Many of the conferences we film pride themselves on providing trendsetting, up to the minute information, through groundbreaking keynote speeches and presentations. This content is most valuable at the very moment it’s being delivered, and so often a key requirement for our clients is that video from their events can be posted online and made available for viewing by an outside audience as quickly as possible.
Of course, if immediacy of video delivery is your top priority, nothing can beat live webcasting. In recent months we’ve had a growing number of requests for this approach, whereby presentations are broadcast online as they take place, and can be viewed either by users who have signed up to watch, or a completely unrestricted audience.
While many of our clients are interested in live webcasting, many are unsure how to decide whether to use it instead of traditional edited content. As is often the case with video production, there’s no right or wrong answer, but here’s a few things to consider that will help you decide which route to go down:
In either case prices can vary siginificantly, but generally speaking live webcasting costs tend to rise more steeply as production values increase. A single-camera, low-resolution webcast works out relatively cheaply, but as soon as you bring in multiple cameras and HD broadcasting, the additional equipment and personnel required mean the price can rise considerably. For more complex projects, edited video is usually more cost-effective.
2. Venue Connectivity
If you’re planning a live webcast, you’ll need to make sure the venue where your event is taking place has a strong internet connection, with a very high upload speed. If you plan to broadcast in high definition, this requirement becomes even greater. A wired connection is preferable to wifi, and it needs to be reliable – a single dropout will effectively ruin your webcast.
3. Your Audience
If your conference caters to a niche audience – is it worth providing a live webcast when the people who would be most interested are already there? An edited video on the other hand enables that audience to re-visit the presentations after the conference has happened. In addition, it’s worth considering whether providing a live webcast may even discourage people from spending money on attending the event at all.
4. Your Speakers
It’s important to ensure that speakers at the event are comfortable being filmed in any case, but some may feel differently about live webcasting given that there’s no opportunity for them to vet what is broadcast to the world – it’s worth checking with your speakers beforehand to ensure they’re happy with you going down this route.
5. Quality/Style of Video
Although it’s possible to stream a live webcast using multiple high definition cameras, and with added graphics and effects, it cannot match the flexibility afforded by editing after the event. Furthermore, it’s more difficult and costly to achieve the same level of quality.
With a live webcast, you’re broadcasting the entirety of someone’s presentation – and so you’re largely in their hands when it comes to retaining audience engagement and interest. If they’re a polished speaker then that’s great, but if they make mistakes or go off-track, there’s no opportunity to remove that from the video. With edited video, you can also condense the presentation down to only the most interesting content and ensure the video is only as long as it needs to be.
While live webcasting cannot be beaten for speed, how important is it to you to provide footage as it happens? A lot of people don’t realise just how quickly video can be edited after the event as well – there’s no reason why footage filmed in the morning can’t be online and viewable by the afternoon.
As with any type of video production it’s crucially important to consider your budget, your audience, technical requirements and what you’re actually trying to achieve – it sounds simple but it’s worth taking the time to really make sure you’ve thought these through before deciding what route to go down.