How to Live Stream an Event: Platform Selection

Live streaming has seen incredible growth in the past few years, from social platforms making streaming more accessible, to recent trends accelerating the need for virtual and hybrid Event Video Production.

Whether you are looking to add video to a traditionally in-person event or to connect to a team working remotely, live streaming brings the tools of professional broadcasters to organizations of any size.

How Video Streaming Works

In order to choose what streaming solution is best for your next event, it is useful to understand the different components that go into a live broadcast.

Live Video Production

The most important part of your live stream is the live video production. At its most basic, the setup can be the built-in camera and microphone on your computer, or it can be a multiple-camera setup, with professional lights and audio – the same tools used for broadcast television.

It’s critical for larger events to have a professional team to run the video program, so that you and your presenters can focus on delivering great content to your audience. Bringing in a team also lets you boost the production value of the event, from adding on-screen graphics and videos, to live editing multiple camera angles into an engaging show.

An important aspect of the production to consider is whether you want to reuse or rebroadcast portions of the event. Working with a professional team will ensure all of the aspects of the video are captured at a high quality, ready to edit into shorter videos or share after your event.

Regardless of how your video is produced, the next critical step is sending that video out to your live audience.

Streaming Platform

During your live program the video feed is processed through an encoder. The encoded video stream is then uploaded via the internet to your streaming platform of choice (more on the different types of platforms later). Once the platform receives this video stream, it does its own processing and sends it out to the viewer through a content delivery network. This delivery network is a set of distributed servers that host a copy of the video stream for the people viewing the event.

How to live stream and event: Overview

How to live stream and event: Overview

As you can see in the diagram, there can be three or more internet connections involved in the delivery of your video, which, by necessity, create a delay from when you capture the video to when your audience sees the video.

For some events, with limited audience interaction, you can choose to prioritize the quality of the video over this delay. Some platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo default to delays of around 30s to ensure a smooth viewing experience with limited buffering (when the video stops to load) and high quality in the video itself.

For events where audience interaction is important, where there is real time Q&A or you need to bring in remote speakers, a platform with reduced delay is needed. This reduced delay requires some trade-offs, including lower video quality and a less stable video stream. Platforms that prioritize real time interaction, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, may be a good choice in this case. Some professional platforms also offer low-latency modes that provide a better experience for interaction.

What internet speed do you need for broadcast?

It’s important to have a good internet connection at your event venue to have a stable and high quality broadcast.

Here are our basic recommendations:

  • Upload speeds of at least 5Mbps (10Mbps or higher is better)
  • Stable upload speeds (Can you maintain the minimum speed over several hours?)
  • A dedicated wired internet connection, not connected to any other computers being used on the production.

We strongly recommend testing your connection before your event using the same production setup and streaming platform to verify everything is working on the technical end. Even with everything tested out, there may be issues that arise on the day of the event, for example: a service outage or network congestion when there are many people at the venue.

It’s often beneficial to have a backup internet connection separate from the venue – we offer a bonded cellular-internet connection as a backup for events we produce.

Pro Tip: Have a backup video stream for your event. You can include a landing page in your invite where you can update the video stream link, in case your original link has issues.

Once the video reaches your streaming platform, there is not much control over the delivery of your video. Be prepared to help troubleshoot with your audience on factors such as logging into the application or using the right links to access your event. It’s useful to assign someone on your team to be the support contact to help navigate the details of your particular platform.

Video Streaming Platforms

There are many ways to stream live video online, the best option depends on your audience and use case.

Selecting the right streaming platform for your live event

Social Video Platforms

Social platforms such as YouTube and Facebook are very user-friendly and have a wide reach. If you already have a strong social footprint on one of these platforms and your event is public, then they can be a very effective solution.

Be sure to test out your channel in advance, as not all features of these platforms are available by default. You also need to be aware of policies specific to your platform.

A couple of examples:

  • YouTube will flag some third-party copyrighted content, such as music or video, and could pause or stop your stream in the middle of a broadcast. This can easily trip you up if you’re playing some background music during breaks or one of your presenters is showing a copyrighted video in their PowerPoint.
  • Facebook requires you to include a disclaimer if you are showing any pre-recorded content.

Social platforms have tight control over their video streaming features, and may not offer all of the flexibility you need to customize your event.

Professional Video Streaming Platforms

For more control, professional video platforms such as Vimeo offer a dedicated events platform that lets you customize how your video is shared. You can host your video publicly on Vimeo or though an embedded player on your website. You also have the option of unlisted or password-protected private events. Vimeo also provides the option to simulcast to your social platforms, so you can get the benefit of that as well. Our production team often provides our clients with a Vimeo link or embed for their events, so they don’t need any additional setup to go live.

Depending on the scale and budget of your event, you may want to explore other platforms that include paid events, ticketing, and subscriptions. These platforms tend to have a higher cost, but for organizations with frequent events or a need to charge for events, it may be a good fit.

Streaming Through Video Conferencing Applications

For real-time interaction and/or including remote participants, conferencing applications like Microsoft Teams and Zoom are a good fit, especially for internal events and communication.

