate.   Make sure the venue can provide enough Wi-Fi to support live streaming as video uploading is often a large bandwidth buster.

7. What if I want a high-quality live-streaming video?

For a more professional broadcast, use a high-quality camera setup–especially if you’re streaming to a large audience. Though built-in cameras and microphones provided in smartphones and tablets are getting better, there is still a vast difference between the quality of a smartphone video and a professional camera and microphone.

So you’ve decided to live-stream your event, what next?

Now that you’ve decided to live-stream your event, it’s time to decide on which streaming platforms you’re going to use to broadcast your video. Social media platforms are the obvious first choice for a number of reasons. Social media streaming provides the perfect opportunity to interact and engage with your audience before, during, and after your event.

Livestreaming on facebook

Facebook Live

The Facebook Live app is easy, quick, and free. Facebook Live gives you the opportunity to reach a large audience pool from a mobile phone or computer. However, if you decide to use a computer in order to do a more professional HQ live stream, you may have to download and/or pay for broadcasting applications such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), Wirecast or XSplit.

Perhaps the best aspect of Facebook Live is the internal reactions and commenting within the live feed. Live allows a presenter to interact with local and remote users on a real-time basis. They can field attendees’ burning questions, see their comments and check out their live reactions to gauge how the presentation is going. Facebook also provides “Insights” to your video by giving you data about your stream–such as how many viewers are watching at any given time. Not to mention, Facebook currently has over 2 billion active users.

The only caveat with Facebook Live: longevity. Due to the platform’s scrolling capability, it may be difficult to keep viewers consistently engaged in your video. Additionally, Facebook videos cannot be found via search engines like Google.

Honorable mention: Twitter’s Periscope. Much like Facebook Live, Periscope is free, allows users to see reactions to their videos, view and make comments, and allows the speaker to answer questions as they appear. Though Twitter is a popular social network, Periscope didn’t take off in the marketplace to become mainstream as they intended. The app currently has 3.5 stars in the Google Play store with 50M+ downloads.

Youtube Live

Like Facebook Live, Youtube Live is free and versatile. You can stream from your smartphone, tablet, webcam, or professional set up using an encoder (mentioned above)–which may have free and paid options. You’ll need to create a Youtube Channel in order to stream if you haven’t already created one for your event or company. Once your channel is created, you can go live immediately or preschedule an event.

The great thing about Youtube Live is your video’s reach will extend far beyond the original broadcasting time. Once your stream has ended, you can upload it as a Youtube video (as opposed to a Youtube Live-Stream) and use keywords geared for search engine optimization (SEO).

The main drawback of using Youtube Live is that if you don’t already have a large amount of Youtube subscribers, your video may not initially reach as large of an audience.

Discord Streamkit

Implied by their name, Discord Streamkit includes Discord and multiple add-ons to assist with live-streaming. Though you do have to create a Discord server if you don’t already have one.

Add-ons include Patreon (a way for users to donate), Nightbot (moderation tools for spam, inappropriate words/phrases), Muxy (analysis add-on for metrics) and MEE6 (entertaining moderator which includes “leveling” for audience members who interact the most).

Discord Streamkit also includes Twitter, Youtube and Mixer integration while also including some of the broadcasting applications mentioned above. You can mix and match any of these add-ons and applications to best suit your needs.

Vimeo Livestream

Although you have to pay for Vimeo Livestream, the platform is high-quality with extended capabilities. You can simultaneously stream full HD videos to social media AND your personal websites straight from Vimeo. Engagement tools, video metrics, and video editing tools are also available on Vimeo.

You can try Vimeo Streaming plans for free for 30 days, but once that time is up you HAVE to subscribe to the $75/month premium plan in order to live stream.

Equipment You Need to Live-stream

  • Internet Access

You’ll need a quality internet connection with enough bandwidth to put out a stable live stream. Instead of piggybacking on your convention center or venue’s WiFi–which are often unstable–you’ll want to rent a WiFi hotspot.

  • Laptop or Desktop rental

Exact technical requirements vary depending on the software you use, though almost any newer laptop computer available today will work. Look for something with an Intel i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a solid state hard drive (SSD) with many available USB ports.

If portability isn’t a must, a desktop computer is another great option. Desktop computers offer more options for expansion and more USB ports–and often much more power; great for streaming activities.

These devices are necessary if you want to use a professional camera, webcam, and want to edit your video later.

  • Camera/Smartphone rental

For individuals and small brands, the most cost-effective solution is to use either smartphones or standard USB webcams. You can rent any number of smartphones for your event–and they can be preloaded with the necessary software.

For larger brands, you’ll want to rent professional video equipment. You’ll need a professional-grade video camera, laptop, lighting, and microphones.

  • Audio Mixer rental

In order to use multiple microphones and other audio sources,  you’ll need to rent an audio mixer. Your mixer will allow you to adjust each individual’s microphone volume to ensure everyone is on the same level.

To determine how many inputs you need on your mixer, estimate the number of people you want to have microphones on at the same time. You’ll also want your mixer to include a USB output in order to get the audio to your computer.

Tech Travel Agent: Randy Moore

Live Streaming Rentals with Randy Moore

Are you looking for a short term rental to live stream your event? You’ll have peace of mind in knowing Randy Moore has a vast experience in renting video production equipment for live-streaming, high-performance laptops or desktops, smartphones, tablets, WiFi hotspots, and much more. Randy can answer any questions you have about live-streaming equipment rentals–in any capacity, for any type of event. Contact Randy today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 225 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form.

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