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How to live stream an event – your step-by-step guide

Feeling inspired? Read on for all you need to know about running your first ever live streamed event.

a camera and a screen with a christmas tree in the background

Live-streamed events have become hugely popular in recent years, and with good reason. Thanks to the tech available today, it’s become relatively easy to open up what would be a limited event to a basically limitless audience. There’s no need to worry about location or venue size – meaning you can reach a lot more people without having to spend a lot more money. 

This is probably why 65% of B2B marketers recently revealed that live virtual events are one of their most profitable content assets. And why major brands like Apple have jumped on the bandwagon with eye-wateringly successful results. (Apple’s live product launch streams get millions of viewers worldwide.) 

In terms of which types of events lend themselves well to this format –  the scope is vast. From conferences, workshops, and industry events through to comedy gigs, cooking classes, and book clubs; anything ‘watchable’ has go-live potential. 

Feeling inspired? Read on for all you need to know about running your first ever live streamed event.

The basics of live streaming events 

Social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook have played a huge role in making live streamed events the norm. But if you’re new to the concept, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start when it comes to running your own.

This blog should help you with that though! Let’s start with the basics. We cover the below points in more detail a bit further down, but as a quick overview, you’ll need: 

  • A platform – you can live stream on most mainstream social media platforms for free, but there are also more niche platforms out there.
  • Equipment – usually including a camera or cameras, lighting and mics.
  • An encoder – this can either be software or hardware; it takes the raw feed from your camera/s and turns it into viewable content on your live streaming platform. (You don’t need this if you’re simply live streaming from a laptop/computer webcam or a smartphone.)
  • A fast, reliable internet connection – there’s no way of doing a successful live stream without good internet! 

a person holding a camera

How to live stream an event 

Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into the step-by-step actions you’ll need to take to live stream your event:

Decide if you want to stream on one platform or more

If you’re pushing out your live stream on just one platform, that’s the only platform you’ll need. But if you want to live stream to a few different platforms (say, YouTube Live, Instagram and TikTok), you’ll also need to get set up with a third-party platform that facilitates multi-streaming. So your first step is to decide which of the two routes you’d like to take.

Choose your platform/s

Some of the most common platforms currently used for live streaming include:

  • Facebook Live 
  • YouTube Live
  • Zoom
  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitch

But there are many more options out there, including some more niche platforms for specific types of events. When researching platforms, it’s helpful to think about:

  • Audience size – how many people are you going to be broadcasting to?
  • Budget – do you have spend to play with or do you need to stick to free streaming?
  • Features – do you want specific features around audience participation and content creation?
  • Length of event – a couple of hours, a day, or several days?
  • Customer support – if your event is quite high-stakes, you’ll want to know the platform is able to help you if needed.

Reading platform reviews and feature lists will help you figure out which one is best able to cater to your needs.

As we mentioned above, if you want to stream to multiple platforms, you’ll need a third-party multi-streaming platform too. A few examples of these types of platforms include:

  • OBS Studio 
  • Restream
  • StreamYard
  • Be.Live
  • OneStream
  • Castr

Tip: you might find this guide to hosting webinars on Zoom useful >

Source all your equipment & encoder

You’ll need the below equipment to run a high-quality live streamed event:

  • Camera/s: You can potentially just use your smartphone or laptop’s built-in camera to live stream an event. But this won’t give you the same crisp, clear quality as using a professional camcorder, DSLR, or EFT camera. You may also want to live stream your event from multiple angles – which would require multiple cameras. Which route you take will depend on the scale of your event and the size of its audience.
  • Tripod stand/s: Whether you use your smartphone or professional cameras, you’ll need tripod stands to place them on for a steady image.
  • Mic/s: Using decent microphones is essential for any live streamed event – even more so than cameras, in fact. An event with poor image quality but crystal clear audio will generally be more digestible than one with a good image but poor audio. For indoor events, quality bluetooth or wired mics should be fine. But if your event is outside, you’ll need to invest in some professional XLR mics with background noise reduction features. 
  • Lighting: To make sure your live streamed event has a clear visual, you’ll need to organise some professional lighting. There are lots of affordable options out there today thanks to the popularity of live streaming – search online for LED panels, ring lights and key lights, and you’ll soon get a lay of the land. If you’re filming outside in daylight you might need panels and floodlights to make sure your visual is consistent. 
  • Encoder: If you’re using any other type of camera than your smartphone or laptop’s webcam, you’ll need an encoder. You’ll also need one if you plan on streaming to multiple platforms. You can get an encoder in hardware form, which is the more expensive option, or software form, which tends to be more affordable. Hardware coders provide higher quality results (hence the price point) – but if you’re on a budget, a software version is a perfectly viable option. 

a person holding a camera

Set up & test your live stream

Once you’ve sourced all your equipment, it’s time to set everything up and do a full test-run. This is a crucial part of making sure your live event runs smoothly! 

When doing your test run, check for things like:

  • How well the internet handles your live stream
  • How clear the visual and sound is
  • Whether the camera angles give a clear view of everything you want attendees to see
  • Any equipment that seems glitchy or like it’s not working properly – be sure to get to the bottom any issues and replace faulty equipment if necessary

Go live!

With your equipment set up and a test run completed successfully it’s time to go live with your event – good luck!

Your live event ticketing – sorted

Ticket Tailor makes online ticketing for live events easy. Our platform is packed with user-friendly, intuitive features that allow you to seamlessly ticket your events via your own customised box office page, or through your existing website. Plus, we only charge a small flat fee per sale (rather than a percentage of every ticket), making us one of the cheapest ticketing platforms out there. 

Find out more about using Ticket Tailor for live streamed events >

PS. You might find this quick guide to running online events using Zoom and Ticket Tailor useful.

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