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How to Do Webcasts…from Home!

Rebecca Rozakis
Updated May 28 2020
Rebecca Rozakis
Updated May 28 2020

So you want to do a big live event for your company. There’s just one problem: you’re stuck at home.

 

You might be used to webcasts being a big production event, with dozens of people and tons of expensive equipment involved.

 

But now your speakers are trapped in their respective basements, the tech team can’t go near them, and there isn’t a professional camera or microphone to be seen. What are you going to do?

 

Don’t lose hope. You can still get an effective, engaging event out to your company. Webcasting from your home office can still capture your audience. Not only that, building an effective  webcasting process under lock down will give you tools you’ll continue to use for years.

Choose Your Weapon

Video-Conferencing Integrations

If you’ve already got a video conference solution like Zoom, WebEx, or Skype for Business, you can use existing video conferencing infrastructure (including licenses, rooms, cameras, and equipment) for your webcast. Video conferencing solutions are not necessarily stable with very large audiences, they typically can’t handle events with more than a few thousand people and may not give you many tools for managing an event at scale. They also leave something to be desired in terms of managing event content afterwards. With Video Conferencing Integrations (VCI), you get all the benefits of a full webcasting solution on top of video-conferencing capabilities.

 

Self-Serve Webcasting

Want something even more stripped down, with less infrastructure? You can manage a full-blown townhall meeting from a laptop with self-serve webcasting. No complicated technical set-ups, no production team. Nothing but your laptop and
the right webcasting platform, from the comfort of your basement while you hide from your kids. The best thing about self-serve broadcasting is that it strips down your lead-up time; setting up a reliable webcast to many thousands of people is simple.

Tips for Webcasting Production Staff (While at Home)

  • Real-time analytics are your friend. Keep an eye on your stream health. Ideally your dashboard won’t just give you information but will also offer insights to help address any issues.
  • A constant bit rate will produce a more consistent stream than a variable bit rate.
  • You’ll also want to pay attention to your connections, to make sure that you don’t get disconnected or try to stream into insufficient bandwidth. For example, trying to upstream high quality on a slow connection may cause frame loss. In that case, you’ll want to move to a more stable connection (if you’re on Wi-Fi, for example) or reduce the quality of the stream to match the network conditions.
  • Make use of preview functions—you want to make sure you’re happy with everything and your speaker is all set up BEFORE you push live.
  • Close all programs that might be using your bandwidth—Chrome, for example, is one of the biggest bandwidth hogs. Make sure you close all tabs except the ones you need for the broadcast.
  • Make sure the rest of your household isn’t using much bandwidth during your broadcast. This is not the time someone else to be watching Netflix.

Want more details, including tips for presenters and moderators?

Read the whitepaper "How to Do Townhall Meetings…from Your Home Office."
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