The events industry has certainly adapted and evolved faster than it ever has done before in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most significant changes that companies have made to their events in 2021 is the introduction of live streaming.
The fact that live streams allow attendees to tune in from literally anywhere in the world is a game-changer, and it will be a trend that sticks around long after the coronavirus is a distant memory. Event organisers can suddenly leave the restrictions of their physical venue and beam into the homes of potentially millions of people simultaneously.
So, if you, like many others, are looking to stream your event for the first time, what do you need to have in place? How does the process work? And how can you make it look as professional as possible?
Stay tuned. We’re about to tell you!
Start with a Plan for Your London Live Streaming Event
It’s easy to rush out looking for audio visual (AV) companies in London that can help you to stream your event or occasion. While there’s no doubt that companies such as ourselves can help you through the planning process for live streams, the whole operation runs smoother and is considerably streamlined if you have an understanding of what you need first.
Make a start by drawing up a plan for your event first. For instance, are you planning a weekly live stream of a church service so that disabled or the most vulnerable congregation members can still participate? Or are you looking to live stream wedding celebrations for family members currently stuck on the other side of the world? Perhaps you’re looking to beam a product launch from your company headquarters right across the globe à la Apple?
While on the surface there might not seem much of a difference between these types of events, subtleties like deciding whether to feed wireless mic sound straight into the recording equipment can make a massive difference in the case of a priest delivering a sermon, for example.
Next, decide whether your event is virtual or hybrid. There will be significant differences in what you require when it’s just you and a camera compared to an in-person event where you have to ensure that you put on an excellent show for your physical attendees too. Once you’ve got the broad, high-level details sorted for your event. It’s time to start hiring the equipment to make it the best possible experience for your virtual guests.
Live Streaming Equipment Hire London
The obvious first piece of equipment you’re going to need is a camera. There are so many to choose from. You could opt for television-quality professional cameras, but in our experience, you can find some excellent quality mirrorless, DSLR, and PTZ cameras that film in glorious 4K that more do than do the trick.
Of course, once you selected the camera you want to hire, you’re going to need the associated tripod. If you’re hosting an at-home industry conference, you could get away with putting the camera on a flat surface, but a tripod gives you several options, so it’s usually worth the added expense.
Camera and tripod at the ready, you have to take your time over choosing which streaming platform you’re going to use. Once again, you can choose to go for a fancy professional paid-for service (they do have some neat features), but if you’re on a budget, we would recommend one of the many free options that are reliable and perform every bit as well. Social media platforms are an excellent place to start, such as Facebook Live, YouTube, or Twitter’s Periscope (note: Periscope is only available to stream via mobile phone at this point in time). See our Live Streaming Services section of the website
Finally, depending on your specific setup, you may also need to invest in an encoder. If you’ve never heard of one before, it’s role is to take your final audio and video stream and turn it into a language that the internet will understand and display as live video. There are many software and hardware versions of these video encoders, and some streaming platforms have them built-in. You can learn more about their key differences here.
Don’t forget all of the associated cabling, such as HDMIs, power cables, and other data-input cables. If this all suddenly feels very daunting to you, fear not. Here at On Tour Events, we offer all-inclusive live streaming packages whereby we’ll take care of all of these technical aspects for you, leaving you to focus on the event itself.
We can talk you through the best options for your event, budget, and objectives at a time that suits you. Just message us to get the ball rolling.
So we’ve given you the basics, but you’ll need to go the extra mile to make your stream look professional enough to engage your audience and provide an unforgettable online experience. So where do you start? With the lighting, of course!
Good Live Streaming Lighting Makes All the Difference
What good is it live streaming an event if those watching can’t see what’s happening? Whether you’re streaming an industry behemoth giving a speech, or you’re hosting a one-person event from your office, you need to hire lighting equipment that shows both you and your event in the best possible light (pardon the pun!).
