Live Video Production: 5 Questions You Need To Ask
At Livestream, we have a team of professionals working in the field, producing live broadcasts for a variety of clients. They travel around the world making sure the 250+ productions we do every year are flawlessly executed. We talked with Livestream’s Head of Production Joe Bandelli and Project Manager Dennis O’Brien to come up with the top five questions you should ask yourself before embarking on a live production.
WHAT IS MY CONTENT STRATEGY?
“When planning a live event, it’s dictated by your content. The type of event dictates how you light it and how you shoot it,” says Bandelli. What are you going to stream? What will your audience be watching? The content of your stream determines how you will execute the production.
Here are the four key components to keep in mind when planning your content:
Interest: “When thinking about what you will be streaming, make sure it aligns with the interests of your intended audience,” says Bandelli. If your audience enjoys music, plan a concert. If your audience is interested in literary pursuits, host a panel of authors. Make sure your content matches your brand voice and targeted prospects and customers.
Action: Have you ever watched an event with lulls in action? Your viewers do not want to watch a graphic slide for five minutes or experience a pause in audio or video. Make sure something is always happening on screen. Keep it interesting, and your audience will keep their eyes on your content! Your number one job as a live video producer is to make sure that the screen never goes to black.
Consistency: If possible, turn your live event into a series, like Livestream Learn or Shapeways Live. “Keeping your events consistent is a guaranteed way to increase brand awareness and brand equity, while engaging meaningfully with your audience,” says O’Brien.
Actionability: Is there a call to action at the end of your stream? “Your viewers should be prompted to follow you on social media, ask post-event questions in the chat, or tune into your next event,” says Bandelli. “If you want to turn your event audience into conversions, you need to facilitate viewer interaction after the stream is over.”
WHERE DO I WANT MY CONTENT TO BE SEEN?
“Choosing a location for your livestream relies on where your audience lives online and who you want to be able to see your stream,” says O’Brien. “Your livestream can be embedded on your website, social media, and/or a livestreaming platform.” If you’re streaming a private event, it is a best practice to embed the stream on your website or create a password-protected event. If you are streaming a public event, the more eyes, the better. Your content should live on multiple platforms and websites.
WILL THE QUALITY OF THE IN-HOUSE EXPERIENCE MATCH THE ONLINE EXPERIENCE?
As a live video producer, it is your job to make sure the streaming setup doesn’t interfere with the in-house experience. “Make the audience feel like they’re at the event,” Bandelli says. “But make sure you don’t harm the experience of the in-house audience.” Cameras and lighting that create an optimal online stream can easily facilitate a negative audience experience. To make sure the in-house audience is happy, test the lighting, camera, and equipment placement before the event starts. Your job is to be as invisible as possible to your in-house guests, while creating the best possible experience for your online viewers.
HAVE I SCHEDULED TIME TO TEST MY STREAM?
The best thing you can do to prevent mishaps during the production is test your stream. Test primary equipment workflows, backup equipment workflows, audio quality, video quality, Internet connection, etc. “It is imperative that you confirm your upload speed,” says Bandelli. “You can test your connection speed at Speedtest.net.” You should schedule time to test your cameras and equipment off-site and on-site. Make sure you schedule time at your venue for testing before the stream goes live.
HAVE I VISUALIZED DISASTER?
“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” O’Brien says. “You need to be prepared for the worst in the world of live video and events.” When you prepare for the inevitable — whether that be a power outage, bad lighting, or a missing encoder — you’ll be set up for success.