Livestreaming Preparation

Checklist 3 min
You've decided to go live. Now what? Organize a livestreaming event that draws in a crowd.

Social media has made livestreaming accessible to anyone with an account. However, hitting the "live" button doesn't guarantee views. Before making that final commitment, take the time to determine whether your event should be streamed in real time. Your event may be better suited to a shorter, edited video instead. For more information about deciding to go live, refer to Let's Go Live! (Or Not).

If you've determined that streaming is the best option, use this checklist to prepare for a livestream that grabs and retains attention.

  1. Define streaming goals.
    1. Determine why you are livestreaming.
    2. Analyze your audience.
    3. Determine what a successful livestream means for you/your commander and how you will measure that success (i.e., views, comments, press).

  2. Plan the livestream.
    1. Define your broadcast type (i.e., Q&A, presentation, interview, tutorial, product launch, contest, etc.).
    2. Choose a tone, subject and dress code (i.e., formal, informal, a combination).
    3. Prepare the moderator by anticipating possible questions or comments.
    4. Determine who the moderator will interact with and how they will interact with both them and the online content during the livestreaming.
    5. Choose a streaming location with enough space for your subject(s) and equipment.
    6. Make a list of everything you need (i.e., cameras, lights, set, props, etc.).
    7. Get command approval for your plan and its elements.

  3. Choose the right time.
    1. Consider scheduling your livestreams for when your viewers will be online.
    2. Determine if a recording will be available for those who missed.

  4. Choose a streaming platform.
    1. Arrange the proper permissions for the social media account that will host the livestream (i.e., a YouTube channel, Facebook page, etc.).
    2. Note the upload speed for your chosen platform and make sure your equipment/internet connection meets the requirements.

  5. Test your internet connection.
    1. Ensure wifi connection is strong and stable.
    2. If possible, communicate with others using the same wifi network to reduce the number of people using bandwidth.
    3. Consider using an Ethernet cable or wifi puck, if available, for a reliable backup.
    4. Ensure your bandwidth is good enough for broadcasting (generally, aim for between 672 kbps and 61.5 Mbps).
    5. Test your upload speed.

  6. Set up equipment.
    1. Position camera(s) as desired.
    2. Line up a sample shot.
    3. Prepare a backup camera and spare batteries.
    4. Set up lighting.
    5. Double check light bulbs, outlets and batteries.
    6. Practice lighting on a subject.
    7. Place microphones and check filters and batteries.
    8. Take a sample audio recording and note any unwanted background noise that it picks up.
    9. Tape down cables.

  7. Run test streams using the platform of your choice.
    1. Create private streams or backup channels for testing purposes.
    2. Close unnecessary apps when testing and broadcasting.
    3. Test your equipment's connection. If you are using a computer or iPad, make sure an image from a 4K camera and a sound mixing board can plug into the system and operate properly.
    4. Test for lag and sudden stops.
    5. Make sure audio inputs and outputs are working properly (i.e., comfortable listening levels; not muted).
    6. Recruit and brief moderators and test chat settings as needed.
    7. Develop a backup plan in case the platform fails during the day you plan to go live.

  8. Promote your broadcast.
    1. Post about the livestream ahead of time.
    2. Consider creating teaser videos to preview your livestream.
    3. Post countdowns to remind your viewers in the days leading up to the stream.
    4. Create a hashtag that audience members can use for communicating during and after the stream.

 

References

Bybyk, A. (2021, August 27). Live streaming 101: Tips & checklist. Restream.