Creating a Successful Livestream Experience

How to set up your event for a remote audience

For many years, an event’s guest list was limited to what its venue could hold. But with the internet, no meeting is confined by its venue. Guests from all over the world can be a part of your event through one simple tool: livestreaming. Recording and distributing your meeting in real time might sound like a hassle, but the trend is huge: The video streaming market is on track to become a $70.5 billion industry by 2021.

The trick to a successful livestream is in how you set it up. It’s one thing to experience an event in person—and it’s a completely different experience to watch that same meeting miles away through a screen. So, how can planners ensure that livestreamed meetings are just as beneficial for those watching at home?

1. Pick the tech most suited for your event.

Just like there’s not one best way to plan a meeting, there isn’t one surefire way to livestream an event. The technology options are endless, which can make selecting one over another an intimidating decision. It’s important to understand how those watching at home or from other locations will respond to your meeting from afar, so put yourself in their shoes. If guests just want to view your meeting, then technologies such as Livestream might be of help. To cater to remote attendees who want a more active role in the meeting, find software with commenting and other interactive capabilities, such as Periscope and Zoom. If networking is the goal, let your off-site guests get social by making use of social platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, which allow viewer interaction and bring livestreams straight into people’s feeds.

2. Engage remote guests.

No attendee wants to be excluded from your event—even when he or she isn’t on-site. So, find a way to make everyone feel like they are part of the experience. Direct event activities and talking points specifically to your at-home audience, and let them sound off in the comments. Consider using software such as Crowdcast, which allows people watching off-site the chance to offer their opinions with polls.

When you make an effort to include your audience, you’ll get their active attention, even from miles away.

3. Make sure your event setup is conducive to a livestreamed experience.

OK, you’ve got the livestream technology picked, and your meeting is about to start. You’re ready to broadcast—but you’ve miscalculated your décor, and now a centerpiece is obstructing your remote attendees’ view of the event. It’s a mistake that’s far too easy to make, but one that could prove fatal for your remote viewership numbers: If they can’t see or hear what’s going on, they can’t benefit from your event and likely won’t waste their time tuning in.

To avoid a similar situation, consider the livestream aspect early on in your planning, rather than treating it as an add-on. For example, when you’re conceptualizing the event’s environment, consider right off the bat where to set up recording equipment to ensure that off-location attendees get the best view. Once you’ve identified that vantage point, plan your décor around it to make sure it doesn’t block the camera’s sightline. Plan lighting and sound with livestreaming in mind: Lighting should provide ambience while supporting clear footage, and any sound speakers should be positioned away from recording devices so remote guests can hear what’s going on without any interference.

Livestreaming can bring a different set of challenges when planning an event, but the payoff can be big. An expanded, global audience, and with it the possibility of better exposure and stronger participation, are all within your reach—as long as you conduct your livestream right.