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The issue we are all facing.

You’ve organised your company’s big annual conference, new campaign event or seminar. It’s going to be amazing. Then you are informed that the capacity has to be halved. The reintroduction of some restrictions means that only those who must attend in person can do so.

Does this mean failure? Have you have wasted all that time lining up those amazing speakers or getting the press to attend? Can we simply point some cameras at the stage and Livestream it with a phone? These are the questions we have been receiving over the past few months. In this post, StreamFox will provide some of the answers.

So how do you go about turning your conferences, meetings or launches into virtual events? When you contact StreamFox, we step in to facilitate all your live streaming needs and help you to create amazing online events that incorporate the in-person feel. With a live video feed in place, you can turn it into a hybrid event that still packs a punch. 

To be fair, you probably still have some questions about how it all works; Don’t worry – we are here with the answers!

What are the benefits of a hybrid live stream event?

It’s a fine balancing act, getting both audio and visuals working perfectly, for both a live and an online audience. But it is worth the effort.

By opting to Livestream your event. You open up the opportunity to reach a wider audience, avoiding disappointment for those who can’t be there in person.

Not only are you Livestreaming your event, but you are also recording it. A HD recording of the event can be edited and used on social media platforms, in email campaigns or simply added to your online content library. A recorded Livestream is as effective as any other form of video marketing.

International speakers and participants can take part without having to risk travelling to your event. Getting a recognisable name to attend your event can really boost the numbers. Livestreaming really opens up the floor to a global list of expert speakers and guests.

This flexibility is particularly vital during these times of ever-changing movement restrictions and countries suddenly closing borders. Turning your event into a hybrid one, removes this stress whilst also reducing costs of travel and accommodation. And that is without considering the lessened environmental impact of not requiring people to travel.

With online registration or login, you now have added data collection capacity that offers value to your company.

When all is said and done. The costs saved and return on investment is likely to have your CFO smiling all the way to the bank. 

So now that we know going hybrid is worth the effort, let’s take a look at what you need to consider and how the team here at StreamFox can make life a little easier.

Is your chosen venue suitable?

Irish Lives in America Book Launch Livestream Epic CHQ
Irish Lives in America Book Launch Livestream @ Epic CHQ – Produced by StreamFox

Luckily in the modern world, most venues provide the two main elements required to facilitate a Livestream. Namely, a wired broadband connection and the space for equipment. 

Ideally, the internet connection should be independent of the general guest wifi. A robust and uncontested broadband connection helps ensure the Livestream is uninterrupted by surging wifi traffic. This is something to ask the venue or, if you have hired StreamFox, it is all part of our service. We are fluent in technical jargon. We can liaise with other technicians and IT specialists to define your requirements and establish a plan.

Ensuring there is enough space for the streaming production team and equipment is another important consideration. We can work in almost any area. But it does depend on how many cameras and the size of the team required. If we have a floor plan we will consult with you on what will and won’t work in the venue.   

We will also look at the venue’s lighting and acoustics. Generally, most venues will work, so you shouldn’t have to cancel your booking and start scouting for a new place. If you do need to change location, let us know, and we can help you find somewhere suitable. 

We are experts and know what works best. We have developed good working relationships with both larger venues in the city such as CHQ – EPIC Museum and for smaller events, Studio 10  on Wicklow Street is a wonderful option.

What kind of lighting is needed?

You need to make your hybrid event look as impressive as possible. This requires giving consideration to lighting. Planning how it will look to both the live audience, and your online viewers is time well spent.

Not all lighting is created equally. While the house lights would have been enough to light a live event, the camera requires a little more effort. Standard house lights, which provide enough illumination for the human eye, can fall very short in a broadcast situation. Live video will require a more professional lighting solution. This will ensure both audiences can see everything clearly and enjoy a more flattering look and feel.

Modern video lighting is much more compact than it used to be. We can make it fit around the existing staging environment to create the right ambience without ruining the atmosphere. 

Do we need a specialised audio engineer?

Livestreaming adds another link in the audio chain. We take the live audio mix from the microphones, presentations and other audio sources on stage. Then we create a secondary audio output, which is patched into the Livestream. We factor this in at the planning stage and engage the talent required to provide a balanced live broadcast.

You may have already hired an audio engineer to provide a PA system and microphones in the live event. We can work directly with them to create a separate mix for the live stream. Or, if you have yet to source an audio team or PA system, let us know. We can provide you with everything you need for both live in-house and online HiDef audio. 

The global pandemic has created more than a few issues for event organisers. One of them is the inability to have a shared microphone passed around a panel or audience. This means Q&A sessions can become tricky to deal with when you want to take questions live from the floor. But here at StreamFox, we have the solution to this problem. 

We can provide either Lapel or wireless handheld microphones for each individual panel speaker or guest. We can also provide a boom operator when you need to take questions from the floor. This ensures that no member of the audience ever touches a microphone, whilst still maintaining a flowing discussion.

Couple that with the ability to take questions, via a moderator, from the online audience. Everyone watching garners further insight. 

Can I just use my smartphone as a camera?

