This checklist was compiled by Cece Salomon-Lee, director of marketing for Active Network, Business Solutions division, and a blogger on marketing, social media and virtual events.
Audience Engagement Strategy
Schedule your live stream program carefully to maximize audience viewership, paying attention to the day and time of your broadcast, the number of sessions, and whether there are concurrent streams or channels.
Determine which interactive features are must-haves for your live stream, such as group chats or social media sharing, and evaluate solution providers accordingly.
Train speakers to effectively present on a live stream. They should repeat questions, address the online audience directly, and pose/respond to questions in social media or online chat.
Evaluate whether “good enough” sound and video quality suffices to achieve your event’s goals or if professional production is required.
Assess how the audience will access the live stream. Will it be through your website, a virtual event environment or social media?
Confirm whether the production company’s platform can display slides alongside the audio and video. If not, inquire about an appropriate solution, such as a slide show with speaker and slides, speaker only, etc.
Be aware that “free” live streaming services include one or several of the following costs: labor, production, Internet and equipment.
Evaluate the number of rooms from which you want to live stream. Each will require its own broadband line, cameras and crew, and switching equipment. Consider picking one or two rooms for live streaming and capturing the rest for on-demand viewing.
Research labor and union requirements for laying cable, power and Internet at your venue. Additional costs can be avoided with different cameras or a simplified setup.
Negotiate a package that includes on-site editing and postproduction to quickly convert live stream content into on-demand webcasts, videos or podcasts.
Secure a dedicated Internet connection for a consistent live stream.
Calculate streaming bandwidth requirements based on the number of hours being streamed and number of anticipated viewers.
Equipment and Lighting
Weigh the benefits of purchasing equipment vs. renting. Note that consumer-model (vs. professional) cameras might require additional equipment to achieve the desired outcomes.
Test the sound and video quality of your selected solution before going live. For example, a lavalier (clip-on) microphone might sound better than a table microphone.
Determine camera placement and the number of cameras based on the number of presenters and stage setup.
Test lighting under the same conditions you’ll have for the live event.
Consider the needs of your physical and virtual audiences before finalizing A/V, staging and other elements. Can you tap into the mic line or will you need a separate audio feed?
Best Practices Before Livestreaming Video
1. Choose the right tool
There are lots of options for livestreaming tools, but the most popular tools right now are Facebook Live, Periscope, and Blab.
2. Promote your broadcast in advance
If no one knows about your livestream, you won’t have an audience! Blab will let you schedule your broadcast in advance, and gives you a link to share on social media. Anyone who registers on the page will see a countdown clock and they’ll get a reminder about your event. When your broadcast starts, Blab, Facebook Live, and Periscope will also provide notifications to users who follow you that you are livestreaming.
3. Create a plan for engagement
Live video works because viewers want the opportunity to interact with the people behind the brand. They’re eager for a chance to connect with you, and they’re going to ask you a lot of questions. Do your best to answer what you can. If you’re using Blab, assign one of your hosts or guests to help type answers in the live chat or to pick questions you want to discuss on air.
4. Include a call to action
Always leave your viewers wanting more from you. Tell them about other ways they can keep in touch by following you on other social networks or subscribing to your newsletter. Provide them with some valuable content — you can add a link in one of the Blab seats to a free download, an informational video, or your email signup page — the list is endless.
5. Extend the life of your livestream
Your livestream can have a long shelf life after the broadcast is over. Facebook Live and Blab will save your videos to your profile. Periscope videos disappear within 24 hours, but it has an autosave feature that lets you record the broadcast on your phone for future use.