Live Streaming video is a great way to present speakers, sponsors, presentations, and pre-recorded video. But when is it the best way? When is a meeting application a better choice? Why not just record presentations and make them available on your event site? Let’s take a deeper dive on the slings and arrows of live streaming production to answer these questions.
If you are not familiar with live streaming video, you are likely familiar with presenting on a virtual meeting platform like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. They are both “live”, but there are enough differences between the two that warrant familiarizing yourself if you are not already.
Authentric’s platform utilizes both live streaming and meeting presenting to attendees. The first and largest deciding factor is if your presentation expectations include audience discussion, or if the presentation is more formal, like a speaker on stage with a slide deck, podium, and expected audience participation is limited to specific questions and applause. Live stream video is a one-way broadcast to your audience, much like a broadcast news program. This increases the quality of the presentation in both content and bandwidth, giving the audience a better experience than the constant mute/unmute chaos of meeting applications.
Like a broadcast news program, production value is key. Presenter’s video is captured from their location and mixed into the live broadcast through a mixing application operated by an event producer. It is than “streamed” over a single video feed to viewers. The event producer or “live steam mixer” has a host of tricks available, including mixing multiple speakers, adding additional audio or pre-recorded video, title screens and graphics, and picture-in-picture screens for showing the presenters camera and their slide deck at the same time. Meeting applications at best offer screen sharing and the all important “mute all” button, but can not match the quality and creative options of a live stream production.
If a live steam video producer can bring up a pre-recorded video and stream it live, as if the presenter was actually live, why go to the trouble of putting your presenters on the spot to deliver their presentation live on their web camera? Well, the truth is, they often do cut to a pre-recorded presentation, and the audience often doesn’t know the difference. If a presentation is short and needs to be word-perfect tight, pre-recording is a good option. But consider why “live” is an important aspect of an event experience. An audience that is expecting a live experience but is presented pre-recorded content can feel robbed of that experience. They might wonder why they attended and didn’t just watch the video on YouTube later. Watching anything “live” creates a bond between the speaker/performer and audience that does not exist when watching anything pre-recorded. It adds the tension of witnessing an event unfold, a presentation that hasn’t happened already, and a feeling of exclusivity for the viewer. Watching a speaker speak extemporaneously, unfold thoughts as they go, correct themselves, and add sometimes make a gaff or uncomfortable pause adds to this tension and to the audience’s investment and attention. Add production value and you have the ingredients necessary to captivate an audience.
What makes an event eventful? The element of “live” is the answer.