Virtual Conference Live Streaming

Remote Virtual Event Live Streaming
“Virtualize” Your Conference

Webcast & Beyond has recently pivoted from producing on-site event live streaming (of conferences among others) to virtual conference live streaming. Due to COVID-19 social distancing and travel constraints organizers have been reaching out to us for virtual options. So we offer what we normally do except that instead of going onsite, the presenters  beam-in their video and slides from home to our remote studio where we add broadcast production value such as lower third graphics, split screen views with presenter and slides side-by-side, along with a HD recording for archival purposes. Alternatively to Zoom or Skype we use Web-RTC technology to direct patch presenters to our studio switcher. The online audience doesn’t really see any noticeable difference. They access the conference from their browser by registering for free (for a sponsorship model), or by a subscription / pay-per-view process. They see everything in near broadcast quality; the presenter plus their slides. For handouts there is a download link on the web page. There is a chat box for Q&A. Included is a schedule of who is presenting. For some events we even have attendance verification for continuing education credit.

Key to making this look good is for the presenters to take these steps:
  • Decent laptop, Mac or Windows 10 with i5 or better quad core, 8 gigs RAM
  • Hard-wired ethernet connection with minimum 6 Mbps up/down
  • Ear buds (at least in one ear)
  • Webcam with minimum 1280 x 720 / 30 frames per second resolution
  • USB mic preferred, but webcam audio might be okay
  • Camera placed at eye level
  • Soft lighting on the presenter’s face
  • Attention to the background; camera should not point at a bright light or window

Everyone is accustomed to Zoom meetings, with varying degrees of choppy video and garbled audio. To make your conference stand out you need better audio/video quality and no dead air between presentations. Hopefully this will shed some light on at least one approach to virtual conferencing.

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