Live Streaming: Benefits, Options and What You Need To Know
As we all know, the last few weeks have been crazy, scary, unpredictable and everything in between for so many people, both personally and in their work lives. The ways everyone is doing business is changing at a rapid rate in order to adapt, and to say the least, that can be overwhelming.
With people being cooped up in their houses, working remotely and unable to move around like we’ve all grown accustomed to, communication is perhaps more important now more than ever before. Communication with friends, loved ones, coworkers, employees, clients…and the ways we do that are also changing.
In the work world, while Facetime-type calls might be fine for a few people, what happens when you have a big event? A conference. An annual meeting. A quarterly town hall. A CEO’s message to the team. Large or small, these are timely issues and events that might not be able to wait until life gets “back to normal”, whenever that may be.
But as we all move into a “new normal” of how we do business - a normal that could see more employees and clients working remotely for the foreseeable future - what are your options? You might know the term “live streaming,” but what does that really mean and how can it help you keep communication lines open when things feel closed off?
BENEFITS OF LIVE STREAMING
1. No Travel Needed
The ability to have employees working remotely be able to stay at home and still be involved is a very useful live streaming benefit. Everyone is able to still receive the message live from their leaders or peers, but from the comfort (and safety) of their own work locations. And having an option that doesn’t involve having to fly in team members for an in-person meeting can be a huge advantage down the road, too. Flights and hotel stays are expensive and can take up valuable company time and resources that could be spent on other priorities.
2. Cost Savings
And speaking of resources… There are many financial benefits to live streaming as well. While, yes, it does cost money to do the stream itself, there are many logistical areas where live streams can be more cost-efficient to their in-person counterparts. A large-scale, in-person meeting might require a full conference room worth of lighting and décor, chairs, other rentals and meals provided for attendees. With less on-site needs, you can do a high-quality live-streamed event and have your day-of costs can remain minimal in comparison to what you may have been spending before. And you can spend time and resources focused on the presentation and meeting content instead on all the other logistics.
3. The Human Touch
The value of face time with colleagues cannot be overstated. While an email from the CEO might be free, it can only go so far in personally delivering updates and connecting with a remote team. Hearing and seeing a message delivered in a real-time environment often feels more authentic and genuine. Instead of black and white text on screen – something we all already see far too much of – a live stream video has life and can offer a much more comforting presence and a sense of normalcy.
4. Live and Interactive
So, why not just do a prerecorded video then? That’s certainly an option and does make sense in many cases. But the benefit of a live stream is the ability to have the feeling of real-time face-to-face interaction that comes with being in-person. Through live stream options like a panel or Q&A session, viewers can still be involved and participate the same way they might for an in-person event or meeting.
5. You Can Keep It Secure
A lot of these company-wide events can have proprietary information or numbers that are best kept in one room, but there are many ways to ensure that confidential information can remain confidential through secure live stream options. So, there is no worry about having to change presentation topics or shy away from sensitive issues even when discussing across a live stream.
DIFFERENT LIVE STREAM OPTIONS
1. Use Your Existing Set Up
You already had a meeting planned. You had a stage and lighting and the whole deal. But it got canceled. There is no reason you can’t use that exact same set up, but instead of a room full of people, you have cameras in front of you. Your message, presentation and delivery can all be very similar. And you don’t waste the great setup and staging! Plus, this option is a great way to supplement future in-person meetings and extend your viewership to more people that can’t attend or show the value of attending to those who have chosen not to in the past.
2. Remote Call into A Stream
Let’s say your CEO is also working remotely, now or anytime, and wants to talk to all of the team members who are also at home. Live streaming is a great option for this. You can not only get all the benefits of a pre-produced video (see above!), but you can also allow for this call to be an interactive option that feels in the moment and timelier than a produced piece may. Multiple business and team leaders can be included in the stream as well, delivering their own messages from their own remote locations bringing everyone together.
3. Multi-Person Panel
Maybe you need all those people to be on-screen together instead of individually. This can easily be accomplished by splitting screens into multiple areas and bringing in all of the necessary participants at the same time. This allows for more of a panel-type feel where you have them interacting not only with a Q&A, but with each other.
4. Live Q & A’s
And speaking of Q&A’s. Whether these are stand-alone sessions or at the end of a more formal presentation, there are many live streaming solutions to accomplish this goal. One option is to have each person asking questions from their own remote location that is brought into the stream – much like option 2 above but with more questions. And the other is to have a designated question asker that fields questions from a social media site or chat site. A monitor can be set up for the question asker and on-screen graphics can be provided to participants to easily be able to read the questions. This allows everyone to be prepared and come across as professional as possible on-camera.
5. Adding Graphics to Any Stream
Perhaps the most important part of any of these options that puts it above and beyond a standard stream - is the ability to add professional looking graphics and transitions on screen. This provides a level of professionalism that can really make a big difference. Those graphics can be lower thirds that help identify who is speaking or full-page graphs and charts that help illustrate complex data to your viewers as you go. Even having a branded “Stream Starting Soon” up as attendees join the meeting can be reassuring to let viewers know they have reached the right place.
WHAT DO I NEED TO LIVE STREAM?
1. Suitable Internet Upload Speed
This might sound easy, but it can make or break your live stream. Ideally, our team would use time during a location scout to look at your connection or even run a test to make sure your stream will run uninterrupted and you come across looking savvy and professional.
This can mean A LOT of things. But whether it’s our professional cams or a webcam from a remote location, the most important thing to know is that we have the right converters and equipment to make sure it all plays together nicely, and the final product looks great.
3. A Plan!
Just like any other meeting – a plan is key! It’s helpful for us to know what you want to accomplish, who will be involved and what you need from us. We can always make it work, but pre-planning is always important to ensure a live stream goes off without a hitch.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIVE STREAMING?
A live stream might not always be right.
While this might seem like a fix to all your communication woes, the right answer really is always determined on a case-by-case basis. This is just one option out there that might help. It is still important to always consider your audience and your message and determine what is the right course of action of you and your company. Maybe it’s a pre-recorded/produced video. Or maybe it is an animated explainer piece. You know your company best, but we are always here to help and can help steer you in the direction that’s best for each situation.
There are always options.
If you do want to do a live stream, but really don’t know where to start or if none of these options seem right for you, just ask! There are countless options out there and we are always happy to work with you to try to figure out the right option for what you need. Custom-built solutions are always on the table and might be the right answer for you.
We are here to help!
We know this can all be very confusing. Technology is always changing and right now there are new options coming out nearly every single day. Rest assured that our PEG team is here to answer questions and guide you through the world of live streaming. Reach out to us and let’s talk. While all of our personal and work lives have a lot of unknowns right now, we’ll all get through this together.