How is a live stream successfully designed?
At the current time, physical events are a rarity. How can companies still get closer to their customers? By conducting events live, but broadcasting them virtually and still being present with their customers.
Live streaming refers to a media offering made available in real time on digital channels. Below, Yves Reitmann explains what is needed for a successful live stream and why this form of communication is gaining in importance today.
Why are live streams important today?
Producing live streams has a variety of benefits:
- Closeness in virtual times: No physical events are currently possible, which severely limits interaction with customers and partners. Live streams offer the opportunity to interact with customers at least virtually.
- Opening up a new target group: The time needed for classic events is high for participants. This is due to arrivals, but also because physical events usually take place over the whole duration. The virtual form of events gives us new possibilities here and corresponds much more to today’s lifestyle of «everywhere and the digital consumption we decide for ourselves».
- Digital literacy shows: Companies demonstrate their competence for digital customer interaction by running live streams.
What is needed for a live stream?
Live streams should be carefully planned, the technical aspects must be set up properly and with good presenters:
- Planning & design: A live stream should not last more than an hour and should include space for questions. In the preparation, a detailed concept and a script must be developed for the whole of the process (how many people, how many presentations, forms of interaction, etc.). For a successful event, enough time should be allowed for preparation (about 6-8 weeks) and communication (about 4 weeks).
- Technical setup: How many people are on stage? How much light and how many cameras are needed? Which overlays (layers, perspectives) are needed? The planning and the area being used determine the technical setup.
- Communication & facilitation: In livestream events, all channels can be used for communication, so that a broad target group can be reached. A simple invitation and registration process is particularly important to achieve a high level of conversion. On the livestream itself, a good presenter provides a common thread at the event. They create a pleasant mood for people who are not used to standing in front of the camera. A good presenter is therefore crucial!
How can a live stream be made interesting?
Variety is the key to success, whether linguistically or visually. This variety is achieved, for example, by using different views (e.g., split screens, picture-in-picture), interactions between the participants or different camera settings.
During a livestream with guests, the presenter summarises the central points after a presentation, then asks a typical question and so creates a dynamic live feeling. Afterwards, questions from participants can also be included. The stream is filmed on two or three cameras using different camera settings (close-ups, long shots), which ensures a varied production. Viewers can get involved where there are opportunities for interaction, which makes an event more dynamic.
How are interactions with participants made possible?
Interactions make live streams more interesting and can be set up in two different ways:
- Polls/votes: Voting is a good way to interact to get direct feedback. Surveys can be conducted both at the beginning (e.g., asking for ideas) as well as at the end of a presentation, for example for approval of statements made or for final feedback.
- Questions/chat function: This interaction method depends on the streaming platform being used. A live chat can be used, for example, as a question box where questions can be asked at any time. Whether this is addressed directly or at the end of the event is a matter of setup and planning. It is important to ensure that all questions are answered without exceeding the time frame of the event. This can be facilitated with a written or filmed response in the follow-up.
How will live streaming develop in the future?
The issue will continue to gain relevance. Although the course of the pandemic is difficult to assess, it will probably be a while before we return to physical events on a regular basis. As a result, we must assume that live streams will remain an important form of interaction in the future. With the rising trend of «wanting to consume anywhere, anytime», the form of digital events will continue to gain relevance. Similarly, hybrid events (a physical event with online access) open up new possibilities as we can reach more people and different target groups with just one event.