Live Stream

Everything you need to run your virtual event.

Live Streaming Assets

You can use the below as a checklist of all the assets we need you to provide to make sure your event looks and sounds great. These can be uploaded to the SharePoint folder as soon as they are ready, and a minimum of five working days prior to the start of your event.  

All scene assets should be at least 1920 x 1080 pixels (16:9 landscape). 

The Poster 

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Live Stream Background Scene 

The live stream presents an excellent opportunity for creativity and branding but remember that large areas will be covered by speakers and screenshare.  

Below are two examples of how to manage the visible areas. You have 288 pixels (this is the optimum visible area to maximise the view of the live stream) to play with and you can split them as you please across the top, bottom or a combination of both.   

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Holding Scene – The Start 

Five minutes before the session is due to start, the technician will begin the live stream with a holding image and music. Please see below for an example: 

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Technical Difficulties Scene 

We’re sure your event will go off without a hitch but it’s always best to be prepared! Please provide an image which our stream techs can put to screen in the unlikely event that a speaker loses connection or there is a problem with the stream. Please see below for an example:  

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Holding Scene – The End 

Once the live stream has finished, your Live Stream Technician will transition to a holding slide and music. You may want to use this as an opportunity to invite your audience to give feedback, encourage them to head to the next session or thank them for their participation. Please see below for an example:  

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Background Music for Holding Scenes 

Please let your Production Manager know what music you would like to play whilst the holding image is displayed before the live stream is due to start. You can find a comprehensive library of royalty-free music to choose from here 

Videos 

To ensure the highest quality, any video files should be uploaded to the Live Stream Assets folder in SharePoint. All videos will be played locally by the Live Stream Technician.  

Lower Thirds 

Our stream technicians will be happy to create lower thirds for your event. These are animated graphics which introduce the speakers and usually appear underneath their video to show their name, position and company. Please see below for an example: 

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If you would like lower thirds created for your event, please complete the Lower Thirds template spreadsheet, which you can find in the Live Stream folder in your SharePoint file. Please note that this template must be completed a minimum of five working days prior to your event to allow enough time for them to be created.   

Stinger Transition 

A transition is an animation which is used when changing from one scene to another. A stinger transition, sometimes referred to as an ‘ident’, is a dynamic option that replaces the traditional fade in/fade out or cut transitions with a branded animation. Please see below for an example:  

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Please provide the below assets for us to create lower thirds and stingers for your event:  

 

Running Order

Preparing your Running Order Document 

The Running Order document is the beating heart of the live stream. It is a shared document that contains all the information required to run a successful live stream.  

In the CrowdComms’ Running Order template (within your SharePoint folder), the important columns to focus on are ‘Running Order’ and ‘Stream Scene Order’. Take a look at this PDF to help you decide on the display options you would like during your live stream – this will enable you to determine the ‘Stream Scene Order’ in the template.  

Below is an example of a Running Order and its corresponding Stream Scene Order. Please bear in mind that there must be a 10-minute gap between each live stream session in your agenda 

Example Running Order 

Gary will introduce the session (five mins). He will then give a PowerPoint presentation. He starts the presentation with a video (Introduction.mp4) and there are live poll questions at slides 8 and 14. The session then moves to a panel discussion with Mark and Stuart, chaired by Gary. Gary starts the panel session with a polling question, followed by the panel discussion for 30 minutes and ends the session with another polling question.  

Corresponding Stream Scene Order 

Your CrowdComms Production Manager will complete the sections of your running order titled ‘Stream Key’, ‘Stream Technician’, ‘Speaker Zoom Link’, ‘Q&A Speaker Link’, Q&A Moderator Link’, and ‘Live Polling Link’ - so you can leave these sections blank when you are completing the rest of your running order.  

Parallel Sessions 

If you are having, or wish to have, multiple streamed sessions running at the same time you will need to have a live stream technician for each of those streams. Please make your CrowdComms Account Manager aware of any parallel sessions as early as possible to make sure resources are available and allocated.  

Video(s) 

To ensure the highest quality, any video files should be uploaded to the Live Stream Assets folder in SharePoint. All videos will be played locally by the live stream technician. 

Pre-Records

If you are providing pre-recorded content for use in your live stream, please see below for hints and tips on optimising the process to ensure everything looks and sounds as good as possible for your event.   

In terms of presenting style, you should approach it as if you were live. Try not to get hung up on minor imperfections, just keep going! This will avoid lots of stop/starts and will keep your sessions flowing. Taking a natural approach will create the illusion for the audience that they are watching a live presentation and not pre-recorded content, which should maximise participation and help to keep your audience engaged.  

