Live and fast-turnaround video is rapidly gaining momentum as a way of creating more buzz, excitement and connection for organizations holding conferences and events. But knowing just what kinds of video to do and how to do it can seem daunting. While there may still be circumstances where you'll want to hire an A/V company to come in with a whole video setup to record your event, Facebook Live, Periscope and smartphone video have changed the game. Here are some ways you can use video at your next event.
1) Broadcast on Facebook Live
Facebook has rolled out live broadcasting capability to everyone. You can now use your smartphone or tablet and Facebook's native app to stream live to your Facebook Profile page, business Page, or Group. This is an amazing capability, and Facebook has increased the broadcast time to four hours of non-stop streaming. During the broadcast, viewers can post comments. When you're done, the recording posts to your page and is available for playback. Replay viewers still have the opportunity to comment as they watch, and you can go back and respond to comments or questions at any time. Unlike standard Page posts, which Facebook only shows to a small percentage of your followers, Facebook is currently giving live broadcasters massive reach (for free!). If you want to get seen on Facebook, live video is THE way to go!
Upgrading Your Facebook Live Broadcast With Third-Party Apps
Facebook allows third-party developers to create programs and apps that can connect with Facebook Live, and most of these apps offer more professional results than Facebook's own Live app. For example, if your shoot your event with Teradek's Live Air Solo app, available for iPhone, it lets you create and insert titles during the broadcast, as well as insert pre-produced video clips. [UPDATE 9/6/16: The Live Air Solo app can no longer broadcast to Facebook Live because of changes to Facebook's Terms of Service. This is hugely disappointing, because Live Air Solo was the most capable iOS app for Facebook Live]. Telestream's Wirecast software for laptops lets you use webcams to broadcast to Facebook Live, which opens the door to multiple cameras, text overlays and video clip inserts.
Another huge development is last week's release of the Mevo live event camera from Livestream. (I just received mine!). This tiny camera that looks like a standard webcam has a massive 4K image sensor that produces a video picture four times the resolution of standard HD video. It mounts to a mic stand or video tripod, transmits over Bluetooth and WiFi to your phone or tablet, then connects with Facebook Live. It also records everything to its internal micro-SD card. Mevo's wide 150-degree field of view shows everything in front of it and way out to each side, On your phone or tablet, you monitor the live video and - magically - select shots by tapping the screen! Wide shots, closeups, medium shots, as well as totally smooth zooms, pans and tilts. Mevo electronically segments the 4K shot and gives you the look of a multi-camera production! The final product is awesome-looking HD video at 720p resolution, perfect for streaming and repurposing the recording to YouTube or elsewhere. (I'm going to be broadcasting a statewide conference with Mevo for a client in October. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!)
2) Broadcast on Periscope
Twitter-owned Periscope continues to be a great choice for livestreaming events. Your Periscope followers all receive a notification when you go live, and your Periscope stream autoplays in the Twitter feed, whether you're live or in replay mode. When you use hashtags in the title of your Periscope broadcast, that helps people discover it on Twitter. And in my experience, Periscope is a more interactive platform than Facebook Live. Viewer reaction is immediate, and engagement is high. Viewers are more apt to share your broadcast to their Twitter, Facebook, or Periscope followers because it's an easy click to do so (especially if you ask for the share!). And users will soon be able to easily embed your Periscope on their web site or blog, just like a tweet can be embedded.
Upgrading Your Periscope Broadcast
Unlike Facebook Live, Periscope is very selective about opening up its interface to outside developers. Right now, it will allow a GoPro camera to connect with it for an alternate camera view (such as a live shot from a drone!), but that's about it. However, you can use all your normal smartphone and tablet accessories to make it a great production, such as smartphone mics and audio mixers. Audio quality is a critical part of all livestream broadcasts, no matter the platform.
3) Fast-turnaround Video Clips for Social Media
Not all video from your conference or event has to be live. Your smartphone and tablet have incredible video shooting and editing capability, including one-button video upload to many social platforms. The most capable smartphone and tablet video editing app is Apple's iMovie, which allows you to use your iPhone or iPad to do easy editing that includes titles, transitions, over-the-shoulder graphics and more. Consider shooting, editing and posting excerpts from key presentations; special one-on-one interviews with presenters or event attendees; promotional videos for what's going to be happening that day; recap videos showing the excitement and highlights; and especially "behind the scenes" content. This will not only help publicize your event and the good work you do, it will also engage and connect those who could not attend the event and get them excited about attending in person next time!
Live video is really where social media is going, and it's important to become familiar with how to do it effectively now. Don't be afraid to experiment with it. It may seem unfamiliar at first, but it gets more comfortable with each live broadcast you do. (And you can always hit "delete" if you really think the video segment was that bad!).
I’m Kerry Shearer, "The Livestream Expert." I'm a communications and broadcast professional based in Sacramento, CA, specializing in live streaming, social media, web video and emergency communications. I’m a national conference speaker, workshop presenter, and a social media trainer and coach for businesses, entrepreneurs and public agencies. I thrive on helping organizations and individuals create compelling content, reach and connect with their audiences, and successfully grow their influence!
I am also available to be on scene with brands or organizations during major events or promotions to host or coordinate their live streaming broadcasts on Periscope and Facebook using the latest technology, apps and effective approaches.