How to Live Stream a Conference
Today, you can hardly do business without live streaming a conference. Because of the current COVID-19 measures, the majority of people had to switch to working from home. But even if that wasn’t the case, video calls were already part of our reality.
Remote participation can save the company money on transportation, catering, and renting a space to hold a meeting. Moreover, it provides an opportunity and convenience for anyone from anywhere in the world to attend.
If you are not tech-savvy, we got you covered. Here are some of the best ways to approach the live stream of a conference like a pro.
1. Understand the process
Live streaming is like a live TV show — everyone is watching an event as it is happening over the internet. It’s a useful tool to grow your audience, hold meetings with employees, and include people that would otherwise be unable to attend personally.
This is a solution appropriate for almost any purpose, from educational to entertainment across a large number of industries. That said, you can use it for live events, webinars, discussions, meetings, and other events that gather a large number of people. It’s not one-way communication, but everyone can participate through polls and Q&A as methods to keep the audience engaged.
2. Prepare equipment
You can buy or rent gear necessary for live stream, depending on what is more cost-efficient. The basic equipment includes cameras and microphones, capture cards, computer, encoder, and channel for output. The number of cameras depends on what you are live streaming, but for conferences, it may be necessary to use only your laptop or smartphone.
More cameras create a dynamic environment that can cover more speakers from different angles. A capture card should be able to handle multiple cameras, while a software encoder is easier to switch between cameras than the hardware one. Channel for output is a streaming platform that requires a reliable and strong internet connection, either available at the venue or created through a hotspot.
3. Choose a streaming platform
Depending on the audience you want to reach, you can choose your streaming platform. If you are not targeting any specific audience, then you can use popular platforms, like Facebook and YouTube. For educational purposes, look for platforms that offer more control over the content, like charging for materials.
Business platforms allow you to reach people that are potential customers or employees, so you can use Instagram or LinkedIn. Live streaming to your website is also an option as long as you are ready to put in extra effort in marketing and attracting an audience to your channel. To hold meetings and collaborations, Zoom and Microsoft Teams are excellent for real-time conversations.
4. Test before live streaming
Before going live, you need to perform a test run. Avoid doing this right before the conference since that may not give you enough time to correct potential issues. Pay attention to sound quality, buffering problems, video and audio syncing, and other irregularities that may occur.
Additionally, check internet connection, the battery life on devices, and lighting, but have plan B in case some of those things go wrong during streaming. Take care of any issue immediately since postponing it may lead to subpar performance.
5. Opt for professionally managed conferences
To make sure that everything goes smoothly, you can hire companies like Redback Connect to professionally manage your conference. All you have to do is to make a few clicks and your conference is live with full technical support. That way, even if you don’t understand how things work, you can still live stream a conference without any problems.
When working with professionals, you have more options, like access to special studios, technology, editing, and other tools that can improve your live stream. Because of this, you can focus more on the contents than technical aspects and logistics, providing your audience with high-quality materials.
6. Try multistreaming to expand the audience
Multistreaming is using several platforms for a live broadcast. This is a time-efficient way to use special features of each platform and reach a wider audience. This is one of the most successful ways to live stream a conference without additional bandwidth and delay between the platforms.
The right multistreaming solution should allow broadcast to major websites, like Facebook Live, YouTube, and others, but it should also allow you to add websites manually. It shouldn’t require any additional hardware for setup and be user-friendly at the same time. Advanced options, like setting up alerts, are a nice bonus, as well as being available for all or at least major operating systems.
Live streaming has become a norm in virtual events and for a good reason. It can gather a large number of attendees and speakers from all over the world, offering the same quality of interaction as though attending in person. With options, like hiring professionals to manage the broadcast or doing it alone, renting or buying the gear, and multistreaming, to live stream a conference has never been easier.