Live Stream FAQ: What Most Clients Should Know Before They plan a live-Stream
Q: How fast does my internet connection have to be to stream?
A: For HD live streams, our crew recommends that your venue has at least 100 Mbps upload and download speed in order to maintain a clear and consistent internet connection. 100 Mbps will maintain HD quality for an entire stream, while 50 Mbps is a standard quality stream and 25 Mbps is low quality. One thing to keep in mind when testing your connection is that the upload speed is more important than download speed. You can use a free speed test website like speedtest.net in order to test your connection.
Q: What is the difference between a hybrid live stream and a fully virtual event?
A: Hybrid live streams are what most people typically think of when they think of a live streamed event. Meaning, a live event (potentially with an in-person audience) like a presentation, concert, or discussion panel that is also streamed online. Fully virtual events happen completely online with speakers often in different locations. Each type of live event comes with their own set of advantages and disadvantages that are important to consider when choosing which is right for your company.
Q: How much does it cost to live stream?
A: Cost can vary depending on how complicated your live stream ends up being. Simple live streams with one camera for half a day can start as low as $1,500. Larger streams that have multiple locations or require multiple cameras can range anywhere from $3,500 to $15,000. An element that often raises the cost of streaming is the amount of pre and post production your event requires. Examples of pre or post production assets are branded transition slides, introductory videos, incorporating presentation decks, and creating a highlight video of your live stream event.
Q: What can I do to make sure my stream looks the best it can look?
A: Internet speed, quality cameras, and a reliable streaming platform are all important pieces of making sure your live stream goes well. It’s also important to take other video production elements into account when preparing for your streamed event. Making sure your speakers are properly lit and audio levels are consistent are equally important to hosting a professional live stream. The best way to make sure everything is properly managed is by hiring a professional live streaming crew like Transcendent so you can focus on being present and enjoying your event.
Q: The audio for my live stream is complicated. What’s the best way to make sure viewers can hear everything clearly?
A: Just like hiring live stream professionals is often the best choice for streaming your event, making sure to have an audio professional for your venue is the best way to make sure all of your speakers are audible. Sound engineers are even more important when your event includes videos or other multimedia elements.
Every event’s audio needs are unique. Our crew has even had situations where the venue didn’t require microphones, but speakers needed to have handhelds in order for them to be heard on the live stream. Transcendent makes challenges like this easier by having sound engineers in our crew, so we can manage sound both for your stream and your live event.
Q: How long does it take to plan a live stream?
A: Every live stream is different. If your stream is simple, Transcendent’s crew could be ready to go live within 48 hours. This is because we own all of our own professional live stream equipment such as the Sony FX9 camera, Stream Deck digital soundboard, and Black Magic switchers, vmix, . Other more complicated streams that include speakers from around the world or feature lots of multimedia elements can take a few weeks to fully plan.
Q: Can I use WiFi to broadcast my live stream?
A: Technically it’s possible to stream over WiFi, but Transcendent strongly advises against using wireless internet. The main reason for this is because of WiFi’s inconsistency. If internet speed goes down or other people at the venue try to use the same WiFi network, the stream quality can go down or you could lose connection altogether.
Q: How do I keep viewers engaged?
A: The best way to keep the viewer’s attention is by being creative! Hosting an online live event opens up another world of opportunities that in-person events don’t have. Looking at other company’s live events can help inspire you with new elements to add to your live stream. Another way to get new ideas is by collaborating with a live stream crew like Transcendent. We have been live streaming for over 10 years and have seen what businesses can do to make their stream stand out.
An easy way to level up your stream is to include video and graphic assets. Examples of these include playing a video before your stream created to warm up your audience or using branded transition slides between speakers. There are also many different interactive assets, like Slido’s interactive polling feature, that engage your audience in real time.
Q: How many cameras do we need to capture my event?
A: Some simple live streams that have little movement or only one speaker can be accomplished using 1 camera (or 0, if your event is fully virtual). However, if your event is complicated or is a high value event for your company, we recommend a minimum of 2 cameras. Events that take place in multiple locations or have a lot of moving parts may require even more in order to fully and dynamically capture your event.
Steps to Planning a Professional Live Stream
1. Set clear goals for your live stream
Before you start to plan your live stream, it’s important to ask why you want to stream your event. What do you want your stream to do for you or your business? Are you looking to increase your client base? Include more people in your event? Launch a new product or program? When you have a clear goal for your virtual event, it’s easier to make decisions about how to plan and promote your live stream.
2. Choose a location and time for your streamed event
In order to start promoting your event, you need to decide when and where you’ll be hosting your live stream. Some streams are completely virtual while others include an in-person audience that needs to be coordinated. It may be that some of your attendees or speakers are in other time zones and need to plan ahead. Because live streams have so many moving pieces, establishing a time and location early on makes future planning easier.
3. Decide on your live stream crew
Choosing who to trust with managing your live stream is an important decision. It’s important to get multiple quotes from different production crews and see what they can offer you for the best price. Transcendent specializes in unique and innovative professional live streams. We are able to produce multi-camera streams on platforms that maintain your company’s branding. Our crew is small but mighty, meaning we’re able to give you a high quality stream at a competitive price.
4. Choose what platform you want to stream on
As live streams have begun growing in popularity, there are more and more options for platforms to stream your virtual event. Some of the most popular include YouTube and Vimeo. These work well and are easy for your audience to use. Transcendent also has experience using smaller platforms like Dacast.com that allow you further customize your stream.
5. Go over the stream itinerary
Once you’ve laid the foundation, it’s time to build the meat of your event. What is actually going to happen during your live stream? Will there be speakers? Videos? A question and answer portion? The sooner you lock down an itinerary, the easier it is for your live stream crew to start creating assets that take your stream over the top. Assets can look like transition slides, pre-stream slideshows or videos, and high quality lower thirds. These elements are specific to your company’s stream and help optimize the event towards your goal.
6. Conduct a walkthrough and tech check of the venue
If your live stream takes place in any sort of in-person venue, it’s important to schedule a walkthrough in advance of your stream to make sure you don’t run into any unexpected road bumps. Conducting a ‘tech check’ allows your production crew to check internet speed, make sure they have access to required audio and video technology, and plan out the best way to set up in the space. Walkthroughs are essential to streamlining your event on the day of stream.
7. Assess Post-Stream
Once your event is over, it’s recommended that your team take some time to assess how it went and how your company can continue to get value from the stream. The first step is to look at analytics: How many people watched? Where was your audience located? How long did people stay on the stream? Looking at these statistics allow your team to see what was successful and what can be improved for next time.
There is also an opportunity to continue to see growth and value add from your live events by posting highlights or the full event online. Selecting clips from the event to post on social media or publicizing the link to YouTube stream link are some ways you can continue to see a return on your investment.