Ups and Downs of Live Event Streaming

livestreamingevent

Live Streaming Event May 2013

By Michelle De Long

More and more corporations and institutions are interested in streaming their events live. Think TED. So to meet that demand Mimi Productions has been working out the kinks associated with Live Event and Video Streaming over the past year. Thankfully one of clients has put their faith and trust in us to handle streaming live events for their audiences, sometimes 500 connections at a time. This gave us plenty of real life situations to find out what problems could arise during the streaming of a live event.

We have tested out a few platforms for streaming like WebEX, Live Stream, Justin TV and we settled on Tiki Live through Eye Partner. They didn't seem as cluttered as other options and the people who answer the phone during an issue are in FLORIDA!! No offense to our friends in India but in a stressful situation during a live event speaking to a calm voice located in the US, helps.

If your company is thinking of live streaming events in the future, think of us. We can travel anywhere as long as the location has a good internet connection. And before you jump into the Live Streaming pool, check out a few tips below.

  • Hire Professionals! We use nice big size professional cameras and really good lenses to be able to zoom in and catch the action. A lot of times we are in the back of the room going over the audience, good cameras, with great lenses are crucial. Also pros come with professional microphones that the speakers wear. A must for good viewing experience.
  • Check out the internet connection at the venue way ahead of time. In order to stream properly we need a dedicated or semi-dedicated ethernet-plugged into the wall connection. WIFI is just not going to cut it. And a public WIFI is never going to work. The best thing to do is to ask the location or have us ask. Do you have at least 4mbps up and 4mbps down? Or if your event has the budget we work with providers who can bring internet in to the location for the event.
  • Don't overestimate the capabilities, internet connection or age of computers of your online viewers. Our team brings a Viewer Experience Engineer to the event to handle questions via phone, text, e-mail or chat. Internet Event Streaming is still relatively new, so it is not like turning on a TV and bingo there is your show. Each user has a different computer, different versions of a operating system, internet browser, video viewing software. We have created a handy data sheet to share with your viewers days in advance, but having our tech support on site helps solve a ton of problems ahead of time. (We typically put up a test stream an hour before the event to get all users settled in.)
  • Live Internet streaming is not Live TV. Continued from the point above. Television networks, cable and satellite providers belong to a multi-billion dollar industry. Internet Video Streaming is still in its infancy. There will be issues and it will be a little bit choppy sometimes. The internet may go out at the venue during a thunder storm. But don't PANIC. We record the streams LIVE and in the event of something going wrong as soon as there is a break, we immediately upload the video to Tiki Live and in minutes the viewers can watch the video and get caught back up. Tiki is also going to add a DVR feature in the future so viewers can stop and start, or back up. And once the videos are ready to be viewed, our Viewer Experience Engineer will then call all of the viewers and get them back on track. But remember even at the Super Bowl, there can be wardrobe malfunctions and the power can go out for 20 minutes. We will do everything we can to make your Live Streaming Event as smooth as possible.
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