How to Live Stream an Event

Written by

LiveControl

Published on

April 14, 2022

In-House Video Production is a Major Asset

As venues begin to open up for in-person events, you might be surprised to learn that live streaming is still here to stay.  

In-house video production is perfect for:

  • Live streaming
  • Creating on-demand video content
  • Building a video archive
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Revenue growth
  • Competitive advantage over other venues

Live Streaming an Event: Getting Started

Many simple live streams consist of a tripod and a smartphone connected to Facebook Live or YouTube. There are pros and cons to that approach:

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Doesn’t require special equipment
  • Small and unobtrusive footprint

Cons

  • Subjects must stay within frame
  • Zooming in and out must be done manually (and is not possible on certain platforms)
  • Requires a camera operator and livestream monitor
  • Low resolution = blurry footage

The bad outweighs the good. Streaming via Facebook and YouTube can also be risky if you’re capturing copyrighted content, such as musical theater songs or cover songs, which can get your live stream taken down immediately–even mid-performance!

We’ve identified 3 essential elements of the most successful live streams. 

  1. High-quality cameras
  2. Dynamic footage
  3. Easy to access distribution

Once you have these three elements, plus a videographer, you’ll be good to go.

Choosing the Right Camera for Live Streaming an Event

There are tens of thousands of excellent cameras available on the market right now. But there’s one type of camera that rises above the rest when it comes to live streaming and capturing in-house video content: PTZ cameras. 

PTZ stands for Pan-Tilt-Zoom, which describes the movements that these cameras can make. A PTZ camera can be remotely controlled by a professional videographer. We consider these cameras to be the best for live events because of their durability, low profile, quality resolution, and range of motion. 

The range of motion allows your subjects to be captured anywhere on the stage–or even off of the stage, if they’re a crowdsurfer!

PTZ cameras also create video content that’s more engaging and immersive than static content. They pan, to capture the full width of the stage, tilt to focus on set pieces, lighting rigs, and soloists, and zoom to capture the most important details in excellent resolution. 

Most viewers will tolerate a low-quality live stream for only 90 seconds before they click away. If you have less than two minutes to impress your audience, an immersive, dynamic stream is the way to go!

PTZ cameras are small, so you can equip your venue with multiple cameras that can capture different angles for a truly stunning result. 

The Role of the Switcher and Encoder

So you have your cameras–now what? Next, you’ll need a switcher and encoder, to get your footage online. 

A switcher allows you to review the footage from multiple cameras at once, and to switch between them. Your videographer or producer can use the switcher to pan, tilt, and zoom your cameras, mixing footage to create an artful final product–live! 

An encoder converts your audio and video feeds to the correct format for the platform(s) you’re streaming on. Our encoders have built-in switcher capabilities, so you can do it all with one specially-engineered machine. 

Other Things to Consider When Live Streaming an Event

Once you have the tech, you’ll want to consider a few other things.

Camera Placement

Where are the cameras going? We recommend 2-3 cameras in order to capture all the action on stage, and to create a more immersive experience for the viewers at home. Typically, we recommend placing one camera in the back of the house, plus one on each side. If you’re still not sure where to place your cameras, or if your venue has a unique layout, our team can help you determine optimal camera placement!

Reliable Wifi

There’s no live stream without wifi! A strong, reliable connection is an essential part of getting your stream on the internet, archiving it, and sharing it with viewers seeking on-demand content in the future. Additionally, if you’re taking advantage of remote videographers and camera operators, they’ll need to connect with your cameras from their offsite location. 

With LiveControl, you’ll always have a digital copy of your event you can access afterwards… even if your wifi goes down!

Camera Operators & Extra Staff

If you’re using on-site camera operators, such as members of your staff or crew, you’ll have to factor in the cost and time of training, especially if you’re using stationary cameras. Stationary cameras need to be manually tilted, panned, and zoomed in and out. Plus, you’ll need a switcher/encoder operator, to piece together the footage and optimize its format for your preferred streaming platform. If you’re using a service like LiveControl, this work is included, with remote videographers operating robotic PTZ cameras behind-the-scenes and putting together the final video with overlays, transitions, and cuts. 

Live Streaming Your Event 

When the cameras are finally rolling, you’ll want to promote and monetize your live stream!

Hosting/Simulcasting

A live music or theater live stream is a great way to make your show more accessible and inclusive. And it’s  important to be a good host to your remote audience. When you’re streaming live, it’s smart to have a title card that lets the at-home audience know that the show is about to start. Our remote videographers can insert the title card of your choice, and even run a countdown to the start of the show! It’s a great way to build excitement and help remote viewers feel more immersed in the event. 

We can build you a custom web page to stream from, allowing your viewers to comment in real time, building community and engagement!

Promoting Your Live Stream

When you’re promoting your event, Facebook and YouTube links aren’t that memorable. That’s why we build our customers custom web pages to stream from. That’s a more memorable URL, plus the page is decked out in your brand colors, logo, and custom  features, including real-time chat and more. 

Monetizing Your Live Stream

It all comes down to the bottom line. Many of our customers host ticketed events, which limits your audience to those who pre-pay for access codes. Other customers make use of a donation button embedded in their custom streaming page, allowing viewers to donate as prompted by the performers, or when they see something they like! Both options are great ways to bring in revenue as a result of your live stream. 

Main Takeaways

Live streaming is a great way to increase viewership, boost revenue, and create on-demand content. And using a service like LiveControl lets you do it all without lifting a finger. 

Audiences love dynamic, engaging live streams, and the more immersive a video is, the longer they’ll watch. The longer they watch, the more likely they are to donate, subscribe, and attend a future show in person. Once the live stream concludes, it can be viewed on-demand and used for promotional purposes. 

LiveControl makes video production accessible. Our studio-in-a-box contains all the supplies you’ll need to release stunning live streams and produce incredible video content in-house. Simply set it and forget it. We’ll take care of the rest. Ready to get started? Let’s talk!

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