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Bringing in remote guests / how to produce a live virtual event with multiple guests

A mixing desk designed to mix and edit audio and video streams during post production.

A mixing desk designed to mix and edit audio and video streams during post production.

So you’re about to host a live stream event. Maybe it’s your first? Maybe you’ve tackled a couple of streams already? You understand the basics of streaming… but now it’s time to add a new twist… a few special guests!

Sounds exciting!

Even in a COVID-19 world, adding new faces to your event is sometimes complex. Guests need to be prepped for the event: when will the in-person guest come on stage? Does the guest speaker know about the questions beforehand? What will they wear? Where will they sit? 

Adding a multi-person live event requires even more thinking. For example, do they have the right internet connection? How will they fit into the stream? Where will they be dialling in from?

Here are some top tips to getting your multi-person live stream off the ground:

Consider your many options

There are so many different video conferencing options out there. For example; Vimeo, Zoom, Facebook Live, Twitter, Youtube, Twitch, and Instagram live. Your first step is to consider which platform you are going to stream to. Systems such as Zoom meetings/ webinars/ events allows guests to be on the same platform and engage with the speaker in a more one to one environment. If taking your stream to a social platform such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook etc. your guests will likely need to engage with your speaker on a different platform to the platform your speaking from. This can be good in that it controls the volume of questions being asked however, can make more paperwork for another producer who’s managing the rest of the show, and now filtering questions to ask the remote guest.

How do you decide which one to use?

Consider a few things. Which platform and software are you most comfortable using? Does one service fit your needs best? What streaming services do your partners and guests prefer? 

Social streaming platforms deliver a different streaming experience than, say, Zoom’s conferencing services. Social streaming services tend to have ads and lack customer support, though they offer larger audiences. 

Video conferencing solutions can offer a more organic, conversational feel however tend to require direction to a specific location (eg Zoom login details and passwords) however, this can feed that more organic, conversation feel, as attendees are more likely to know each other or have mutual interests with each other. 

Utilising video production solutions and live editing solutions, you can add more options for graphics, backgrounds, and other more technical elements which can take those video conferencing calls to the next level. 

Consider your stream’s structure and format

The structure and flow of your stream should dictate the platforms and tools you use. When your event starts, is it going to be a whole bunch of people joining a Zoom call? If that meets your needs, great, use Zoom, Skype, Teams or something similar. You may want to consider using an MC who reminds participants of online etiquette (mute your microphone unless you’re speaking so as not to override the speaker, how to engage with asking questions, will you go into breakout rooms etc.?). It may be appropriate for your MC to host interviews with your virtual guests, or invited delegates to engage with the content. 

Testing 1, 2? 

Make sure you dedicate time ahead of your event to test your system and make sure your speakers can access the system, have a good enough internet and that their audio is working clearly. 

To discuss live streaming, give one our friendly team a call on 01216677898 or drop us an email, and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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