Which software to use for launching a virtual event is by far the most popular question I’ve received over the last four months. Although I do I have a report on the 70+ virtual event platforms I reviewed coming out this month; there isn’t an easy answer. My big focus has been breaking down each software into categories, but it event still it can get confusing, especially the group of LIVE STREAMING SOFTWARE.
The solution you pick will often be determined by your unique scenario, which is why I created a full post on my favorite platforms by scenarios here. While scenario-based software selection can work for some, I believe it’s critical first to understand the features you need to accomplish your live streaming goals.
Since first “Pressing The Damn Button” with live streaming back in March of 2014, I’ve done over 3.5k live streams across every platform using 50+ different tools launching Facebook Live and Instagram Live for Fortune 500 brands. I’ve also produced 100’s of multi-streaming live shows and podcasts on Periscope, YouTube Live, and Linkedin Live.
Based on that experience and the current live streaming state in 2020, here are the:
5 most important features to look for when selecting your live streaming solution.
API & Partner Friendly: How open the software is to work with other video production tools and live streaming gear.
Personalized Multi-Streaming: Ability to customize the social post with unique customized titles and descriptions when multi-streaming.
Approved to Live Stream on All Platforms: Approved partners with social networks you want to live stream on, especially new platforms such as Linkedin Live and YouTube.
Easy to use Production Capabilities: Ability to create a high-quality live stream with lower 3rds and overlays without requiring a broadcasting encoder or production team.
Zoom Style Interviewing without needing Zoom: Multi-person browser-based interviewing without requiring software installation for the guest or guests.
If you want to understand each of these features in more detail, watch the video below as I breakdown each element that exists within the software Restream, which is my number 1 choice for browser-based multi-streaming in 2020.
In full transparency, I’ve had multiple browsers based live streaming solutions approach me as an influencer to partner. Still, I hadn’t found one that included everything I needed and wanted to partner with until I started using Restream Studio in February of 2020.
This is why I’m incredibly proud to have partnered with Restream.IO to power my new live video podcastPRESS THE DAMN BUTTON. This decision was easy thanks to Restream Studio as it’s the only platform that allows me to have up to 10 guests and stream to Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch, and Linkedin. You can watch a recent interview I did here and made sure to follow the hashtag #PressTheDamnButton on Linkedin to get my next live stream in your feed.
*In the video above, I leveraged eCamm Live to change cameras and share my screen, which is also the combination of tools I use for live streaming my virtual keynotes and more. The power of eCamm Live + Restream.IO is unmatched for live streaming across multiple channels, leveraging multiple cameras while integrating different scenes and transitions!
Live streaming video has exploded during these times much like it did in 2014 but what is it’s role in virtual events and how do we know when to use it versus pre-recorded video.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Live streaming took the world by storm in 2015, and I for one was a major fan! I helped deploy live streaming initiatives for companies like IBM, the Superbowl and SAP. For a while, live streaming was my go-to strategy.
In the video above Brian uses Prezi Video to go live on Facebook Live. Brian answers the 9 most popular questions being asked around live streaming video and its role in virtual events in 2020.
As conferences move from offline to online they are looking for ways to create true virtual experiences and Brian believes live video is essential. But you might be surprised by some of these answers as there are many use cases where Brian doesn’t believe live video should be utilized.
Live video will never replace production video and the power of editing can transform an average presentation into a great one.
If there isn’t a plan for active engagement or the presenter won’t see or adapt to the live conversation, live only adds complications. All of the moving pieces aren’t worth it if you are not going to live to its greatest ability.
When you want to have a unified look or controlled audio and video settings, live is not the way to go.
If you need more than one take or you’re doing a demo or you’re going aspects beyond the presentation might malfunction.
4. Which platform is best for live video?
There’s no one platform that is better than any other.
You must first determine what success looks like for your live video. Ask, who you are trying to reach? What format & style do you plan on creating? (Interview or mobile or vertical)
Understand the benefits and risks of streaming to multiple platforms at once
Have a plan to manage comments, questions and the live audience on the channels you are streaming.
5. When should a virtual event include: Live Video vs produced vs pre-recorded
Live Video: Providing access and leveraging the participatory component of the video!
Produced: Telling a story that must go beyond the presenter’s words and slides through things like b-roll, sound effects and story format.
Pre-Recorded: When you want to control and manage the audio, video and length of the video while doing multiple takes. Also if you want to add closed captions and mitigate risks involved with live video.
6: How do I combine produced video with live video to maintain audience attention?
Manage expectations at the start
Be Transparent with what aspects of the virtual event will be recorded vs live
If the speaker will be doing Q&A after a produced video tease that before and during the produced video session
Leverage live video before a produced video to add context and take questions teasing what is to come in the produced video
Balance the desire to have evergreen videos with live to provide the FOMO and excitement available beyond the produced videos you can watch later!
7. How can we use live video to promote a virtual event before and after?
Q&A with speakers
Behind the scenes planning
Giveaways and contests
Preview of the day
Key takeaways to create FOMO for those that didn’t attend