It’s the internet’s world, and the rest of us are just living in it!
Whether you are a dedicated tech geek or you avoid technology at all costs, there is no denying that technology is an increasingly large part of our lives. While it may feel more comfortable sticking to the status quo, we have some tough news. If you aren’t incorporating technology into your business, you may be losing out on customers!
The good news is that it is never too late to start! One of our favorite ways to boost engagement through technology?
Event live streaming has gained popularity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. But if you aren’t familiar with the technology and the equipment, we understand that it can be overwhelming to even think about. You likely have many questions, including:
- Can I hire someone to stream the event for me?
- How much does it cost to livestream an event?
- Will people actually show up?
Today we’ll be answering all those questions and more!
Why Should You Livestream Your Events?
So, what’s the big deal with live streaming, anyway? If people really cared, wouldn’t they just come to the event themselves?
Not necessarily. Live streamed events have many benefits that you might never have thought of, including:
- Accessibility – One of the best parts of hosting a live stream event is that it helps make it more equitable. There are a whole host of reasons why someone may not be able to attend an event in person. From mobility issues to illness or even a family emergency, people may feel like they want to support your business or organization but do not feel able to do so. Having a live stream option allows everyone to be included.
- Space Limitations – No matter what venue you choose for your event, there are bound to be limitations on the maximum number of attendees you are able to host. By offering a virtual option, your guest list can be practically unlimited!
- Bring Awareness – There will always be people who are curious about your organization and want to learn more but perhaps aren’t committed enough to pay to attend an event. Live streaming can be a happy medium that allows them to learn more about the work that you are doing without fully committing to attending the event itself.
- Gives You a Backup Plan – We all know that disaster tends to strike when we least expect it. Whether a member of your team gets sick, your venue cancels, or something else goes wrong, having a backup virtual event planned means that you have a solid alternative in place.
- Include Out of Town Guests – Oftentimes, people wish to support organizations by attending in person but simply aren’t able to due to the fact that they live far away. Having a digital format available allows you to reach a wider audience from across the globe.
How Much Does it Cost to Livestream?
Many people are intimidated by the idea of setting up their own live stream. One of the big hesitations? Cost.
After all, video streaming your formal event isn’t the same as starting an Instagram Live to showcase your offices. You’ll need a camera operator and equipment that allows you to film quality footage from a distance. Additionally, certain streaming platforms require money in order to be used.
Those costs can quickly add up. Luckily, live streaming can be accomplished on almost any budget, depending on the quality that you are hoping to achieve. Here are a few of the things you should budget for:
- Camera 🎥 – While you can certainly use a device such as a smartphone to film, you may want to consider using an actual camera to boost the overall quality of your stream. The cost to rent a camera can range from $200-$1500, depending on the style that you choose.
- Wireless Microphone 🎤 – It’s no good to offer a virtual option if your guests can’t hear what you are saying! A wireless microphone typically costs between $50-$300.
- Streaming Cost 💰 – While you can certainly choose to use a free social media streaming service, such as Facebook Live or Instagram Live, these platforms may not be right, depending on how much bandwidth your stream will take up. We recommend investing in live stream software that is designed for this purpose. This will likely cost you $25-$100.
- Camera Operators 🎬 – You’ll have a lot on your plate the day of the event. The last thing you need to do is to be running around setting up camera equipment. Instead, we recommend hiring a professional camera operator. The peace of mind and quality footage that you will get from this is likely to outweigh the cost. Hourly rates will vary widely with experience and can range from $20 to $300.
4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Livestreaming Platform
Have we convinced you to live stream yet? If so, you are probably wondering how to go about choosing a live stream platform. Here are some things you should keep in mind.
The size of your event has a huge impact on what platform will be right for you. If you are expecting a smaller virtual turnout, you may be able to get away with using a social media streaming platform. However, for larger events, we recommend using software that is specifically designed for streaming.
As in all things, it is important to make sure you have a clear budget in mind for your live stream. This will help you avoid unnecessary stress and make sure that you are creating a virtual event that you can afford.
If your goal is to increase accessibility to your event, you’ll want to make sure that starts with your event planning. Accessibility can come in many forms, from user-friendly live stream platforms to offering things like captioning. Be sure to keep this in mind as your plans start to become a reality.
4) Equipment and Staffing
Take some time to discuss your overall vision with your co-workers. What kind of video quality are you hoping to achieve? Are you going to hire staff to help film the event? Taking the time to prioritize what matters to you will help you create an end result that you will love.
Best Livestreaming Platforms
Choosing a live stream platform is one of the most important parts of your event. Here are some of our favorites.
Restream is a popular live streaming platform that combines the best of both worlds. With Restream, you can create a video that can be streamed to multiple different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
We like that it is beginner friendly and easy for your customers to access.
Livestream was purchased by Vimeo in 2017 and continues to be one of the most popular ways to share live events with a virtual audience. This is a great option if you are looking to boost your live streams’ privacy through password protection and link sharing.
That being said, keep in mind that even though it is a program that works in tandem with Vimeo, you will need a paid plan in order to access the streaming feature. Also, your video will be streamed on Vimeo, which has a smaller user base than larger platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
When you want the ultimate in professional production, turn to Kaltura. Kaltura offers great channel customization that makes it easy to create the event you’ve been envisioning. That being said, it does require a bit more technical know-how to operate.
Social Media Livestreaming
Almost all popular social media platforms offer live streaming options these days. While each of them has pros and cons, we have to hand it to the video experts at YouTube for creating the most user-friendly platform for live streams.
Not only will your guests be used to viewing videos on YouTube, but YouTube is designed to be able to handle large numbers of viewers at once. You can expect smooth video with no costs on your end.
Pro vs. DIY
If you are feeling overwhelmed at taking all of this on by yourself, know that you have other options!
Professional video production companies can help you with a wide range of concerns, from equipment rentals to actually running your live stream. If you aren’t feeling particularly confident in your ability to juggle managing technology with running an event, we highly recommend hiring a professional live stream producer to help your event go off without a hitch.
Create Flawless Livestreams with Our Team
Ready to get started? Stringline Pictures is here to help! As Minnesota’s premiere video production company, we are ready to help you answer any questions you might have about how to live stream an event. Contact us today to start your live streaming process!