Webcasting as a tool in the event production kit has really reached maturity in the last couple of years. With the advent of 4G remote connections for cameras and audio, high bandwidth web connections in venues and fast internet at home and the office, webcasts are no longer the dull, static ‘let’s all watch a video together’ presentations they once were. They are now dynamic, interactive platforms delivering multiple types of content at once; both immersive and inspiring. Webcasts can be a pleasure to participate in.
Creating an interactive and engaging webcast
Today’s webcasts are built in their own customized HTML designed ‘skin’ that can house not only the event or brand’s graphics but multiple video, chat and social media widgets. The viewer feels as if they are looking at an extension of the host’s website and can interact in real-time with the event.
Live chat for real engagement
Social media feeds such as Twitter can really enhance your webcast. Allowing your audience, both present and remote, to engage with your presentation enables a personal connection to the speaker and the topic. Proprietary widgets such as Chatroll enable a live chat feed for the event participants only, meaning a web viewer can ask questions of a presenter and have it answered in real time.
Make sure your guests use the same hashtag and you may even find your event ‘trending’.
Getting up close and personal with mobile cameras
All the action that occurs at your event can now be seamlessly presented via the web using mobile cameras.
Action and reaction
Complex video presentations can include cutaways to audience members during Q&A or for reaction shots. Mobile cameras operating via 4G uplink make this possible, along with a dedicated video director calling the shots.
We all love the glitz and glam of a red carpet, so why not add one to your event? As guests arrive, prepare roving hosts to carry out red carpet interviews with the VIPs and luminaries of your industry. This type of content makes the webcast experience as close to (sometimes even closer) than physically being at the event. Mobile cameras with audio capability can add a lot of fun to your webcast and the more your audience engages with the event the longer it will stay with them and the further your message will go.
A record of your event
When an event is webcast it becomes a detailed, multi-dimensional record of your event. Think of it as visual, audio and textual proof of audience engagement with your content. The webcast can be hosted on your website, made available for consumption on-demand by anyone who missed out on attending so the content you so lovingly created keeps working for you long after the big show.
Video content at your disposal
All content captured during a webcast can be edited and repurposed. This means you’ve just created a rich mine of video content to deploy according to your marketing strategy. As video is the future of web communication, every organization is currently trying to produce high-quality, engaging video content. Most are struggling due to lack of staff, experience and technology. Considering you’re already putting your company’s best face on at a public event it is sensible to invest in professionals to add a webcasting component to your event.
Marketing future events
If you are running an annual event your previous webcasts can be used to market your upcoming event. Email blasts to your database with video highlights packages will remind repeat customers why they came last time and will entice new customers to see what they have been missing out on.
Take charge of your audience
In the past if you wanted to ensure you had an audience for your event you had to approach free-to-air or cable broadcasters to film and distribute your event. While you can still approach them it is incredibly unlikely that they will say yes, there are now even several major music and entertainment awards that traditional media don’t think are sellable to their advertisers. The good news is; we don’t need them anymore!
Your event can now hit a targeted market, as large or small as it needs to be and your content can remain viewable to a global audience in perpetuity. You can decided if your content is free or be paid for. You can even sell advertising embedded into your webcast. Everyone is now a broadcaster with only their imagination and ability to impress the market limiting your audience growth.
How to get it right
So now that you are convinced you need webcasting at your event, the next question is how to ensure it is technically flawless and engaging to your audience? The answer is lots of preparation on the part of the content provider (the organization hosting the event) and the technicians responsible for delivering the goods. No one wants to see another presenter fumbling on video with his or her PowerPoint saying, “It was working in the office”. Here is a quick checklist:
For the organiser:
- Are your presenters engaging?
- Are they rehearsed?
- Have you checked all presenter’s graphic and video content for quality, formatting and functionality?
- Make sure you have a functioning internet connection for externally linked web content
Questions to ask your webcast provider:
- Have they webcast from this venue before?
- Have you had a look at some of their previous work?
- Are they using a wired connection to the web?
- If so, have they organized bandwidth to be reserved with the venue’s IT staff and their internet service provider?
Make sure that the webcast includes Adaptive Bitrate Streaming. It’s the intelligence in the web stream that sees the device you are viewing the webcast on and how much bandwidth you have, then automatically adapts the stream to run as smoothly as possible. This means no annoying pauses or ‘buffering’.
Ready to go live
The main point is preparation and ensuring you have a webcast provider you can trust. At Staging Connections we guarantee a quality and engaging webcast for your event that will allow your content to keep attracting eyes long after the curtains have drawn.
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