The Ultimate Guide to Live Streaming Your Business Events

Live streaming has quickly become the norm for business events. New streaming tech has made it simpler than ever for businesses to quickly stream content, providing greater access to their events, plus valuable or entertaining content for their audience.

A wide variety of business events translate well to live streams — like presentations, demonstrations and panels. If you want to host a live event of your own, however, you will need to carefully prepare to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

networking event

These 10 tips will help you live stream your business event.

1. Pick a Good Stream Length

You want to stream for long enough that people feel like it was worth tuning in. A long enough stream length also helps people who may have missed the start of the stream. Preventing your stream from going too long will also help ensure your viewers don’t get tired of watching.

On the low end, 15 minutes to half an hour can work as a minimum time for a stream. On the upper end, events running longer than an hour or two will need extra planning. If you plan on hosting a multi-hour event, take into account the stamina of your streamers. You may also want to provide opportunities for viewers to tag out or take a break.

2. Choose the Right Time

  1. If you want maximum attendance for your event, you’ll need to time it carefully.
  2. Use what you know about your target audience to time your event. If you want to reach a professional audience, for example, you may know that they’ll probably be working from around 8 am to 6 pm in their time zone, with some free time around noon for lunch.
  3. If you are stumped on the best time to stream, you can always send out quick surveys on availability. Information like engagement on your social media posts can also show you when your audience appears to be browsing the web and would be available to watch a stream.

3. Pick the Right Streaming Solution

There’s a pretty good variety of professional streaming tools out there — like Dacast, StreamShark and IBM Cloud Video. While most offer the same basic functionality — getting your video onto the web — there are some differences between the major platforms you’ll want to know about.

Give yourself some time to do research, and prepare to look for the streaming solution that meets your business’s needs.

4. Choose Your Broadcasting Hardware

Once you’ve selected a streaming solution, you’ll need to pick the hardware that will make the event work — like cameras, mics and lighting. Depending on the complexity of your event, you may not need much new equipment. A webinar, for example, really only requires a decent mic and a device that can stream a presentation.

If you have a budget for broadcasting hardware, you can go big if you want. For example, some businesses are starting to use high-res LED video backdrops to provide visuals and info during their events. If you’re willing to invest, a virtual event space with this kind of technology can seriously improve the look of your event.

5. Pick a Streaming Platform

When you go live, which site will you be broadcasting to?

You have a few options to choose from. Some of the most popular are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitch. Each platform has a different audience and features that will make them more appropriate for some events than others.

Typically, businesses will stream in a few different places at once. Streaming on a social media page or two — using a service like Facebook Live or Twitter’s Periscope — along with a streaming site like YouTube or Vimeo is a good strategy.

6. Remember Mobile Devices

A decent chunk of your audience will probably tune into your event using a mobile device. When designing your event and developing visuals, keep screen size in mind. Viewers using a mobile device to watch may not catch the same level of detail that you can see on a desktop.

When prepping your event, consider testing visuals and audio on mobile devices, as well as desktops.

7. Promote Your Event

Be sure to advertise your stream in the weeks leading up to it.

Regular posts on social media, coupled with visuals and info about the event, are a good way to market your stream. They’ll also help show you which segments of your audience are likely to be the most interested in the stream’s content.

8. Test Your Streaming Setup Before the Event

As with any event, a test run of your livestream will be extremely important. Before the day of the stream, quickly run through the event program. This will give you a chance to test the compatibility of your streaming software and hardware, as well as make sure that everyone on-camera knows what to do and when.

A quick test like this will help you avoid any snags during the event itself and keep things running smoothly.

9. Collect Data During the Event

Any livestream event provides an excellent opportunity for collecting analytics. Even something as simple as tracking viewers over time can give you some valuable info about your audience.

For example, YouTube allows you to track stats like total concurrent viewers and average watch duration. With this info, you may be able to learn when they’re available or what they’re most interested in by looking at when viewers tuned in or out.

10. Make Content Available After the Stream Is Over

Once your event is over, your stream doesn’t stop being valuable. Many streaming platforms make it easy for you to save the recording of your livestream and publish it after the fact.

This recorded livestream can provide content that’s both relevant and valuable to your audience. It may even continue to draw traffic to your site well after the livestream has ended.

If you want to publish the livestream after it’s over, be sure to pick a streaming solution that will record your event and make it easy to publish as a video.

Getting Ready for Your Live Stream Event

A live stream can be a great way to connect with your audience. Planning ahead of the event will help ensure that everything goes smoothly. Making sure all of your basic streaming necessities are in place — like the camera, streaming software and platform — will help you provide a great stream on the day of the event.

Lexie is a digital nomad and graphic designer. If she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.

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