Live streaming is the hot new thing when it comes to event planning — though savvy companies have been up on the trend for quite a while now.
The gaming and sports communities are really great at doing this sort of stuff, but don’t think it’s just limited to events like that. Pretty much any type of occasion can be a great fit for live streaming. We’re going to walk you through the top five tools you can use to live stream your event, and list out the pros and cons of each.
Keep in mind that for all of these, you’ll need a very solid internet connection for the best results. Video streaming takes up a lot of bandwidth, so make sure your WiFi works! If you have a spotty connection, none of these will give you a good video.
The Twitter-owned mobile app is dedicated exclusively to live streams of events. Users can post their videos from their mobiles or tablets. You can also search for streams by location, so it’s easy to see what’s going on around you in real time.
Pros: It’s easy to engage with people. Their comments pop up right on your screen as you live stream, so you can answer questions right then and there. Periscope also features selected streams on its homepage, and you can search for streams by location.
Cons: This works best for mobile, so if you need a big-screen option, this may not be it. It’s also not very customisable. But maybe the biggest downside is that your streams only stick around for a day before getting erased. You can save your videos, but people won’t be able to see them.
Further reading: Check out flight search engine Skyscanner’s creative Periscope campaigns. They pick a theme and invite people from all over the world to take over the app during a 24-hour period.
2) Facebook Live
Facebook might not have been the first one on the scene when it comes to live video, but they’re definitely fully on board with the trend now. One of the best features of Facebook Live is that your followers or friends will get a notification when you’re live. With such a huge base of users already on Facebook, there is a massive potential audience here.
Pros: The video becomes permanently available on your timeline after you’ve finished it. You can also block certain people from accessing the stream. Also, who doesn’t use Facebook?
Cons: Only people who already follow you can view the stream. If you want an open broadcast, you’ll need something to use something else.
Further reading: Facebook Live: Everything You Need to Know.
3) YouTube Live
This live streaming option has seen a lot of action lately with the American presidential debates, which have been aired in real time via YouTube (along with all the major television channels, too). If you needed a sign that this is legitimate, there you have it.
Pros: You can stream lengthy, high-quality videos that are available afterwards, too, as part of your regular video stream. And it’s free!
Cons: It can be a bit fiddly to set up a YouTube channel, get it verified and make sure you have the right software to encode the video stream.
Further reading: Still need more help? Here are the instructions from Google about using YouTube’s live streaming. At the bottom of the article, it links to more.
4) Hang W/
Another mobile video streaming app, HangW/ also works with Apple TV, which makes it a bit different from Periscope. Celebs from 50 Cent to Jared Leto have signed on to this app. It also has simultaneous chatting capabilities (so also a bit like Periscope).
Pros: The live chat feature makes it easy to interact with people watching your stream in real time.
Cons: They’re thinking about a “pay per view” model for the app later on down the line, so this may not be free for long. It also isn’t as well known as the other methods on this list, so people might not be very familiar with how to use it.
Further reading: Five Alternatives to Periscope, In Case it Goes Down Again
With a client list of huge names like NASA, Facebook and Nike, UStream provides a great video streaming service for all different types of needs. It lets you stream from both mobile and laptop devices, too, as well as different web browsers. They say they’re the largest live streaming service out there.
Pros: This is geared towards professionals and offers a really high-quality services. There are different options for different types of broadcast needs, like sharing a video with a small internal team or streaming a huge event to a worldwide audience.
Cons: There had to be a downside, right? This one is the only fully paid option on our list. You can get a free 30-day trial, but after that the plans start from $99 a month.
Further reading: UStream: The Live Streaming Service Evolves for New Areas
Bonus #1: Twitter and Snapchat.
While these aren’t strictly video social media networks, nor is it the same as having a constant video stream up, you can certainly share your event in real-time on them. For Twitter, make sure to use a hashtag so people can find all the posts related to the event. For Snapchat, remember that everything is deleted within 24 hours. You can be a bit more relaxed here, too.
Bonus #2: FaceTime or Skype
If you only want to share your event with a select group of people, these are great little apps. Apple’s FaceTime lets you call a friend with another Apple device, so you can have a one-on-one live video of your event for a special person. Skype lets you call one person for free, but you can have a group chat of up to 10 people with the Premium version.
This might work well for a company event that’s strictly for a small group of employees, or a personal event like a wedding.
Bonus #3: Hire a company that specialises in live streaming!
If you can’t be bothered with figuring out and setting up a live stream yourself, there are lots of companies who can help you do it. In general, they’ll show up with any equipment you need and take it from there. This is also a good option if you need a video stream that’s higher quality than your phone but don’t want to invest in expensive camera and microphone equipment.
While we can’t help you out with live streaming here at Printsome, we can make sure that you have some seriously awesome T-shirts for your event. Get in touch with us to get a quote on tees ASAP!
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