They offer a range of tools for interaction as well as dedicated webinar features that let you create events that have email invites for both attendees and remote presenters.

The biggest drawbacks to these are the limitations they have on the quality of the video you can stream. You can connect your production setup directly as a webcam in the conferencing application, which will look fine for your presenters speaking.

The video quality will noticeably be degraded when you try to directly broadcast presentation slides or prerecorded video.

There are some workarounds using the built in screen sharing features on each application, but you’ll need to plan for these in how you organize the material you’d like to present.

The big advantage to using these platforms is the ease of use for both the presenters and participants. With these applications in popular use in both business and personal contexts, you’ll have a lot less work on the technical support end for the event. You’ll also be able to pull attendance reports for everyone registered for both compliance and marketing use.

For all of these platforms, new features roll out at a fast pace. It is an exciting time to be creating virtual events, so be proactive about exploring the best solutions for your needs.

Pro Tip: Bringing in remote speakers to a live event is possible using other platforms as well. For example: your technical director can use a platform like Microsoft Teams to bring in a video feed of the presenter to the program. This can be shared live at the venue on a screen. Be aware though that this adds several risk factors to a live event as you’re relying on the remote speaker to stay connected, there is an increased delay, and the increased demand on your network may cause quality issues.

How to Plan Your Live Video Event

  1. Pick Your Platform

Ask yourself these questions when planning your event

  • Will the event be public? (Any)
  • Do you need registration or payment processing? (Professional, or Video Conferencing)
  • Will you have remote speakers or real time audience interaction? (Professional*, Video Conferencing)

*Professional streaming platforms with low-latency mode enabled.

  1. Test Your Streaming Setup

Run a test with your video team to troubleshoot any technical issues before the event. Join the event as a participant to make sure the experience is great from the email invite to watching live.

  1. Define Your Roles

Live events have a lot of moving parts, and it can be a challenge to manage it all, especially while you are presenting. The most successful events have a team to distribute the load.

Technical Director – manages everything related to the broadcast itself, from camera placement to the live program.

Event Coordinator – manages logistics at the venue, including the room layout, catering, and network access.

Event Host – is the main presenter and emcee for the event, introducing presenters and leading the event program.

Community Managers – engage with the audience on your streaming platform, whether it’s answering questions in chat or sharing feedback to the presenters live during the program. They also can help with customer support, billing/login issues, etc.

Selecting the right streaming equipment, cameras, lights for your live event
  1. Rehearse With Your Presenters

Just like any event, practice your presentations to perfect your messaging.

  • Walkthrough the run of show with both your participants and the video team.
  • Make sure your team is familiar with your streaming platform, whether it is just logging in or using the more advanced presenter tools.
  • For remote presenters: have them test out their tech at their location to make sure they have a good internet connection and compatible hardware.
  1. Get the Most From Your Recording

So much time and effort goes into creating a great event. Capturing the event through video helps those who weren’t there to be able to be a part of the experience.

For internal events, the video becomes a great resource for new team members and for those working remotely.

For public events, the video is a great marketing tool. Use clips from the recording to promote your next event. Sell on-demand recordings of the event or create an e-learning course. Reach out to those who attended your event for feedback or to share a special offer.

Video provides so many ways to connect with your audience. Working with our professional team at Zipinmedia can help bring your video to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions | Our Video Production FAQ

We use a three step video production process - pre-production, production, and post-production. The goal is to reduce the time to completion, so that your video can be online and viewed within weeks, rather than months. The customer will have the most involvement in the post-production phase, where we will request edits and thoughts to perfect the final piece.  

The standard format for most online and broadcast is H.264 .MP4 files which we provide for our clients in several sizes, full quality to upload to their video platform of choice, as well as smaller files for presentations and self hosting videos on their website.

We work with all video formats and can provide high quality files to your professional specifications.

Yes! We provide a full license to our clients to use the raw footage we shoot for their project for any purpose. This is included in our licensing fees and contract. We won’t hold your footage hostage and are happy to transfer the footage at the end of a project to a hard drive the client provides. 

We accept suggestions, requests, and customization according to the purpose of your video. But if you'd like to be more hands off, you can trust that in our 10+ years of operations, we have the capabilities necessary to deliver final products that exceed expectations. 

Production price varies depending on the length of the video, the type of video, and how much travel is involved. With that in mind, our value is some of the highest in the industry, starting at $1200 and moving up gradually depending on the needs of the piece. We encourage you to contact us, as we are able to provide you with both a free quote and more information about how our prices and services operate.

We can. Because we're based in Miami, most local Florida videos require no or minimal additional investment for filming. But for out of state clients, travel expenses may need to be provided for. We will talk to you about this on our call. If travel budget is an issue, we often work with out of state production crews and manage the filming process remotely where budget is a concern. They shoot the video and we edit the final piece. It’s often something we do locally for other production companies.

We can request permission to use music from almost any record label, but we cannot guarantee a response. Some recording companies do not respond right away to licensing requests. Others do. We encourage you to call us to talk about the different options.

Typically our process is takes 3-4 weeks from production date. Now in some cases we can complete them quicker than this timeline. Each project is different. 

Examples of Our Work


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