Thanks to the Internet, we’ve never been more connected as a society than we are today.
Sure, nothing beats being present at a live event. But now there are alternatives if you can’t make it there in person.
Enter live streaming.
The live streaming of events is all the rage, so you should get in on the action. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to explain the why and the how.
In this article, we’ll cover…
- Why you should live stream your event
- How to do it
- What equipment you need
- How to choose a live streaming platform
- How to promote it
- Advance preparation
- Social media monitoring on the day
- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube
- How to stream on all platforms simultaneously
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get right into it.
Why should you live stream your event?
Live events are limited by space, time, and location.
Not everyone who wants to attend your event has the same schedule. Not everyone has the option of travelling to the venue.
And even if they could, they wouldn’t all be able to fit inside.
Live streaming can help you reach all those people who would otherwise miss out on your event.
They can see what’s going on from any device connected to the Internet. They’ll also be able to interact with your event by commenting on it in real time.
Best of all, technological advancements have now made it incredibly cheap to live stream. All you need is a phone with access to WiFi, and you’re good to go.
How do you live stream your event?
You’ve decided to live stream your next event because it’s an incredibly cool concept. But how do you go about it?
You could just grab your phone and hit “Record”, but you’ll soon discover there’s more to it than that.
A live rock concert will most likely thrash your phone’s microphone, which gives viewers nothing but distortion. A bad WiFi connection will produce pixelated footage, and that looks bad.
Furthermore, your audience may live in different time zones and use different social media platforms. You’ll need to know how to interact with them during the event as well.
There are a few steps you need to go through for it to be a success. We’re going to go over each of them here below.
1. Get the right equipment for live streaming
How much you can spend on equipment will depend on your budget.
If your event is small and quiet, then a smartphone and a tripod might do the trick. If your event is big and loud, you’ll need to splash some cash on a decent camera with a good microphone.
As for the Internet connection, you’ll need at least 2.2 Mbps to live stream in high definition.
2. Choose a live streaming platform
You should choose the live streaming platform based on where you have the biggest following. That way, you’ll maximise the exposure you get.
Some of the available streaming platforms include:
We’ll cover each of these platforms in a bit more detail later on in this article.
3. Promote your live stream
It’s not enough to simply live stream your event. People need to know about it so they can join in.
It’s often a good idea not to mention that you’ll live stream the event too far in advance. You still want people to show up to the actual event.
Begin to promote the live stream once your event is fully booked or all tickets have been sold. If there are still spaces left, start promoting the live stream about 24 hours before kick-off.
4. Do a test live stream
You should perform a dry run before the actual event takes place. Limit the viewers to your crew or friends and see how it goes.
There will most likely be a technical hiccup or two if this is your first time. Make a note of everything that goes wrong and how to avoid it on the day.
5. Monitor social media
You need to monitor the comments people make on social media on the day of the event. If you’ll be too busy to do it yourself, you need to find someone who is available.
Many of your viewers will have questions before, during, and after the event. It’ll make them feel part of the event if someone is there to respond. Remember to thank them for watching, too.
What platform should you live stream on?
You’re able to live stream your event on pretty much any major social media platform. It can be difficult to choose if you have a decent presence on more than one.
Instagram is the last social media platform to have a high organic reach. That means you don’t have to spend money in order to get a lot of views and engagement. Use it to live stream if you have a decent following on your account and don’t have the budget to promote it.
Facebook is still the king of data collection in the social media world. No other platform collects as much detailed information on its users as Facebook does. Use it for live streaming if you’re already using Facebook Ads and have a big following on your Facebook Page or Group.
There aren’t many unique benefits to using Twitter as your live stream platform. A live stream does stand out from the crowd of tweets, however. Use Twitter for live streaming if it’s your main social media account and you have a good following there.
YouTube is the world’s most popular video platform and the first of these four to introduce live streaming. It’s still a bit uncertain how you monetise your videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But on YouTube, you’re able to make some advertising money from your live stream.
5. All of them
Is it possible to stream to multiple social media platforms at the same time? Glad you asked. There are website apps—free and paid—that allow you to do just that.
Here are three of them:
Beware that streaming to multiple platforms at once might require a beastly Internet connection to work properly.
Get live streaming!
As you can see, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Best of all, it is super cheap (or even free) to get started.
We’ll go a bit deeper into each live streaming platform in future articles, so stay tuned for more.
…and if you have any first-hand experience with live streaming, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.