Written by StreamYard
How to Live Stream An Event: The Complete Guide
From content creators to startups and corporations, it seems everyone is streaming events. This should come as no surprise, as live video has taken the marketing world by storm (so much so that about 23% of all global viewing time is spent on live content!).
Live streaming is not just popular. It’s also highly lucrative. But if you’ve never tried it, you might find the entire endeavor a little nerve-wracking. Don’t worry, though. We can help. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about taking your in-person event to a live streaming platform — including the best tool for the job. Plus, we’ll show you a few industry tips to make your next live event a success.
Why Live Stream Events?
Live streaming is so effective that there are many reasons why it’s chosen as a strategy, from promoting your brand to connecting with people who wouldn’t be able to attend in person - and even generating some additional income! So, let’s take a look at the benefits in a little more detail.
#1: Live Streaming To Increase Brand Awareness
Live streaming events can be a powerful tool for increasing brand awareness and showcasing your products, services, or values. First of all, live streaming allows you to interact with your audience in real-time, increasing interactivity. And because these events have the potential to reach a global audience, you can also tap into a vast and diverse viewership.
For example, you can respond to comments, answer questions, and address concerns immediately. Whether it's showcasing your company's history, values, or the development process of a new product, the storytelling allowed by live streams can also help you engage your audience and create a more emotional connection.
#2: Live Streaming To Build Community
Not everyone wants to or is able to attend events. However, most barriers disappear when you can give your audience access to your content and all they need is an internet connection. Consistent live streaming can, in fact, help you build a dedicated community of followers who are actually genuinely interested in your brand. This community can even become your advocate and help spread the word about what you've got to say.
What's more important, hosting live streaming events on a consistent schedule allows you to regularly interact with your audience. Viewers can ask questions, share their thoughts, and participate in discussions during the event. And, if you act on the feedback and suggestions you receive during live streaming events, you can build trust and strengthen the bond with your community.
#3: Live Streaming To Make Money
Brand awareness and a strong community are important. But we all need to make a living! Live streaming events, luckily, also offer significant revenue opportunities. For example, you can offer premium content or exclusive access to virtual conferences, concerts, workshops, or seminars in exchange for a fee.
Many events use a subscription service. Viewers pay a recurring fee to access a library of live-streamed content. This can be a great model if your business produces regular live content, such as online courses and webinars. But, of course, you shouldn't forget about in-stream ads and merchandise. For instance, pre-, mid-, or post-roll ads, sponsorships, branded merchandise, products, and digital downloads.
How To Live Stream An Event, Step-by-Step
Live streaming is much easier than you probably expect, especially if you have the right tools! So, let’s go through the process step by step and see what exactly you will need to boost your online event.
Step 1: Think (Carefully!) About Your Goals
It might sound quite obvious, but you’d be surprised how many event streamers don’t really know what they want their content to “do”. So, when you’re getting started, the first thing you should do is define what your intentions and goals are.
It can be a good idea to do this by asking yourself questions. For example: What type of event do you want to stream? What do you want to achieve? Do you have a planned return on investment? And what’s the budget you handle?
To make things easier, always determine:
- What you will live stream.
- Who you will live stream to (in other words, your audience)
- What your goal is for the event
Step 2: Plan Your Approach
Once you’ve got the purpose and audience defined, it’s time to turn to the event itself. We used questions in the previous step, so let’s do the same for this one. You can ask yourself: Where do you want to hold it? Do you have an agenda? Guests? Who will speak first, and who will follow? And how are you going to promote the big show?
This step is, basically, all about laying out all the components that will make your event - before you start streaming. For example, you should select a live streaming platform that matches your target audience and your goals (and consider the features and audience reach of choices like YouTube Live, Twitch, Facebook Live, Vimeo, and Zoom).
Then, outline the content of your live stream. You should include the event agenda, topics to cover, and any visual aids or presentations. It's also a good idea to create a script or a rough outline to stay organized during the stream.
Ensure you have the necessary equipment, including cameras, microphones, lighting, and a stable internet connection are also a must. Of course, you will also have to select a well-lit, quiet, and free from distractions location for your live stream. Oh! And don’t forget to conduct a test stream the first time you get everything set up so you can check audio and video quality, internet stability, and any other technical aspects.