What’s vital to understand here is that lighting for filming or live streaming differs from traditional event lighting. You won’t be using your traditional stage lighting. You’ll need something much brighter and whiter. The best YouTubers invest heavily in this type of lighting because they know much of a difference it makes to the finished product, and you’ll need to follow suit.
Don’t forget you can also use more conventional event lighting to create a particular atmosphere to your virtual or hybrid event. This is especially crucial if you’re live streaming an event with an in-person element with someone on a stage (we’ll talk more about this later). Moving heads, uplighters, and spotlights are all excellent additions to your production if your protagonists will not be directly talking into the camera.
Getting the Sound Right is Every Bit as Crucial for Live Stream Success
At the risk of repeating ourselves, what good is live streaming your event if no one can hear you? While lighting is critical, getting your sound right for your live streaming is every bit as vital. Your choice of audio equipment is going to have a massive influence over those watching on their phones and laptops, so take your time deciding upon the right sound equipment to hire.
Now, if you’re merely adding a live stream to your in-person event, then you’re likely going to need the standard PA system set up in addition to any sound lines your feeding into your recording equipment.
However, the most significant decision you’ll have to make when it comes to the audio aspect of your live stream is your choice of microphone. In most instances, you’re going to want to choose a wireless microphone option since they give you the opportunity to move around freely. However, they do need a receiver station, so factor that into your preparations.
If you know in advance that you’re going to be stationary while addressing the camera, you may want to opt for a wired version. The choice is yours, but here are our three most popular client selections:
Lapel mic – Small wireless microphone with a dedicated receiver, clips on to the speaker.
Shotgun mic – Wired option. Useful for picking up sound from all directions.
Handheld mic – Great for interviews. Usually transmits to a large receiver.
If you have several scheduled guest speakers, you may need a mixing desk to alter settings as everyone has different natural speaking volumes.
So with the professional lighting and sound taken care of, what’s next? Your background, of course!
Invest in Creating the Most Visually Appealing Background You Can
One of the biggest challenges for a live streaming event is keeping the viewers engaged. One of the best ways to achieve that and give your event a genuine sense of professionality is to invest in set design and stage hire services.
Of course, if you’re live-streaming a hybrid event, then you’ll have already invested in these services, but you shouldn’t skimp on them even if you’re hosting an online-only affair. Remember that virtual events till reflect your brand. The best way to ooze professionalism is to dress your streaming set appropriately. A cheap green screen option simply won’t suffice.
But why not go further? Why not introduce some funky props that not only look great but that stimulate discussion amongst your audience. If you’re doing a presentation on company financials, why not have some pound signs, graphical signs, and faux charts to really attract and retain attention?
Finally, if you’re undertaking presentations or you intend to show video content during your stream, then LED screen hire is a must, especially if you have physical attendees in your audience. Our razor-sharp 3.9mm pixel pitch LED video panels should do the trick. It’ll keep those watching engrossed with delicious HD footage delivered with a 4,500+ nits brightness score.
Why Choose On Tour Events for Your Live-Streamed Event
Live streaming is still relatively new within the events industry, with many event production companies tentatively offering it out of necessity more than anything else. That’s why it makes much more sense to choose an audio visual (AV) company in London that has been helping event organisers stream their live events for several years.
We already have every possible combination of live streaming equipment you could need in our inventory, and we offer a complete turnkey solution. From the cameras and live streaming hardware solutions, right through to professional lighting, audio, set design-build, and LED screens needed to make your live stream the best in your specific industry.
All you need to do is tell us what you need, we’ll advise you of the best solution, and then we’ll head out to your location to set everything up on the day of your event. It’s that’s simple! You can then focus your energies on concentrating on your occasion’s other vital aspects such as ticketing and booking the biggest names in your industry to speak at your event.
We serve all boroughs of London, and we can travel to any location in Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, and Hertfordshire to name but a few! We can also travel anywhere in the UK thanks to our subsidiary warehouses based in the North West and South East. A new live streaming page can be found on the website here under streaming services
So what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and give us a call to discuss the live streaming options for your event. We can’t wait to hear all about what you’ve got planned!
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