Webinar Recap: Best-in-class webcasting experiences to keep audiences engaged

Time and travel budgets often preclude people from being able to attend events in person.

Webcasting allows viewers to watch events in real-time and experience your event despite these kinds of limitations. Event and meeting planners are harnessing this technology to create unique experiences and better achieve their stakeholder objectives.

Curtis Holland, FMAV’s Virtual Events Project Manager helps navigate the complex world of webcasting, and what it means to your events. Curtis is a subject matter expert and consultant for virtual events at FMAV, and works to implement the technology, infrastructure, and equipment required to produce virtual events.

On the webinar, Curtis provided an overview of four key categories of virtual events: Social Streaming, Collaboration and Video Conferencing, Webinars and Webcasting, and Virtual Environments.

WHAT SOLUTIONS ARE AVAILABLE?

Social Streaming

Social Streaming offers an open platform, where anyone, anywhere can join.

It’s a great solution if your audience is there, and if you already have a high amount of followers on your social channels. It allows for a broad reach, and drives your existing followers to a live focused feed. You can see their reactions in real-time, and build energy and atmosphere in your broadcast.

A key tip to consider is to always make sure you own your content. Social platforms can shut down unlicensed content or music -interrupting and ending your broadcast.

Snapchat and Instagram stories digitize experiences, but because they are smaller second duration, they are best used as free ways to market and to drive traffic of your main broadcast.

You don’t need to use your phone to host/broadcast if you are having a meeting or conference that is streaming to social. Take advantage of your AV systems. There are some new and exciting items available such as remote LTE streaming, whereby you can use multiple devices to broadcast different areas of the same event.

FMAV worked with Sportchek on their Chase the Gear Event to do just that.

“We went to an area with no internet connection, used a bunch of FMAV mobile devices to stream content of people chasing Olympians, and then we edited cuts between the feeds for a broadcast experience.” – Curtis Holland. Click Here for more.

What is the main difference between collaboration and webinar solutions?

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between these solutions and how they webcast.

The answer is the type of meeting that you’re hosting. A webcast is like a TV environment; single content presented to an audience, very much like Town Halls. It is generally a large audience with one way communication and sometimes allows for Q/A/polling.

Video Conferencing is more for group meetings/team connections, and project collaborations. It allows equal participation from every person involved.

We asked:

 

What is a webcast?

Webcasts rank at the high end of the spectrum, you can deliver and reach from 1,000-10,000+, an unlimited amount of attendees. Webcasting gives you global access to share slides, push polls, and have an event hosted on a screen. An important consideration for this is Load balancing. Load Balancing / Adaptive Bid-rate helps with server balancing by considering each participants viewing device, and data connection – then selecting the best output quality to deliver the greatest experience for each user. This feature helps to distribute consistent feed without buffering. Working with your virtual events expert and letting them know how many people are likely to chime in will support the balancing experience.

Many fear the price aspect of virtual events. However, if you’re going to engage people in room and online, attendees can get more excited about attending an event virtually- you just need to create a great experience and allow them the opportunity to choose how they attend your event. If your room space and the local audience is small, but your virtual audience is large, it may be worth it. There are many moving parts so talking to a virtual event expert can help you achieve what you need to and work with you on the budget to ensure all basis are covered.

Glisser Live is a solution that combines in-room experiences with virtual experiences and turns the 2 into the same. Instant polls for both virtual and live audiences, so results feed at the same moment but collect from across the globe. 

What are virtual events and virtual environments?

New generations have embraced interactivity, and it is evolving the way events such as trade shows are going to be experienced now and in the future. Virtual tradeshows allow an attendee to enter into a game-like world. To enter a tradeshow as an avatar character, walking through and choosing what they want to engage with without physically taking a step.

Virtual Best Practices

When you have various components and different areas where attendees are located it becomes very important to ensure unison delivery and experience throughout. Don’t ignore anyone, have a facilitator coordinate online questions and physical hand raises, so live and virtual attendees gain the same value from your event. Here are some additional Best Practices when hosting a webinar.

If you already have a team that uses webcasting or webinar solutions, FMAV can work with you on ways to enhance the quality and support of your event components.

Q/A

Q: What level of internet do you need for virtual/webcasting events?

A: Hardwire connection is preferred and recommended. WIFI bandwidth is challenging, and sometimes unstable. 5mb upload and download is ideal, especially on upload content, because we are sending.

Q: Do you, and how do you deal with multiple languages and translations?

A: Yes we do. FMAV is able to enable the audience with the ability to view content and toggle which language they want to listen and view in. Concurrent language webinars can be produced in the same window. Subtitles are even possible live through live translation and captioning. You can choose from closed captioning, that can be turned on and off, or opening-captioning which is present on-screen at all times.

Q: What is PIPS?

A: It is a picture within a picture, putting different looks together, and mini-windows within a screen window.

Q: How do you work within Firewalls?

A: Use an expert, get someone who has networking expertise. Start the conversation early with your AV company and understand what your webcasting needs are. Your virtual event expert can work with firewalls and built a solution for you.

Q: How can you secure your webcast?

A: Security levels can be modified based on your preference. The webcast can be available to anyone and everyone, it can be a unique link that only allows access when clicked, a custom portal restricted to a pre-programed list, or a login portal prompting identifying information to gain access. The security aspect can be customized to your needs and encryption.

Q: What does all this cost?

A: To know more about pricing connect to have a conversation with our experts on what you want to achieve, and FMAV will work with you on cost ranges.

Technology is really exciting, but it takes the right experts, technology solutions, and great people that can make those connections to make great things happen.  To watch the replay of this webinar, click here.