With everything going virtual so quickly last March, we abruptly adapted to streaming our lives. Meetings, events, even casual drinks with friends have taken place via streaming software. With this sudden adoption of all things virtual, audiences are growing more and more savvy, and if you’re planning a virtual event for your place of business, you need to ensure you’re prepared to meet a minimum standard, better yet wow your audience, or you could find they click end before you’ve even started.
If you’re streaming a professional event keep these five quick tips in mind:
Bandwidth and Service: Test your internet well in advance of your event to make sure it’s got enough juice to share your stream and any media you plan to include. If you don’t have enough bandwidth, you may consider changing location. There is nothing worse than the buffering circle of doom, and no quicker way to get your attendees to click exit. The other key here is to consider your streaming service. You can use any number of free services, but if your event is a revenue generating event, it’s a really good idea to consult with professionals who stream for a living. Nothing is worse than a streaming service that isn’t compatible for every user, and no one wants to remember they didn’t pay for the Zoom upgrade at 44 minutes into a ‘meeting’.
Sound, sound, sound: If they can’t hear you, or it’s a struggle to decipher what’s happening through the muffle of the microphone, you will absolutely lose your audience. You can purchase decent microphones locally or online. Make sure to test and retest the mics and playback for sound quality.
Set the stage: Consider all of the things your audience will see while you’re live. Do you have animals that will bounce into the frame? Do you have a filter selected for meetings that won’t work well for an event? Does a train go by every day at the same time? You get the picture, consider your environment. Change your background as appropriate, keep pets out of your event space (unless they provide a cute factor you’re hoping to capitalize on), pick a space without distraction or added noise. You may even consider selecting a special space outside of your home office depending on the event. Just remember to test and retest audio and internet availability with each location.
Content Quality: If you were presenting to a live audience would you use video, a slide deck or another presentation or prop? If you answer yes, try to bring that experience to your livestream event. As with all of our tips, test and retest any media you add to a presentation to ensure that what your audience will see meets your goals.
Consult the experts: Just because you can produce an event for free via one of the many free online platforms doesn’t mean you should. It’s a good idea to consult with someone who is well adept at livestreaming, particularly corporate or revenue generating events. It won’t hurt to get a quote and it could save you money and most definitely aggravation in the long-run. A livestreaming expert will perform test runs, will have a livestreaming platform, and will offer multi-media and sound capabilities you won’t find with a free online service.
Most importantly, have fun and prepare well to produce an event you’re proud of that helps meet your goals.