Streaming Best Practises
So you have put your time money and effort into making your attendees come to your virtual event. The last thing you want is for them to leave after the first 5 minutes just because of the low quality / messy stream.
Here are some tips to avoid this (very common) situation.
First things first.
Here are the 3 options of HOW to get the video content in front of your virtual attendees:
Video-on-demand: Pre-recorded video placed on the internet that people can watch as they wish – pause it or fast forward. Think Netflix.
Live stream: Video broadcasted over the internet as-it-happens. People can not skip forward (Unless they have a time-machine, of course). Once the stream is over, people can re-watch the video freely.
Pre-recorded, live-streamed video: The video has been pre-recorded but is being streamed live to create the live-stream.
Once you have chosen your preferred video streaming option there are some questions you have to answer
Here is the checklist that we work through:
- Are you planning to live-stream the event? Great. But you better make sure you test it in advance.
- Are you planning to combine the live-stream with pre-recorded videos? Test this in advance (at least twice). Watch the recording after & look for mistakes. You don’t want to end-up live-streaming something you shouldn’t.
- Test video & sound quality – often when re-streaming the video, the quality of the video, quality of sound or the sound level may be compromised. Always check the final outcome. Don’t just look on the original source but focus on what your attendees will get to listen to and watch
- Combining pre-recorded video with live-stream? Make sure you have a backup plan. Things have a tendency to go sideways when you can least afford it.
- Connecting speakers from their homes or offices? Do a trial run with them. Make sure they wear headphones and ALWAYS have a pre-recorded video of their input – if things go sideways, you can always pull-out the recording.
- Generally speaking, if most of your event is happening live from one location and you only have a handful of speakers joining online, consider if it even makes sense for them to join in live. Sure, it gives you an opportunity to create an interaction between them and your audience, but if it’s just a presentation, simply record it in advance and then live-stream it. You will save yourself a lot of unnecessary troubles.
- Communicate with your spectators: Make sure there is chat right next to the live stream so attendees can let you know if something is not right. For example – the sound.
- Always have a person dedicated just to observing the final input during the event – Your own attendee, who can let you know is something is not right asap.
What else should you be thinking about:
- The vast majority of attendees will show up after the first 10-20 minutes. Hence don´t squeeze any highly important info into the first couple of minutes.
- Start the stream early. Despite the point above, some people tend to show up early. Don’t let them wander away or even worry if they are at the right place. Make sure you have the countdown already being streamed. You can also use this space to play the video-loop promoting sponsors of your event.
- Don’t cut off the stream right after the content part is over. Keep the stream on for at least 10 more minutes & communicate the message that the stream is now over, but the recording will be available at XZY. And again, you can use this space to promote your sponsors.
Last but not least, here is the main rule to follow: KIS. Keep It Simple. You can always add more during your upcoming events. But first, make sure that you, your team, and your audience are comfortable with the basics.