With the world ever increasingly moving online, it is not out of the ordinary to enjoy a concert, partake in a conference or watch a talk live from the comfort of your own home or office.

Live streams are much more ‘sticky’ in terms of viewer engagement. This makes them well worth the extra effort as they can be a much more valuable marketing tool to a client compared to a generic promotional video.

Setting up a Livestream may seem like a daunting task… so we have broken down the key elements you and your client need to know to have a successful Livestream.

Planning

Before you even think about going live – planning is crucial. Here are some key and perhaps obvious questions you should ask of yourself and your client, before live streaming.

Where will you be broadcasting your Livestream? Who is the audience?

Will it be on standard broadcasting sites like Facebook, Youtube or Twitch? Or will you be using a business’s own intranet / Live Streaming software? These different platforms offer vastly different interfaces. So it is worth thinking about which one is best suited for your needs / your client’s audience.

While considering the audience it is also important to consider the format as well as the platform. For example, if your intended Live Stream is a simple piece to camera, could it be spiced up with added graphics or slides like a TedTalk? Or could your panel talk be further expanded by adding in contributors via Skype? There is an infinite number of options and generally the more creative the better!

What are you live streaming?

Sounds simple but it is important to have all the following in place, finalised and signed off as soon as possible. Not just for what is being said but where and how actions on-screen will take place. It is important to map out every element of what you want to be seen on screen to make sure it comes across how you want it on the day. Obviously there is always some room for improvisation but for a slick and smooth show, it is best if your talent and crew know exactly what is going to happen and when.

Location

Will you be filming on location or at a studio? A controlled environment is always recommended as you have much more control over any outside noise/interference. Nothing is worse than building works ruining your Livestream!

A studio is not always possible. That is why we offer our Mobile Package, however, a detailed technical recce is advised for this solution. This allows us to properly assess the noise issues, any viewing issues and internet connection speeds. 4G routers are available though – should your accessible broadband be an issue.

Talent / Costumes

Who you will be filming and what they will be wearing seems obvious but key. It is always worth getting the technical team to check over your talent’s costume. There is nothing worse than a floating head on your live stream because your stylist put them in a green shirt!

Assets

These consist of any titles, backdrops, graphics or pre-recorded videos you would like shown during your live stream.

It is important to be in contact with us on the elements you would like to use. Our technical team can check them over before the day to make sure they are correctly formatted and will work as intended. This is not to be overlooked as these assets are a huge part of viewer engagement and crucial to making your Livestream stand out!

Unlike a standard video shoot where you can change and adapt things in post, a Livestream requires all of this work to be done upfront. The good news is not having to go through weeks of client amends to an edit!

What do you need and what is your budget?

Having got the bulk of your planning in place, it is important to think about what you require from the Livestream? It is recommended to have at least two cameras (in case anything goes wrong with one of them you always have the other as back up) but perhaps you feel you need three or four cameras to properly cover your stream. For example, a panel event will probably require at least three cameras. One wide, one for the presenter and one for the panel.

As mentioned earlier, assets and graphics need to be planned and discussed in advance. Not just what assets, but where they shall be used in the show. All of this needs to be discussed and rehearsed with the Vision Mixer*. Timings are important in a live stream and it is important everybody is on the same page and following the same script.

If you are doing a piece to camera then it is important to think about if your presenter will require a teleprompter. Also known as an Autocue, the teleprompters allow your talent/presenter to read off a script while still looking directly into the camera. Nothing turns viewers off like a presenter glancing down at a script. They also allow for scripts to be amended on the fly while Live, this is especially important for sporting events.

These are all things that can be handled by our technical team once they know the details of your shoot, but it is important to be aware that this can affect the cost. So knowing your budget is also important in managing your client’s expectations of the Livestream.

*Vision Mixer – works closely with the Director to deliver the visual experience as broadcast. They choose which feeds are used from multiple cameras during live broadcasts. They are also in charge of adding any transitions or graphics necessary to the show.

Rehearsal

Scheduling and budgeting for a rehearsal day are essential. While it might seem like an unnecessary additional cost it is important to work out any kinks in your plans off-air rather than in front of a live audience and to have your crew feeling prepped and ready for the big day.

Your talent needs to know exactly what they will be doing and what marks to hit. The cameraman needs to know the action they will be capturing and the Vision Mixer needs to know when to cut to different cameras and when to place any overlays or graphics on screen. Remember it is live – so no second chances!

A rehearsal day is also a great opportunity to put your client at ease. Once they have seen the show run how they want when the pressure is off, they will be a lot more relaxed when the pressure is on. Allowing you to think more freely on the day and not worry about dealing with notes from your client while you are live.

The Big Day

So you have all your planning in place and rehearsed, now it is time for the big event. Our advice is to enjoy it! Being live is an exhilarating experience, obviously there will be nerves but if you are well prepared and rehearsed our team will handle the rest. If it is your first time there might be a few hiccups or mistakes but this is all part of live streaming and even adds to viewer engagement sometimes! Get used to rolling with the punches and making it work

Post

But you said the benefit of Livestream was no editing after the fact? TRUE! – but is it worth offering options to your client of at least having a recorded version of your Livestream or editing down the highlights for their audience that couldn’t tune in on the day.

Just an idea and to let you know it is possible!

We look forward to hearing from you about your live streaming plans, get in touch today for a quote…

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