Live Event Streaming

Energy LIVE

The following is a Q&A with Nathan Courtney, ASV Senior Editor, about some of the logistics behind professional live event video streaming services.

Whether you’re an events coordinator or just someone who needs to get a message out to a large group of people, we hope it provides you with some helpful info to get started on your next live stream project.

Let’s get into it.

As the point person for a company event reaching out to a vendor for livestreaming services, what can one do to get prepared?

Knowing the time, location, and the size of the event are the real big ones.

  1. When do you want to do it?
  2. How many people are going to be there?
  3. Where is it taking place?
  4. Who is going to be speaking?
  5. And, preferably, how much is in your budget?

Knowing those five, your video production company can usually carve out the primary details needed. The true details can be whittled down afterwards together as we come up with a solution that fits.

What sort of equipment is used?

The equipment involved can vary dramatically depending on the scale of the event. The basic form is having multiple cameras running into a switcher that’s used to cut the show live, typically with an accompanying powerpoint. You’ll have a full audio suite to some degree, and whoever is speaking will need a microphone at the very least.

Depending on the size of the event, you’ll need in-room audio, as well, so the audience can hear you clearly. If you have a panel discussion with say eight people, you can do it where everyone has their own microphone, or, the lower budget version of that would be one hand-held mic that they’ll pass around. Unless you’re holding the mic, you won’t be able to talk.

You might also have TV screens to display the powerpoint as well.

What’s the setup like on the day of the event? Or perhaps the day before?

If it’s a place we haven’t been to before, we like to see it in advance. That can be well in advance, the day before, or sometimes even hours before. It all depends on where it is and how big the event is. If it’s a larger event with many cameras, we’re going to want to see it at least the day before. If it’s a smaller event, we can come a few hours early to give us some acclimation time to start setting up, and that can be enough.

What types of events are most often professionally live-streamed?

Anything can be livestreamed. We have experience with a wide range of events large and small. We’ve done company-wide streams for CEOs at town hall events, and we’ve done sales and marketing training classroom sessions as well.

We have a lot of experience with large companies, but also, within those large corporations, we often work on smaller social efforts within the organization itself.

We’ve done classes on promoting women in a certain sector of the field. Or if the organization has a “speakership,” which is a series of speakers for a segment of the company, we’ve done that as well.

Can you accommodate special requests? Multiple camera angles, advanced options, etc?

Yes, absolutely. Our preference is a minimum of two cameras with someone there to cut the angles back and forth. We can do it cheaper with one camera.

With enough time, we can usually take care of any special requests. An example might be having someone there for powerpoint. At a lot of these shows people are changing their powerpoint slides up to the very last second, so we can handle that.

We can also design graphics for the presentation for those who need design help upfront. That would be part of our editing process. The extension of being a video production company is that if a client wants any pre-roll videos, we can handle all of that. It fits in with what we do already.

Where do these events typically take place? Hotels, conference centers, etc.?

Hotels, conference rooms, hotel conference centers, company headquarters, etc. Anywhere there’s a strong internet connection. :)

What are the client’s different live-streaming options? YouTube? Facebook? Do you help with all of that?

Absolutely. We encode it and we can send it anywhere that can receive a signal. And yes, the most obvious public options are Facebook and YouTube.

But it doesn’t always have to be encoded. We can send it straight to their internal video conference system which a lot of larger companies are doing. If they have Skype for Business, or GoTo Meeting, or whatever, we can send it through that. Everyone just needs to sign into their accounts and they can watch it anywhere. A lot of companies are doing this to save money so they don’t have to pay for a broadcast. Pretty much anywhere the signal needs to go, as long as we can get access to it, we can get it there.

What are some of the benefits of hiring professionals as opposed to trying to do it yourself or in-house?

Ease and confidence. With any event there’s a planning side and a technical side. Speakers have to be booked, locations secured, invites sent out… there’s no need for you to then take on the what, why and how of livestreaming the event.

Another advantage is we automatically record backups. If anything goes wrong, you have a copy. It’s impossible to guarantee that a live stream will work on the internet because no one gets to govern the internet. If you’re just doing it live through a computer, you won’t necessarily have a backup. So having that safety backup is key.

Another benefit would be higher engagement. We have years of experience making the most engaging videos and livestreams possible, making the broadcast more interesting and easier to watch from an audience perspective. More interest also means better information dissemination. The message you’re trying to get across will be clearer to the audience when it’s presented in an engaging way.

If you just use a single camera from the back of a room that doesn’t move, people will get bored and may not pay attention. We can help maintain interest.

Can we get an idea of pricing for this service?

It’s a wide range. If it’s one person with a camera that’s hooked straight into a computer, that’s a lot different than having four cameras hooked into a switcher with a powerpoint person ready to make any changes that come in at any time.

If you have a few thousand people attending the event, you’re more likely to want to pay for four or more cameras to shoot. However, if you wanted to do one camera hooked straight into a computer, you could. There’s also equipment and editing involved.

Usually for professionally live-streaming a single event, you’re looking at anywhere $2,000 to $15,000.

How do you handle inevitable hiccups that may occur?

We have a lot of experience and a good ability to improvise.

We were once live streaming an event and the internet shut off with no way to get it through. We’ve had other situations where the internal network of the company couldn’t sustain so many people trying to stream at the same time.

We ended up streaming an audio only broadcast that we put together on the spot. These aren’t optimal solutions, but they are viable solutions after something has gone wrong. Also, we always have the backup recording. Worst case scenario, we’ll put the recording online immediately afterwards so anyone who didn’t see it can watch it.

Are you willing to travel? Can you travel with all of your equipment?

Yes. We travel as far as necessary for the right job. We’re located here in Atlanta, but we’ve done live streaming in North Carolina that we go to relatively often. Another client has an office in Ohio which we’ve done before.

Is there anything else we should know about live-streaming corporate events?

It’s not as hard as you might think. Your production company can handle all of the difficult parts.

You may want to arrange this, but might have no idea on how to do it.

If you are someone that wants to arrange something like this but has no idea how to do it, we’ll take that burden off of you. You can focus on who is speaking and we’ll focus on the people who aren’t in the room, making sure that they can see it.

ASV live stream video clients include:

Do you have a live event that you need streamed to viewers online?

ASV has more than 30 years of experience in film production, and has done dozens of live event streams for corporate clients and other organizations.