For many, planning for a live streamed event can be daunting, particularly if you haven’t worked on one before.

Most people understand the basics of producing video production content, but not many are as confident about the intricacies of live streaming, particularly the potential pitfalls. I wanted to write a bit about how we approach a live event, so that you might feel more comfortable next time you need to work on one. 

c3847 00313719

It starts with an idea

When we receive a live stream enquiry, we usually only get the following: a client name, a date, and a vague idea of what the live event will be. Most of the time, clients organise these events months in advance and that early notification is very good for us – it gives us a ton of time to work out how to best hit the client’s goals.

Our next step is to organise a meeting with the client to nail down some details. We have a form that we fill in, during the first meeting, that helps us quote accurately and transparently. Many of the questions revolve around your goals for the event, while others are specific in nature and help us work out what needs to be included. 

Live streaming questions you might want to answer

Let’s start at the beginning and have a look at the basics of a live video event.

What is the goal of the event?

What are you trying to achieve? Is it a live stream that will be open to anyone within a particular local council area or will it feature your CEO talking to all of your sales team spread out across Australia? The really important part of this question is who you want to watch the live stream, who is your audience?

Why is this important? – Once we know your audience we can start to help you work out what streaming services you require. Is it on Facebook live or a local intranet? Is it YouTube Live, or is it Vimeo behind a password? We can also start to look at any security that might be required for your live stream, such as logins, passwords or firewalls.

What does success look like for this live video streaming production … and how will you measure success?

Is it 1000 viewers who stick around for the entirety of the live stream on Facebook live, or maybe 500 product sales during the event. Will you measure viewers, sales, percentage of time watched or any of the other metrics available on many of the live streaming platforms.

Depending on where your event is available online you will have different metrics to choose from. Investigate what is available or have your production company tell you what is possible.

Why is this important? – If we know how you want your event to be a success then we can start to plan things like what live streaming services to use and other more technical things like visual elements.

c3840 00295932

Where will the physical event be held?

If there is a physical event, is it in your offices overlooking the Yarra River, do you want it in a video studio, or have you already booked an event space at your local community centre. Many Melbourne businesses have areas within their offices that are perfect for video streaming.

Why is this important? – There may be a cost difference if we need to bring our live streaming kit to you in the middle of the Grampians or whether or not you want to use our studio. (As a side note, our studio is available for free if you book a live stream with us in Burwood, Melbourne.)

How many hosts will there be in attendance and do you have any hosts joining via the web?

Generally, there will be an MC of some description who ‘directs traffic’ during the event. They will often start your live stream with an Acknowledgement of Country. They will introduce each of the hosts and will facilitate questions and answers (if you are having them) at the back end of your live stream.

Other than the MC, how many hosts will be streamed live? Will they all be at the physical location or will one of them be dialling in through Zoom from Brisbane? Is there a panel session with multiple hosts on stage at once, and how many will be taking part in this part of the live stream.

Why is this important? – This primarily helps us to work out how many physical microphones we might need to bring with us, or what connectivity we might need to bring a guest into your live stream from a remote location. Often on multi camera productions this will also help us to establish how many cameras we actually need.

Are you looking for audience participation?

You might want to have a Q&A session or run polls during your event. If so, would this be for both the in-person audience as well as for those sitting on their couches at home.

Why is this important? – This question also relates to your live streaming platform. Some will allow for questions to be added in the chat, but if they are added, can they be moderated? How can polls be run for your online audience or those in the room?

We often use an app called Slido (which is not strictly a livestream platform) where we embed your live stream, and through the interface, a viewer can vote on polls or annual general meeting questions, for example, and if the viewers sign in with emails here, you can make sure that everyone only votes once. You can also utilise Slido with your in-person audience with guests who can log in and participate in the Q&A and polls, just like those at home.

Slido also allows for question moderation, and questions, once moderated, can be upvoted by other viewers so that the most popular questions rise to the top. More info about Slido can be found at slido.com.

c3788 00163319

Will there be an AV team on site?

If you are using an event space, such as a hotel or a room at the MCG for your live-streaming Melbourne event, will there be an in-house team running lighting and audio? Will there be a big screen that we need to supply vision to?

Why is this important? – This will help us decide whether we need to bring lights or additional streaming experts to run an audio desk.

Will the presentations contain a slide deck or videos/photos?

This question is fairly self-explanatory, and you might not know the answer to this months in advance.

Why is this important? – If a slide deck is being used during your live video, will it be standardised for all the hosts/presenters, do you need us to run the slide deck for you (through our system) or do we need to chat to the AV team to work out how to get a vision feed out of their computer.

Again, it’s a tech question that helps us work out what we need to bring and what crew is required.

How many remote viewers are you expecting to watch your live stream?

Why is this important? – This is another live streaming platform question. Some platforms only allow a certain number of live viewers and so we want to make sure that everyone in your global audience has an opportunity to join in the fun. 

You might even utilise multiple platforms so that you get the highest audience and engagement possible.

c3841 00301315

What we do next

Once we have answers to the questions above, we are able to start working on a live streaming services quote. We have a Google sheet calculator that we use, and with all your information, we are able to start entering the number of cameras, how many crew are needed, what they each do and how much setup and pack-up time might be required.

We can usually get your streaming services quote to you within a day or so.

The pre-production phase of your live stream

As the event gets closer, we’ll check in with you regularly to make sure that none of the answers you initially gave us are changing. We would set up a time to go through an event run sheet that you might have, and we would go through the run sheet line by line to avoid surprises. The more information we have, the better your event will be.

Usually, a few weeks out from the live stream we would also meet with you to discuss branding and slide decks etc. We would get copies of any brand guidelines you might have and any logos you wanted to include.

A site recce is also included in the cost of your live stream, and we would go to the location to take photos and plan where the cameras will be. We also take a computer and a mobile phone so that we get a sense of internet connectivity at the live stream location.

We use multiple internet connections to make sure that your event runs as smoothly as possible. Through some internet magic, all the internet signals of our different live streaming services are combined to give us even greater connectivity than, say, just one connection. We also guarantee that our live streams will stay live or your money back, so it’s in our interests as much as yours to ensure we know what kind of space we are walking into.

c3845 00311618

A quick recap …

As I mentioned at the top of this blog, planning for any live stream production can be daunting. Don’t let that stop you from putting an event on, though; the benefits of a well-executed live stream can be immediate. It could increase sales for your e-commerce brand, improve morale within your workforce, or raise immediate funds for your not-for-profit organisation.

If you are having trouble with live video streaming, make sure you get a team of professional streaming experts on board who know what they are doing. Lean on them to look after the technical side of things while you focus on the event itself; it will help you sleep better at night.

Please let me know even if you would like some no-obligation advice. I can be contacted on 0467 092 907 or by email at matt@jasperpictures.com.au. We have been live streaming in Melbourne since 2020 and pride ourselves on the quality of the live streams and our money-back guarantee.

Let’s get your events out to the world.

We tell Stories.

c3776 00123605

Comments are closed.