10 May The fine art of livestreaming
It is news to no one that COVID-19 has shaped the way we communicate with each other over the past two years. If we take anything away from this pandemic, it’s that human beings are incredibly adaptable; and so too are our ways of connecting and communicating with each other.
Like the rise of the Zoom call, we have also seen the rise of the great livestream. What used to be looked at as a way for celebrities to ramble to their Instagram followers, is now an important tool for staying connected and offering opportunity for engagement – by broadcasting events and information in real time to people in innumerable locations.
At Campbell Squared we have seen an increasing desire for livestreaming options from our clients right across the board; including local government, iwi, and large corporate clients.
For some though, it offers much more than just a tick-box exercise of having ‘made available’ information.
For example, many Post Settlement Governance Entities need to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) once a year for their members, regardless of COVID-19 restrictions. An authentic opportunity to engage, two-way instant communication, and sharing of visual aids is critical to ensure proper engagement. An effective way to ensure all of this can be achieved, while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions, has been to livestream these events to a private group that registered members have been invited to join. Not only does it mean they can still safely host an AGM, but it also means that members don’t need to travel to be apart of an event that it is important for them to have a voice in. As an added bonus, unlike traditional AGM hui, those who were overseas or didn’t live near their rohe were still able to take part in an event they mightn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise.
There’s no blueprint for a perfect livestream, as each situation will bring unique challenges. But there are some important things to consider from the outset which will help set you up for success.
- Ensure the location you are livestreaming has cell-phone connection
Livestream kits require cell-phone service to be able to broadcast; at least a strong 3G connection is required, however 4G is preferable. People can be caught out by assuming that Wi-Fi connection is enough, but it’s not and we do not recommend livestreaming from the bush or anywhere that you can’t call your parents for a chat! Your livestreaming location may also require Wi-Fi, not so much for the broadcast out, but so you can login to Facebook or YouTube or whichever platform you are using and check that everything is running as it should and if you need to moderate comments.
- Plan, plan, plan
There is nothing worse than people tuning into your livestream only to see people fluffing about not knowing where to stand or who are not ready to present. Make sure you have a clear run-sheet for those who are hosting and presenting and so you can be directing people throughout.
If you are working with a professional operator, they will be able to set up the cameras in advance, light any areas to ensure the best picture and advise where best for people to stand and direct communication to.
A back-up plan is also a good idea if things start to go wrong. Technology is a fickle beast and there is always a risk of hitches or glitches, so be prepared with a graphic advising those watching that your livestream will return shortly or that you’re experiencing technical difficulties.
- House-rules and engaging viewers
We always have one of our consultants monitoring the livestream platform throughout the stream, whether that be Facebook, YouTube, or another platform. We notify those viewing from the outset what is expected of them by setting some ‘house rules’. This usually means that comments and questions are allowed but abuse and disrespectful comments will not be tolerated.
In some instances, our clients have required those viewing to actively partake in the livestream by asking questions, responding to a poll, or passing a vote. We always make sure we have mechanisms in place to capture this important feedback and data, and report back on the effectiveness of engagement with the livestream as well. We expect to see livestream become even more popular in the future as it is incredibly convenient and adaptable for many different needs. It’s an effective way to reach a large audience and connect people in real-time no matter where they are.
If you are hosting an event or presentation that you think would benefit from being livestreamed and think you might need some guidance, get in touch with us.