Livestreaming vs Internal Conferencing Tools – Which Is Best For Your Company?

Video conferencing, web conferencing, video streaming – as more and more platforms enter the online meeting space, the lines between them and what they can each achieve are fading. Every organization has different needs for their communications strategy and because of that, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to live video platforms. Companies examining their communications strategy are asking: What are the differences between livestreaming vs internal conferencing tools?

Which online meeting tool is a better fit for my company’s internal communications event? Can livestreaming do what a video conferencing tool does, and vice versa? Understanding their core capabilities and differences, as well as what they can each achieve separatelyand even together – will enable you to prepare and train members of your team with skills required of each. Let’s break down their differences and help you decide which is a better fit for your next live event.

Why using video for company-wide meetings is key for employee engagement

Video is no longer a nice-to-have for your internal communications; it’s a must-have. As Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff explains: “Rowing teams know that if you row together in sync, you’ll go faster.” By using video for company-wide meetings, your leadership can communicate their vision more clearly and consistently across a global workforce. In turn, employees also have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback in real time, helping them lean in to your company’s vision.

Employee engagement can have a profound impact on your company’s business performance, with the cost of disengaged employees estimated to account for $450-$550 billion in lost productivity per year. Companies today are looking for more impactful ways of engaging with their employees, and live video is the only scalable solution for global companies looking to communicate as one team. It is no wonder why it has become the most popular and accessible go-to communications tool – the barriers to entry are lower than ever, and all-in-one livestreaming platforms have made it simple to broadcast your live event to an engaged audience.

Video/Web Conferencing Tools For Business Communications

What Conferencing Platforms Do
While the features of these platforms vary, the value of web and video conferencing is the same: they provide two-way video communication with audio, video, and screen sharing technologies across two or more locations. These online meetings are typically conducted via desktops and laptops – rarely through a full-scale production.

Examples of Video/Web Conferencing Platforms
GoToMeeting, WebEx, Skype for Business, Adobe Connect

Benefits of Video and Web Conferencing Platforms For Business Communications
These online meeting platforms enable two-way online interaction in real time between hosts and participants, with near-zero audio and video delay.

Challenges of Video and Web Conferencing Platforms For Business Communications

  • While conferencing tools are great for online meetings of small groups, they are less equipped for larger audiences. Some platforms have limits of up to 200 concurrent attendees while others like Adobe Connect charge based on your audience size. This also means that you will need to purchase another tool for marketing events or external communications.
  • Your participants may want to watch your video on-demand after the live event. While tools like GotoMeeting, WebEx, and Adobe Connect offer recording services, most conferencing tools aren’t built with sharing and overall long term content storage and management in mind.
  • The ability to introduce production value, such as adding graphics, videos and picture in picture, on these types of platforms can be extremely limited.
  • For the purposes of optimizing bandwidth to enable real-time sharing, conferencing tools are often constrained by video quality and various software requirements. Often participants have to download some software update to join the event, which can be confusing and time consuming.
  • Web Conferencing platforms have very restrictive video and audio quality, due to the limited audio/video capture capabilities, and low resolution encoding.

Livestreaming For Business Communications

What Livestreaming Platforms Do
Livestream technology enables you to broadcast HD plus quality video (1080p) to tens of thousands – or even more – in near real-time.

Examples of Livestreaming Platforms
Livestream, UStream, JWPlayer

Benefits of Livestreaming For Business Communications

  • One of the key differences between online conferencing tools and livestreaming platforms is video quality. Conferencing tools typically offer a resolution of 640×480 while platforms such as Livestream offer a more dynamic and professional experience with multiple camera angles, supporting higher video quality with broadcasts up to 1080p.
  • Livestreaming platforms are designed to make uploading, storage, and management of your on-demand videos in a central account easy. A great user experience could be the difference in whether your viewers choose to engage with your videos, long after your live event is over.
  • The best way to identify what can be done better with your next event is to look at the data. Platforms like Livestream give you the opportunity to get to know your audience across multiple streaming destinations with real-time data from our native analytics dashboard. This will help you understand how your employees are engaging with your message.

Challenges of Livestreaming For Business Communications
In comparison to most conferencing platforms, the live interview workflow on Livestream requires ample testing and preparation. While it can be done, two-way communication is extremely limited when it comes to a live interview setup. Our remote live interview enables you to switch back and forth one at a time between guests. You can invite as many guests as you like to the event but you can only select one guest at a time to go live. Guests will also only be able to hear the host speaking to them during the preview mode (when they’re not live on camera) so cutting back and forth live on camera is required.

Livestreaming vs Internal Conferencing: Which is Best For You?

