A camera, in focus, recoreds a man speaking on a microphone and gesticulating in front of a blank wall. The man can be seen on the camera's viewscreen and is shown out of focus in the background. To the left of the man is a screen showing the backs of members of an audience.
Although professional cameras with the correct connective equipment can be used for livestreaming, it can be simpler and more cost-effective to use a smartphone or tablet. — Getty Images/Tzido

Many businesses turned to livestreaming and webinar-style content due to necessity. Now that events are open to in-person attendance, however, merchants are realizing that livestreamed events have certain advantages. Event livestreams allow you to reach a broader audience, utilize marketing content in new ways and lower the costs of hosting an in-person event.

Virtual events are expected to grow nearly ten times over the next decade. Livestream events are a subset of virtual events that involves broadcasting an event, such as a conference, product demonstration or new store opening, in real time.

If you’re just learning how to livestream an event, here are some tips to help you get started.

[Read more: Switching from Live to Virtual Events? Here's How to Make the Pivot]

Start by planning the event

The first part of the process involves planning an event as you would any other. For there to be a successful livestream, there first has to be a successful event. This could be in-person, such as a product launch party at your brick-and-mortar store, or virtual, such as a panel discussion about trends in your industry. Consider what production needs to happen for your event to take place, including lighting, cameras, sponsors and decorations or props.

Choose a livestreaming platform

Next, you’ll need to find the right platform to help you broadcast your event to a wide audience. There are many different livestream tools from which to choose. Some are free, like YouTube Live and Facebook Live. Others have “freemium” options and more advanced, paid tiers. Consider your audience and budget in assessing these tools. If you’re hoping to attract a younger crowd, Instagram Live or YouTube Live may be your best options; if you’re looking to track conversions, a more advanced tool will give you the analytics you need.

[Read more: 6 Free, 'Freemium' and Paid Livestreaming Tools to Consider]

Encourage people to pre-register for your stream as a way to capture leads and get a virtual "headcount."

Emily Krings, Dacast

Get the right equipment

You don’t need to shell out tons of money for fancy camera equipment, but you do need to have some essential tech in place. A fast, reliable internet connection is the most important element of a good livestream. In addition, make sure you have a good laptop, tablet or smartphone to shoot video, a microphone (or multiple if you will be interviewing guests) and lighting.

If you do choose to use a smartphone to film, invest in a tripod. “There’s nothing worse than recording a Facebook Live and having your arm start to fall asleep five minutes into the recording. Use a phone tripod to give your live streaming a professional look,” Megan Conley, HubSpot’s Content Marketing Strategist wrote on Hubspot’s blog.

Promote your livestream

Generate some excitement for your event by promoting your livestream to your social media audiences, through your email list and on your website. Some businesses make a landing page to sell tickets to the livestream event, creating a place for the event recap and generating revenue in the process. Either way, it’s important to have some kind of virtual ticketing system to track how much interest your livestream garners.

“Encourage people to pre-register for your stream as a way to capture leads and get a virtual ‘headcount.’ This strategy will likely encourage people to show up rather than just thinking of showing up. You can send reminders before you go live or use a live countdown,” wrote the experts at Dacast.

Another good place to promote your livestream is your loyalty program. Give your best customers exclusive early-bird access to register for the event, or reward them for sharing the event with others who may be interested.

Do a dress rehearsal

Before the event takes place, test everything. Make sure you know the ins and outs of your livestream platforms. Check to be sure the microphone is working and that the audio and feeds don’t cut out. Prep any guest speakers and event MCs so they know what to expect. Try to identify backup tech in case things go wrong on the day of your event. Worst-case scenario, you can record the event and post it later; it won’t be live, but it will still make for great content.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published July 15, 2021