Step 3: Choose Your Platform(s)
When you do a live stream, you will need a platform to host your event. The solution you choose will need to be capable of sharing your content seamlessly. And keep in mind that with a tool like StreamYard, you can stream to multiple platforms at once.
Here are a few tips for picking a streaming platform for your on-demand or live video:
- If you’re technically savvy, look into the solution’s servers and bandwidth. You will want to make sure the second, in particular, is enough to share your event with as many people as possible.
- If it’s important for you, ensure the platform allows you to add your own logo, colors, transitions, and other branding elements.
Most of the time, the decision will be a balance between features, support, and cost. Of course, you should always aim for the highest quality you can afford. But we understand you will want to save investments if you can, too. So, whatever your choice, make sure you compare all available solutions before you settle on a plan.
Step 4: Start Early with Monetization
If you want your stream events to generate some sort of revenue, it’s best to start planning for it early. For example, by considering whether the platform you will use already has monetization capabilities out of the box.
Many professional solutions, like Decast, Livestream, and Cloud Video, offer advertisements and subscriptions. So, before you start live streaming, decide on your monetization goals and strategy.
Consider what methods are most suitable for your audience and content type (like pay-per-view, advertising, merchandise sales, donations, and affiliate marketing) and ensure that you've met the eligibility requirements and enabled these features. For example, YouTube requires a minimum number of subscribers and watch hours to enable monetization through ads.
Many event organizers also offer premium content or exclusive access to certain live streams (typically, as we have mentioned, in exchange for a fee). You can, for instance, create special events or webinars that are only accessible to paying subscribers or viewers. Don't forget to also explore options for partnering with advertisers or sponsors to promote their products or services during your broadcasts.
Step 5: Setup and Test Your Broadcasting Equipment
A streaming platform is essential, but so is the right equipment to guarantee the highest-possible quality for your content! It’s definitely better to take the time to explore the options available for your budget. In fact, try to think of your equipment as one of your most important investments. An encoder, mics, a webcam, etc., are all tools that can only help your content be better.
If you think you’ll be doing a lot of events (and streaming them), then we strongly recommend you purchase a good camera. There are actually some that are specifically designed for live broadcasting. For example:
- Logitech C920 Pro HD Webcam (Budget-Friendly Option): A popular choice among budget-conscious streamers that offers good video quality, ease of use, and reliable performance for basic live streaming needs (such as video conferencing, vlogging, or casual gaming streams).
- Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera (Mid-Range Option): A versatile mirrorless camera suitable for both photography and live streaming. Its impressive autofocus system and 4K video capabilities make it a great choice for content creators looking to step up their live streaming game.
- Panasonic Lumix GH5 Mirrorless Camera (Professional Option): A top choice for professional live streaming and content creation. This camera has exceptional video capabilities, extensive customization options, and superior image stabilization. All of which makes it a reliable and versatile choice for high-quality streams and video production.
Audio quality is also quite important when it comes to virtual events. So, don’t hesitate to invest in a nice mic. Some popular examples include the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ (USB Condenser Microphone), the Blue Yeti X (USB Condenser Microphone), and the Shure SM7B (Dynamic Microphone).
And don't forget about lighting! Shoot some test footage to see how various lighting setups make your event look on-screen. No specific recommendations here as the best lighting for your event is EXTREMELY event-specific.
Step 6: Stream Your Event!
Once you’ve got all your equipment ready and the event is ready to start, all you need to do is choose a live channel platform and embed your stream! That’s it! You’re live!
Live Stream Your Next Event With StreamYard
Live streaming platforms have been carving their own little spot in the entertainment industry for a while now. In fact, the market has grown from around 1.24 billion in 2022 to $1.49 billion in 2023 (that’s a CAGR of 20.6%!). So, the question is not whether you should stream your live events, but rather what tools you should use to get started.
If you’re looking for a tool that allows you to both live stream and record an event, check out StreamYard. You can do it all right from your browser! You can even add your own branding (including logo, colors, intros, outros, and more).
If you’re ready, try it today for free!