Ultimately, Web/Video Conferencing Is for You If…

You Want Real-Time Interactivity
Video conferencing tools will work if you’re looking for a continuous back and forth real-time voice conversation with a limited number of people, with virtually no audio or video delay. If you don’t need to add graphics or other production elements, these solutions do the job.

Livestreaming Is for You If…

You Want a Versatile Solution for a Larger Audience
Depending on the software, most video conferencing platforms or online meeting tools have a limit on the number of participants that are able to join the event. Livestreaming, on the other hand, creates a more engaging and compelling experience, allowing you to reach, impact – and scale – to millions. Livestreaming also allows you to use polling, chat, and other tools to engage with your audience in real time.

You Want Simplicity for the Viewer
Some online conferencing platforms call for client software to be downloaded while others require a certain browser. Participants then have to call in via multiple toll free numbers depending on their location. With Livestream, all your participants need is a URL link and they’re all set to join your live event from any device, wherever they are.

You Want Production-Level Quality
Quality matters. According to Brightcove, 62% of people are more likely to have a negative perception of brands that publish poor quality video. As video becomes increasingly ubiquitous in how companies are communicating, think about what a smooth high-definition video experience can do to take your online meeting or live event to the next level.

You Want an All-in-One Solution
Looking for more advanced features otherwise not offered with entry-level products? Livestream offers an all-in-one solution by combining the Mevo camera with our live production switching software, Livestream Studio, and cost-efficient hardware, at a fraction of the price of a complete multi-camera live production.

Think livestreaming is the right fit for your live event? Explore what our different plans have to offer, depending on your needs and budget.

Forrester: How Brands Can Livestream Successfully

There are many reasons live video has become the go-to tool for savvy brand marketers. The technical and financial barriers to entry have fallen, social platforms are prioritizing it in their algorithms, and audiences are attracted to it, according to a report from research group Forrester that shared how brands can livestream successfully.

Live video presents brands with opportunities to interact with customers in real-time and reach audiences that would be otherwise inaccessible. The Forrester report “Prepare to Support Video Livestreaming for Customer Experiences” says brands can livestream successfully and stand out from the competition with well-tested technology.

Live Video Has Become More Accessible

Once costly and challenging to deploy, the democratization of technology means that brands can execute live video easily with a smartphone, or an entry-level camera like the Mevo Plus, livestream’s live event camera. There’s no need for post-production work, reducing the overall cost of the technology. “It’s exciting that we have this canvas now and can lower the cost of video production,” Ryan Sullivan, senior vice president of performance services at media agency Performics, says in the report.

How Brands Can Livestream Successfully

While live video appears to be the latest tool in a marketer’s arsenal, Forrester notes that it’s important to know not just how to do it but how to set yourself up for a successful livestream.

#1 Start Small
Slow and steady wins the race. Instead of diving headfirst into costly equipment, start first with low-cost hardware like a smartphone and external microphone. As you begin to see success, you can invest in more sophisticated, but still easy-to-use, hardware like Livestream’s three-camera kit.

#2 Syndicate Your Live Video
If you already have a following on social media, start broadcasting to your existing audience. Then continue to expand your audience by syndicating your livestreams to other social platforms. You can do that with Livestream by streaming your video across multiple platforms simultaneously.

#3 Triple-Check Your Connectivity
Ensure you have a dedicated and reliable wifi or wired connection that no other device has access to, in order to reduce bandwidth fluctuation during your stream. “Livestream is able to auto adjust bandwidth and change our stream, according to what works best,” says Chad Reese, director of information technology at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “If you’ve got a good bandwidth you can really pull off some spectacular things.”

Once You’re Doing Live Video Well…

#4 Expand Your Audience
Forrester pointed to Tough Mudder as an example of a brand doing it right. The endurance race events company turned to Livestream with the goal to attract audiences they weren’t able to previously reach. At most events, it broadcasts six feeds from on its own website, as well as a single stream on Facebook. Tough Mudder also promotes events across its social media channels, driving viewers back to its website. Its focused strategy attracted around 14.5 million unique views across Livestream and Facebook in 2016, with a website peak concurrency at 70,000.

#5 Interact with Your Audience in Real-Time
According to Mike Delgado, director of social media for Experian, interaction is really about “listening and figuring out what your community cares about.” The credit reporting agency hosts a live credit chat on Periscope daily, answering questions and giving advice on financial matters. On average, the livestream sees over 3,000 comments and 500 viewers each month.

Final Takeaway from Forrester

Livestreaming video gives brands a unique opportunity to get closer to their customers and interact more authentically with their audiences – now at an even lower price point. However brands still need to put in the legwork when it comes to testing and technology to take their livestreaming experience to the next level.

Learn more about Tough Mudder’s live video strategy in our case study or explore Livestream’s plans to get started.