Learn How Webinar Video Streaming Works

This week on Livestream Learn we talked through how we create our live webinar series each month with Head of Production Joe Bandelli and the help of our awesome Production Crew. If you’ve ever wondered how we use Livestream for this webinar series, this Livestream Learn is for you.

How Do You Plan A Live Video Webinar?

You can’t plan your live video webinar without thinking about the content you’re going to discuss. This content will inform your theme. When you’re planning your webinars, you want to make sure your customer is always the focus of your content. How can you answer their questions or make their lives easier? Put yourself in the shoes of the viewer. How is their online  video experience going to look? This will dictate not only how you present content but set up your shots.

For Livestream Learn, we start by creating an outline of each show. We then share it with Production to make sure everyone is on the same page. As the date approaches, we finalize details, rehearse, and then coordinate again with the tech team to orchestrate the run of show. The day before the show we do a table rehearsal. The day of, we do a full tech rehearsal and actual rehearsal with all crew and talent.

How Do You Build An Audience For Your Webinar?

Remember that just because you create video content doesn’t mean people will watch it. Your webinar needs a distribution strategy – through email, social media, or your blog or website. It also helps to have a landing page you can direct your audience to.

For Livestream Learn we create a landing page for each episode. Then we email people who have previously RSVP’d or recently subscribed to our mailing list to invite them to the webinar. That invite takes them to a landing page to RSVP. We follow up with an event reminder the day of and a recap the following day.

How Do We Set Up Our Live Webinar Equipment?

Before going live you need to first check your internet and power sources. For internet, we require a 10×10 (10Mbps Upload and 10Mbps Download) on a dedicated hard wired Ethernet line (Cat5 or Cat6). Create a plan identifying all devices, their amperage/wattage and their circuit designation. Make sure to add a 20% safety buffer to your amperage calculations to prevent the breaker from accidentally tripping. Keep in mind that in older venues the circuit breakers could be deteriorated. There is no real way of identifying a worn out breaker other than testing its load at its rated amperage. When a breaker is worn out it can heat up and shut off at a lower draw then it is rated for.

Test your equipment beforehand with an ammeter, an electrical device designed to measure amperage. This will let you know exactly how many watts/amps each device is using so you can effectively plan out your power distribution. You also want to make sure you have contingency planning for your stream. Then you can think about the run of show, and what kind of crew and equipment you will need for video, audio and streaming. Having backup plans and equipment is crucial when you are livestreaming.

What Equipment Do We Use To Livestream Our Webinar?

Joe walks us through our audio and switcher set up, our camera crew, and staffing for Livestream Learn in the video below. For anything that has five or less inputs, we use the Livestream Studio HD550 as it is a switcher/encoder in one. If we have more than 5 inputs, we use the larger Livestream Studio HD1710, which can take up to 17 inputs. For Livestream Learn, we typically never have more than five inputs, so we use the HD550 and we use a secondary HD550 as a backup.

The cameras you choose are based on the type of content you have and what the event is supposed to look like. You’ll choose more cameras if you have a demo heavy event, interactive event, sporting event, concert, etc. If it is a Q&A or a Panel, you will need less. We use a prosumer broadcast quality camera (you can go mid-level or use a higher level ENG type camera if the content calls for it, for example: A-List, Superbowl, Award Show, etc). We recommend Sony cameras: Sony PMW300’s, Sony HXC Series, Sony HSC Series, Sony HDC Series.

Using Mevo For Affordable Webinar Video Streaming

We also talk about how Mevo is a great solution for organizations or brands new to livestreaming or producing live video on a budget. Mevo is a tiny single camera with a 180-degree 4K lens that can stream live, is operated via an app, and gives the illusion of a multi-camera shoot without the hassle or budget of a crew and multiple cameras and additional equipment. The app allows you to edit and adjust shots in real time (see above), completing your event with fully edited VOD content.


Takeaways For Planning A Live Video Webinar

  • Always start with a content strategy and promotion plan.
  • Work with talent that is reliable and prepared.
  • Always build in rehearsals and redundancies with equipment, power, and internet.

Watch the final segment of the video to learn:

  • How do you choose what cameras to use?
  • What is the thing people get wrong when doing a live webinar?
  • How can you use PTZ cameras for webinars?
  • How to livestream on a budget?