How To Choose the Best Video Tools and Strategy for Your Virtual or Hybrid Event
If you’re struggling to deliver TV-quality video content at your virtual and hybrid events, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about achieving event success with the right video production strategy.
According to research by the Content Marketing Institute, 69% of marketers are planning to invest in video in 2022 and 61% are investing in digital, in-person, and hybrid events. Additionally, virtual events, webinars, and online courses were rated the top type of content (58%) that produced the best results in the past 12 months.
As you plan your 2022 event calendar, we need to know: Is high-quality event video production at the top of your list of priorities? We hope the answer is yes.
The Importance of Live Streaming TV-Quality Video Content
Whether you’re hosting a hybrid or virtual event, you want to deliver the most positive viewer experience possible. Poor video quality can frustrate attendees, causing them to leave the event, get distracted, or disengage from chats or other engagement features. At its worst, low-quality event video can drive attendees to post negative feedback on social media, pushing away potential customers and future event attendees.
Although it’s true that streaming quality has improved across the board, according to Dacast — with video start failures down 33% year over year, buffering down 41%, and picture quality up 25% — you know that anything can happen when live streaming an event.
You need a story that resonates and production value that keeps attendees glued to your event like they’re bingeing the newest season of Bridgerton. With 42% of people watching seven or more hours of online video per week, according to original research by Statista, the medium is the message more than ever before.
Think back to the first few weeks of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns in 2020 when late show hosts started streaming their once-high-quality productions from the comfort of their homes. After spending years in a studio with the best cameras and crew, it probably seemed easy enough to pop a webcam on and stream from home. But fans were disappointed, even taking to YouTube to complain about video production quality — from the audio to the video and everything in between.
The event video production software, quality of your live stream, and video content you share impact how your attendees experience your event and how engaged they are.
Considerations for Delivering TV-Quality Video at Your Event
With 91% of marketers reporting that webinars were the most effective video marketing channel in 2021, according to Wyzowl research, you can’t cut corners on this vital part of your event strategy. To deliver the highest-quality video at your next virtual or hybrid event, consider these checklist items:
- High-speed internet: This item probably seems a little Captain Obvious, but without great internet, your virtual or hybrid event can’t get off the ground. Pro tip: Your upload bandwidth should be at least twice your broadcast bitrate.
- Video software: You need a secure video platform that allows you to stream and host video content, set permissions for public or private access, and view analytics and engagement data. If you’re streaming pre-recorded content alongside live content or breakout sessions, you need easy-to-use video production software that can do it all.
- Production equipment: For TV-quality production, you want full HD or 4K cameras, professional lighting equipment, the clearest microphones, and more.
- Editing software: If you’re planning on including pre-recorded video at your event — or you want to edit live video for on-demand viewing — you’ll need editing software that lets you refine your video.
- Encoder software: If you’re converting live video into streaming-compatible formats, you need the right live encoder settings. (Learn more about the importance of video encoders for live streaming.)
- Content delivery network (CDN): If you’ve got the right video hosting platform, chances are you’re already integrated with a CDN that uses a reliable, global content delivery network.
- Video resolution: It might surprise you to know that the highest resolution isn’t always the best resolution. Be sure to choose optimal video resolution and aspect ratios so your viewers have a crisp view of your live streaming event.
- Test, test, test: You must test your video streaming again and again to make sure your video quality holds up on different internet connections. Then, you can address any issues with buffering before the event happens.
- People resources: Lastly, be sure you have staffers who are comfortable creating video, using the software you’ve invested in, and handling the technical side of producing TV-quality video.
If this list feels overwhelming, we hear you. As an event professional, you want to pour energy into delivering the best experience possible, not troubleshooting buffering challenges or comparing the best live streaming platforms. This list also might make you see dollar signs. According to Markletic, 38% of enterprise organizations feel that costs related to audio and video, as well as venue and branding, are the biggest hybrid event expenses.
If these challenges resonate with you, it might be time to consider working with event management software with a built-in production suite that just works.
3 Ways To Deliver a TV-Quality Event Experience
As you plan a video strategy for your next event, there are three routes you can take: use internal resources, hire an event management agency, or use event management software with a company you trust.
1. Use Internal Video Production Resources
If you have staffers who are familiar with video production software, live streaming, or how to live stream an event, then you’re in a great position to leverage those resources to deliver a TV-quality event experience. According to a Vimeo survey, 39% of event professionals said team resourcing prevents them from increasing their live event programming. If you don’t have the people resources, you may consider hiring a video production specialist, videographer, and others to help achieve your event’s goals.
- Benefits: If you already have people on staff who are up to the task — not to mention the equipment and software you need — you can save time and money on your video strategy and execution.
- Challenges: If you don’t have people with the skills needed to deliver a TV-quality experience, you could end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on training or hiring a virtual event video specialist. You’ll have to make sure you still have the budget for any software and equipment they’ll need to get the job done, too.
2. Hire an Event Management Agency
If you don’t have a team of video production specialists, another option is to hire an event management agency with a proven track record for creating and delivering TV-quality live streaming video.
- Benefits: Passing off your video production needs to an event management agency can take a huge weight off of your event team’s shoulders. Vimeo’s survey also found that 32% of event professionals said content generation prevents them from scaling virtual events, and an agency is a great source for creating high-quality video content.
- Challenges: Contracting an event management agency will undoubtedly increase your event budget or force you to cut corners on other aspects of your event. You also give up a bit of control when you rely on a third party to manage all aspects of your event’s video content.
3. Use Event Management Software with a Built-In Video Production Suite
Your final — and best, we think — option is to work with an event management software partner that offers a complete video production suite and a support team that makes delivering TV-quality content easy. The right event management software partner will streamline the creation, production, and broadcasting of virtual and hybrid events to help you create production-level events in just a few clicks.
For example, with Bizzabo’s Event Experience OS and Ultimate Video Production Suite, here’s just some of what you can do:
- Create live and interactive events for an unlimited number of attendees
- Control “main stage” and attendee views, including organizing “main stage” panels
- Conduct immersive breakout sessions for in-person and remote attendees
- Create promotional videos and build libraries of on-demand video content
- Leverage world-class video experts to tell the stories you envision — without limitation
Don’t Forget About Attendees Tuning in from Mobile Devices
It’s nice to have people who’ve registered for your event view your video content on demand, but what you really want is attendees to show up live so they can participate in Q&As, polls, chats, and more. But what about people tuning in on mobile?
Although 52% of Americans watch video on their computers 43% stream video on their mobile devices, according to a Statista survey. In fact, 34% of people download video content in order to avoid buffering. This is why it’s more important than ever that your virtual or hybrid event offers a seamless video experience on mobile, whether someone is leveraging data or WiFi.
Get Started: Deliver TV-Quality Video Content at Your Next Event
In 2022, millions of people are preparing to attend more hybrid and virtual events than ever before. It’s up to event professionals to ensure they get the modern, TV-quality streaming experience they expect. Think about it this way: Today’s event attendees aren’t tuning in to watch the moon landing and are so in awe of achieving the impossible that they won’t complain about the poor video quality.
Rather, event attendees binge Netflix and expect crystal-clear video without buffering, interruptions, or other technical difficulties. They expect video perfection — or as close as you can get to it.
You have to prioritize delivering video content that meets and exceeds your attendees’ expectations. Are you ready to level up your video production strategy and get the tools you need to achieve event success? Schedule a demo of Bizzabo’s Ultimate Video Production Suite now.