Your pre-record should have as little ‘dead air’ at the beginning and end as possible. It’s also best to edit out any instances in the speaker’s presentation where they have recorded themselves starting and stopping their screenshare.  

Zoom 

We highly recommend using Zoom – it is our preferred method and is especially useful if your speakers are spread over multiple locations. For information on how to record using Zoom, please follow this link. 

We recommend that you record with these settings enabled: 

 
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Zoom pre-records that use a webcam feed will use a black background in any unused space (I.e., the areas of the video window surrounding the speaker’s camera feed or screen share). It's possible for this to be edited by one of our technicians – typically, into a background colour that matches your event branding. If you would like us to do this, please discuss this with your Production Manager who will be happy to help.  

PowerPoint 

An alternative to recording in Zoom, would be to use PowerPoint. This link will take you to a useful guide (including instructional videos) on how to go about this.  

Once you have followed the steps outlined in the above link to record your presentation, you can then turn the recording into MP4 format, within the app, by following the steps found in this link. 

N.B. Please export your presentation into the .MP4 format before sending it over to us, as we are unable to accept the file as a .PPTX file.  

Professionally Produced Content 

If your event requires a higher production value than you can achieve with your own equipment, you could consider using a production team or a studio to produce your pre-recorded content for you.  

Alternatively, we can help you with the editing and production side of the process by filming your pre-recorded content, via a Zoom recording, prior to your event. We would then edit the filmed content for you using our software suite. If this is of interest and you would like to explore this option further, please speak to your Production Manager.  

Recording Using a Mobile Phone 

The quality of some mobile phone cameras is comparably high and can provide a better result than a recording from a laptop webcam. If the pre-recorded session is going to be a ‘talking head’, speaking directly to camera without needing to screenshare, this might be another option to consider.  

General Guidance on Recording 

Ideally, the recording should take place in a room with some soft furnishings I.e., carpet/rugs, curtains, cushions etc. to dampen the sound. The presenter should sit in front of a relatively plain background with a good source of light in front of (and never behind) them; in particular, windows behind presenters should be avoided. We advise that presenters avoid sitting in swivel chairs when recording.  

Pre-Record Video Specifications 

Whichever of the above recording methods you choose, we ask for pre-recorded content to be provided in the following format(s): 

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (1280 x 720 is also acceptable) 

Frame rate: 25, 30 or 60 frames per second 

File type: MP4 (preferred for quality vs file size) 

Alternative resolutions may work within our streaming software, however, please note that you may have black bars either side or above and below the video playback.  

Lower video frame rates than those specified above can cause the video and sound components to become out of sync with each other over time.  

NB: File types produced from Microsoft Teams local recording will have big discrepancies between the audio and video. For this reason, we avoid using Teams.  

Speaker Briefings

Speaker Briefing 

Our priority is your event’s success! Getting your speakers familiarised with the process beforehand and giving them the opportunity to ask questions, should they have any, will ensure that your event runs smoothly. This guide will take you through all of the essentials, however, if at any time you have any queries, please get in touch. 

Speaker Technical Checks 

Video: It is important to check that the speaker has a good enough connection. If you see pixelation and a lag between audio and video (lip sync issues) then they do not have a strong enough internet connection. 

Audio: Get the speaker to speak and check that the volume is appropriate. If the audio feed is broken or garbled, then there is probably an issue with the speaker’s internet. Using a purpose-built microphone will provide better quality than an in-built microphone. 

Screenshare: Ask any speaker who will be sharing slides to test the screenshare to ensure they’re comfortable in doing this, and to check the quality. Remind any speaker that has a large video file in their presentation to share this with the organiser and the CrowdComms Production Manager for the technician to play locally.  

Important! Remind the speakers that they must keep their video and screenshare on for the duration or until the stream technician says that it’s clear. 

Speaker Zoom Etiquette 

Speaker Presenting Etiquette 

Audience Engagement 

Q&A 

If the speaker/panel are taking questions from the audience, then you will need to confirm if the questions will be moderated and if so, by whom.  

It is also important to see an example of what this looks like from an audience and speaker point of view on the platform. This video is a great place to start. 

Live Polling 

Please ensure that your speakers are aware that there is a 10 – 15 second latency on the stream. The best way to stage-manage live polling is to first ask the audience to take part (encourage the speaker to direct the audience to the correct button) and then move onto another related point, or discuss the poll, before coming back to the live poll once the results start to come in. This video will give you more detail on this.  

 

If they are screensharing, it’s a good idea to explain how the speaker can also see the polling results, as shown in this video