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by Cece Salomon-Lee | February 01, 2012
Marketing

Market the live stream on your website and across your marketing materials.

Set expectations with your online audience regarding level of interactivity, streaming quality and available content.

Make slide presentations, speaker bios and session abstracts available before, during and after the live stream.

Place slide presentations on dark backgrounds with lighter text to ensure slides are clear to online audiences.

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This checklist was compiled by Cece Salomon-Lee, director of marketing for Active Network, Business Solutions division, and a blogger on marketing, social media and virtual events.   

Audience Engagement StrategySchedule your live stream program carefully to maximize audience viewership, paying attention to the day and time of your broadcast, the number of sessions, and whether there are concurrent streams or channels.

Determine which interactive features are must-haves for your live stream, such as group chats or social media sharing, and evaluate solution providers accordingly.

Train speakers to effectively present on a live stream. They should repeat questions, address the online audience directly, and pose/respond to questions in social media or online chat.

Production ConsiderationsEvaluate whether “good enough” sound and video quality suffices to achieve your event’s goals or if professional production is required.

Assess how the audience will access the live stream. Will it be through your website, a virtual event environment or social media?

Confirm whether the production company’s platform can display slides alongside the audio and video. If not, inquire about an appropriate solution, such as a slide show with speaker and slides, speaker only, etc.

Be aware that “free” live streaming services include one or several of the following costs: labor, production, Internet and equipment.

Evaluate the number of rooms from which you want to live stream. Each will require its own broadband line, cameras and crew, and switching equipment. Consider picking one or two rooms for live streaming and capturing the rest for on-demand viewing.

Cost ConsiderationsResearch labor and union requirements for laying cable, power and Internet at your venue. Additional costs can be avoided with different cameras or a simplified setup.

Negotiate a package that includes on-site editing and postproduction to quickly convert live stream content into on-demand webcasts, videos or podcasts.

Equipment and LightingWeigh the benefits of purchasing equipment vs. renting. Note that consumer-model (vs. professional) cameras might require additional equipment to achieve the desired outcomes.

Test the sound and video quality of your selected solution before going live. For example, a lavalier (clip-on) microphone might sound better than a table microphone.

Determine camera placement and the number of cameras based on the number of presenters and stage setup.

Test lighting under the same conditions you’ll have for the live event.

Consider the needs of your physical and virtual audiences before finalizing A/V, staging and other elements. Can you tap into the mic line or will you need a separate audio feed?

Internet SpeedsSecure a dedicated Internet connection for a consistent live stream.

Calculate streaming bandwidth requirements based on the number of hours being streamed and number of anticipated viewers.