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How do I stream a virtual event?

As the popularity of virtual events has continued to grow over the past year, the many benefits organisations have enjoyed from moving their physical events online deserves to be investigated.

From the cost savings of not having to hire a venue, increased reach and attendance, and the ultimate flexibility that comes with on-demand access, it’s easy to see why many businesses have decided to make virtual events a permanent fixture in their calendar, regardless of whether social distancing restrictions are in place or not.

Wondering how to stream your own virtual event? Here’s how you can start enjoying the benefits of moving your next corporate event online.

Create a game plan

Before you start thinking about how to stream your event, you need a solid game plan outlining the seamless transition from your physical event format to the virtual environment.

Start by mapping out your goals and creating a concept. For example:

  • Will it be a hybrid event or held completely online?
  • What items will be discussed, presentations delivered, or topics covered? Who will be doing this?
  • How many attendees can you realistically attract/are required?
  • Will registration be required or can people simply move in and out of the event as they please?
  • Will you need to work with a virtual event provider who can support you through the streaming process?
  • How will I measure the success of this event?

Once you have your concept mapped out, it’s time to think about how you want to broadcast your event and which platform provider is best suited to your unique game plan.

Choose how you want to broadcast your event

One of the many benefits of streaming a virtual event is that you can choose how to broadcast depending on your preferences and what will appeal to your audience.

The three most common methods for broadcasting a virtual event are:

  • Streaming the event in real time
  • Streaming with a slight delay
  • Recording the stream and uploading to an on-demand video service at a later time

There are benefits to each broadcasting style. 

For example, streaming your event in real time gives your audience a chance to interact with you. This could be through platform features such as Q&A sessions and virtual voting. But on the downside, you run the minor risk of looking unprofessional if there’s a technical glitch or human error which you don’t have time to censor.

If you’re hosting an event live, this makes working with a professional virtual event provider who can give you end-to-end technical support throughout your event, especially important.

If you choose to stream with a slight delay, you can still enjoy the benefits of interacting with your attendees through the platform's features, but with time to censor any potential hiccups.

You can also choose to record the stream and upload it at a later time, but you’ll lose the benefits of interaction and the event may not feel as authentic.

Choose the right virtual event provider

Knowing how you’d like to broadcast your event is the last step before choosing the right virtual conferencing provider to accommodate your needs.

The points that you brought up in your game plan should also help shape your decision. 

Features that encourage interactivity

To truly engage your audience, it’s important that you encourage interaction between you and your attendees. Even if your event is a series of speakers giving presentations, you can still recreate the experience of being together in the same physical space with features such as moderated Q&A sessions and live polling.

Security 

If your event contains sensitive information such as a virtual annual general meeting (AGM) choose a platform that offers increased security such as the option for attendees to dial in, be professionally greeted and then join the conference, with call monitoring to stop unwanted parties joining the event. This is where working with an experienced provider that specialises in managed virtual events will pay off.

Number of attendees

The number of attendees you expect to join your virtual event is another important factor in your choice of event streaming provider. Some platforms simply can’t handle a large number of attendees without issues like noise interruption or people losing connectivity. For a seamless stream, look for a provider who can connect thousands of attendees seamlessly, and preferably through their own secure infrastructure.

24/7 support and management 

Streaming an event that looks professional and runs seamlessly requires many moving parts coming together on the big day. And while you may be able to manage all these by yourself, it’s advisable that you let an expert guide you through the process, offer 24/7 support and supply you with an event manager who can oversee your entire event end-to-end. This takes the stress out of worrying whether things will go wrong and gives you a chance to concentrate on important things like the content of your event.

Rehearse to avoid tech problems

Now that you have a comprehensive game plan and have chosen a virtual event platform, it’s time to make sure that your event will run without a hitch!

Always hold a dress rehearsal to iron out any potential tech problems, make sure any speakers know how to use the platform and give them the opportunity to practice any slideshow presentations. 

It’s also important to give attendees instructions on how to access and interact with your event in advance, and let them know that support is available throughout. Remember, not everyone has the same level of technical ability, so simplify your instructions as much as possible. This can be organised as part of the guest registration process or in an introductory email.

You’re ready to stream

Now you’re ready to stream your virtual event! 

Make sure you tick off any last minute preparations such as:

  • Whether you have the right video equipment set up, plugged in and turned on
  • The speakers backdrops are free from patterns or other distracting elements
  • The lighting is right
  • Mics are checked for sound quality

Have fun with your event and make sure that your virtual event platform provider has the ability to record everything so you can create future marketing or on-demand content which can add to the long-term ROI of your event.

If you’re ready to host your own virtual event, Express Virtual Meetings are experts in facilitating  important meetings, special events or virtual AGMs. On top of having a raft of great features, our platform and the 24/7 support we provide is 100% Australian-owned and operated.

We’re so confident that you’ll love hosting your next virtual event with us that we offer a 100% money back guarantee. Contact us online or on 1300 849 300 to get started.

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