Thanks to the global pandemic, we have seen an upward trend in many companies, celebrities & even family members trying to live stream since 2019. According to Upcomer, the online live streaming industry saw a 99% progression between April 2019 and April 2020. Therefore, with an estimated valuation of $184.3 billion for the industry by 2026, we must talk about the right way to live stream your event today.
In today’s Whiteboard Wednesday, Will Curran will guide you on how to ensure the perfect live stream events for the best results. In this age of digitalization, we all want to live stream our events like the 2019 Coachella and hope for the highest online viewership and surpass the live music event’s 82.9 million viewer record.
You must first decide on your streaming platform to create the perfect live event and experience for your viewers. There are a variety of live stream platforms from which to choose. You can choose between social media lives, periscope, twitch, or even platforms like Zoom. Our top 100 platform list keeps constantly updating as we come across new live streaming platforms to add to the list.
How to Live Stream an Event?
Once you decide on a platform, we need to talk about the video and audio quality of your streaming. We discuss the five options you have to create the perfect live stream experience and end with some bonus tips to ensure your event runs smoothly. Most options are DIY, making them cost and time efficient for a novice.
Use Your Phone
Android and iOS mobile devices are great for creating videos and live streaming for personal use. From live streaming your travel adventures to birthday videos, your phone is probably the best solution to do an Instagram, WhatsApp, Skype, or Facebook live and let your friends and family know what’s going on in your life.
However, if you’re seeking a more professional setting, you should consider a higher-quality setup. While phone footage and quality have dramatically increased in recent years, the quality still does not compare to cinema cameras and professional production setups. While your loved ones might not complain and may be interested in seeing the shaky video footage – your clients or prospects might not. The best you can do is download an app to enhance the beauty of the video and share it with your close connections.
Add Some Tech
If you’re working with a low budget, you can add some tech to your phone and successfully enhance the video footage to make it more professional. When it comes to any video content, clear audio is mission critical. Phone microphones are not ideal for recording music at concerts or presentations from the far side of the room. However, buying a microphone can bring clarity to your video audio. They can be plugged directly into phones now and capture some audio in the room.
Will Curran is using a lavalier microphone in this very video. Lavs, a slang term for lavalier, can be plugged directly into your phone and are inexpensive. It is also imperative to think about the distance and space in which you are filming to assess whether one microphone is enough. You can introduce multiple microphones into the phone system by using a mixer by taking one of its outputs and making cables that go straight to your phone.
You will need adapters if your phone doesn’t have that 3.5-millimeter headphone jack space. Another option is to take the audio input straight from the audio board and link it to your phone to capture good audio. Phones are constantly updating, so it’s hard to say which of these audio-enhancing techniques will work best with your device.
While the audio part is taken care of, we can’t forget that you’re still recording on your phone, so it can be challenging to hold your phone steadily in an hour-long presentation or concert. A tripod or phone mount will help you stabilize your video. Will mentions that the Peak design’s travel tripod is his favorite due to its small size and convenience of adding to luggage. The travel tripod can unfold into a full-size tripod when needed. It also comes with a phone mount that helps to build a grip for one’s phone and can be used to attach it to the top of any traditional tripod. A phone tripod adapter can be bought separately on Amazon as well.
On the topic of tripods, Will also highlights the gorilla pod. A gorilla pod is bendy compared to a traditional tripod and is best to use when unsure what kind of space you’ll have. The best thing about it is its flexible arms that can wrap the tripod around your arm, a tree, a chair, or a pole. Just attach a phone adaptor, and voila!
Use Your Laptop
Laptops are more powerful than our phones and allow you to add an extra flair to your videos. Additionally, you can add graphics, overlay some text, or even a logo to take over the screen between video or presentation transitions. A diverse range of software is available now to add multiple graphics to full live streams.
When using a laptop with a digital or professional camera, you need to buy a capture card. El Gato makes them in HD 60, and they come with an HDMI input that allows you to take the output from your camera and plug it into your laptop. A capture card can help you turn your professional camera into a webcam and live stream as desired. Most of the tech you get for your phone, like microphones, etc., can also be used with your laptop.
Plug & Play System
Sometimes, one camera is just not enough. If you observe any TED Talk, TV, or sporting broadcast, they use multiple angles to film. Multiple viewpoints add energy to productions and keep viewers interested. A plug & play system can keep your audience engaged. However, you want to ensure that you or your team have basic knowledge of film or technology. An excellent example of this system will be the Sling Studio. It costs less than $2000 and introduces a crucial piece of AV technology called the switcher. It takes multiple camera inputs and allows you to switch between them.
We did a Whiteboard Wednesday on what a switcher is, and it’s well worth the watch if you’d like more information. With a switcher, you can run a PowerPoint, video content, GoPro, or even drone footage to your live stream. A switcher can be operated wirelessly and controlled via an iPad. Using a switcher creates a professional setting for your live stream and is cost-efficient.
Consult an AV company
If all this sounds too overwhelming, relying on an AV company is your best option. Review your budget, assess your needs, and consult an AV company to see how they could assist you. An AV company can also help you set up a system for your internal team to run. Ensuring your team is correctly trained and your equipment has the proper setup will ultimately be more cost and time efficient.
Hardwire Your Internet Connection
When live streaming, ensure the event streams are undisturbed. Hardwire internet is more reliable than WiFi, and you don’t have to worry about wireless interference or the network going down. Also, confirm that the internet connection is on a dedicated network because if it’s shared, your live stream might have issues depending on the number of connections.
Don’t Sacrifice Audio Quality
No one wants to watch a video even if it has excellent quality if they can’t understand the audio. Always check your audio and set it to the highest standard.
Engage and Acknowledge Your Audience.
Try giving shout-outs and be more conversational. A conversational tone grasps more audience interest and makes them feel important.
And that’s the guide! Do you feel more empowered to live stream? What was your biggest takeaway? As always, we want to hear from you! Let us know your favorite gear for live streaming or how you optimize your stream.