Okay, we know: that answer was painfully obvious (and unfunny to boot)—but hybrid events are no joke. When your hybrid model consists of one event presented in front of two separate audiences, it’s hard not to take things a little seriously.
Piquing (and keeping) the interest of online and on-site audiences can be tough. That’s why businesses serious about hosting successful hybrid events know they need to invest in killer live streaming production services.
Not sure where to start? How about here? Keep reading to learn how to start live streaming at your next hybrid event.
What Is Event Live Streaming?
We can’t tell you how to utilize live streaming services without first telling you what those services are all about.
Event live streaming is the process of simultaneously recording and transmitting video coverage of a live event to a virtual audience. Big emphasis on “simultaneously” here: streams are typically broadcast in real-time to give viewers at home the same in-person experience.
In the event world, live streams are the lifeblood of hybrid events. When done well, they expand the reach your event can have and, more importantly, help keep your virtual audience engaged.
Luckily, live streaming isn’t rocket science. To do it well, you just have to do it right—and we’re the hybrid event agency that can show you how.
Event Live Streaming 101: Your How-To Guide
Ready to start live streaming? Not so fast: there are a few steps you should take before even thinking about going live. Follow the following 5-step guide to learn the basics of event live streaming.
STEP 1: Envision Your Event
Good hybrid events aren’t random hybrid events. With two audiences to keep in mind, passively setting up a live stream and hoping for the best is not going to work out. Your virtual audience matters as much as your in-person attendees, which is why you need an event strategy in place to keep their unique viewership top-of-mind.
First, establish your event identity. Who is your brand at this event and what do you want to accomplish there?
Next, consider your audience. How can you shape your event to make every viewer, whether sitting at a convention center or behind a computer screen, feel connected to your brand?
Answering these questions and creating a hybrid event plan will ultimately make completing the next steps much easier.
STEP 2: Pick Your Platform
Live streaming is a huge industry these days. The good news is that there are plenty of live stream platforms to pick from. The bad news? It can be hard to know which one will work best for your hybrid event.
Your first instinct may be to default to one of the big(ger) names in live streaming. Don’t get us wrong: Zoom and the ubiquitous social media “Live” platforms all have great things going for them. Unfortunately, no platform out there is created equally—and each one has its limitations.
For that reason, we suggest working with a hybrid event agency that specializes in live streaming production services (hint hint). Odds are, they’ll come equipped with their own proprietary or partnered virtual platform, which will give you the most flexibility when it comes to designing and personalizing your event experience.
Step 3: Customize Your Content
With the insights gained in Step 1 and the platform acquired in Step 2, it’s now time to start telling your hybrid event’s story with customized live stream content.
When live streaming, you should especially gear your visuals towards remote attendees. Because they have the option to check out and click off within a matter of seconds, you have to think creatively to maintain their attention.
Need some content ideas? Have your live streaming production services implement:
- Virtual-Friendly Video Capture: Multiple cameras and angles, dynamic lighting, and time-sensitive video sessions can all keep your virtual audience visually stimulated by your live stream.
- Graphics, Graphics, Graphics: Personalized design, including logos, text, overlays, animations, and more, seamlessly breaks up streamed content and ramps up connectivity between remote viewers and your brand.
- Share Your Screen: Make online attendees feel like they’re really part of the action by weaving in poll, Q&A, shout-out, live chat, and breakout room segments to promote greater interaction with in-person participants during your live stream.
- Built-In Breaks: Avoid scheduling too many live sessions back-to-back by incorporating intermittent brain breaks using holding slides and bumper videos.
Step 4: Test Your Tech
Before rolling out your hybrid event’s live streaming production services, take some time to give your streams a trial run.
Even during run-throughs, live streaming can get tricky if you don’t have the right technical know-how. From equipment to encoding and embedding, you need to make sure you know what you’re doing before your stream starts.
Don’t be nervous. Work with a hybrid event agency instead. If they’re truly certified experts in live streaming services, their teams will be able to offer you:
- Pre-event testing like broadcast tests, Internet tests, and rehearsals of both live and virtual components (i.e., live streams) to avoid pitfalls mid-event
- Audiovisual chops to set equipment up correctly, manage recordings, curate live displays, and roll out virtual content features
- Analytics finesse to interpret raw data as it comes in to pivot virtual proceedings as necessary
- Dual team support with bothon- and off-site roles to handle live and virtual issues as they arise
Step 5: Start Your Stream
Once you’ve completed Steps 1-4, you’re free to start live streaming. Don’t forget: a full-fledged live stream is only as good as its prep, so make sure you take time to integrate yours the right way.
Don’t have much stream self-esteem? Enter: OVATION. We’ve been a hybrid event agency for over ten years and an event production agency for even longer. We’re a team of dreamers, innovators, problem-solvers, and techies that, together, will help you create incredible (and streamable) event experiences.