The Facebook live stream and TikTok era have put the power of live streaming into everyone’s hands. And for a basic live stream, a camera phone can be an effective tool. It’s not without its dangers, however. Battery life, sub-par audio performance, and even something as simple as receiving a call during your Livestream. These can all trip you up very quickly.

If you’re looking for something that will make your event stand out, something that will get you noticed; by either the community, the competition or the CEO you are going to require a little help.

At StreamFox we have everything you need. Cameras, lighting, audio equipment and a professional and experienced team to bring it all together. We specialise in producing high-quality live broadcasts.

What if our guest speakers have presentations?

Decade of Centenaries Livestream  Monaghan County Museum
Decade of Centenaries Livestream @ Monaghan County Museum – Produced by StreamFox

There is no need to change anything if panellists need to make presentations as part of the event. We can work around their existing setup and take a feed directly from their laptop or source.

We then add the PowerPoint or other presentation format to the Livestream as a picture-in-picture (PIP). The presenter would not have to do anything differently, and you don’t have to worry about confusing tech setups. 

Where should we live stream to? 

The short answer: anywhere you want. 

Deciding on which platform to showcase your event really depends on your target audience. Where do they hang out or engage with you most? 

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Twitch are all obvious places for you to stream to. But other platforms and your own website are also great options. Embedding the video from YouTube is a straightforward way of adding it to your website.

Using a service such as Restream, allows you to share the content across multiple platforms simultaneously. This makes it easier to reach a wider audience or engage as many of your community members as possible. It also helps in not having to congest one upload avenue with multiple streams of the same content. That upload avenue is very precious with any Livestream. We get very jealous about it, and so should you.

What about live streaming panel discussions?

When your conference includes a panel discussion, it can take a professional hand to ensure the best possible experience for your viewers. Luckily, StreamFox has a sound and video team capable of capturing every nuance of the discussion. 

We will make sure that every member of the panel has their own mic and the trained camera operators use our pro cameras to capture quality images, seamlessly vision-mixed before sending,  to keep the audience engaged. 

Can we live stream breakout sessions?

Yes! StreamFox can utilise other platforms such as Zoom and Hopin. This will allow for breakout sessions and mini discussions to be Livestreamed aswell. 

Adding this dimension to your hybrid event enhances the engagement and allows participants to really feel involved. Chat to us about your needs, and we will develop a plan that works for you. 

What can we do with the footage afterwards?

 Decade of Centenaries Livestream  Monaghan County Museum
Decade of Centenaries Livestream @ Monaghan County Museum – Produced by StreamFox

Our work doesn’t end when the event does. While you bask in the plaudits and praise of your successful hybrid event we begin the post-production work.

The footage and audio captured during the event require editing and trimming. We can create shorter clips, or standalone videos for social media & marketing purposes. Still frames can also be captured from the recordings for use in your promotions and publications. 

The finished product is a great value add for your event. This provides you with lots of material to work with on various platforms. Quite often, views of the event increase in the days and weeks following the event too. It’s not all about live viewers. Having viewers engage with the content after the hybrid event is sometimes as valuable as having them in attendance live. There is also the potential that they will share the footage and bring even more viewers to your video.

What happens during the breaks?

Pretty much every event takes a coffee break or some time out to set up for another presentation. So how do you manage this in an online context? 

To overcome the dead air time, we suggest that you run some promotional videos (which we are more than happy to help you create!) or share other marketing materials on the screen. This means that you can still capture attention and engage the online audience while those at the in-person event grab a cuppa or rearrange furniture for the next part of the conference. 

If you have nothing to showcase during the breaks, we can split the event into different parts and go off air in between. The hybrid event can be structured such that part 1 is on between certain times, the stream ends, and part 2 begins later with a new stream.

Alternatively, we can add some graphics and music to the stream, maybe highlighting the event’s timetable or the speakers’ bios. There are many options, and when you talk to us, we can help you find the one that works best for your virtual event. 

So, is live streaming expensive? 

We get it; your boss or the CFO is conscious of budgets and doesn’t want to spend any more than they have to on the event. Of course, there are some costs associated with running live video and streaming your event, but can you really afford not to? 

If your delegate numbers have to be kept low due to restrictions or panellists can’t make the journey there in person, your event could be a total waste of time and money. 

By going the hybrid route, you get to keep in-person costs lower, engage a wider audience and have extra materials for marketing and promotional purposes. It’s a win-win. 

Instead of spending on wining and dining participants, you can give them real value by providing them with the option of staying at home (or in their office) while they participate and the choice of watching it back at their leisure. 

The return on investment balances out the overall cost outlay by providing added value to the delegates and potential clients. 

In a world in flux, the only way to stay ahead is to harness the power of technology and make it work for you. Organising a hybrid event gives you the best of both worlds. The in-person delegates can interact with the home-based audience while valuable materials and marketing opportunities are created for your company. 

If you want to discuss your options for live streaming your next conference, meeting or launch, get in touch with us and let StreamFox help you produce a hybrid or virtual event that will earn you that promotion or elevate your company to a new level.

If like other organisations, you are struggling to overcome the challenge of hosting a hybrid Livestream event, and need a little help. Why not get in touch and let our team take some of the weight off of your shoulders. Or alternatively, you can visit our brief builder page, complete the form and a member of our team will get in touch at a time that suits you.

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