Going into the office or attending school used to involve traveling to a central location for a set number of hours to interact with colleagues and experts in person. And while that type of experience continues to exist, increasingly our professional and educational lives happen remotely. Webcasting is one great way to do that. But until recently, webcasting has mostly only been used for large, infrequent events – like all-hands meetings or special messages from the CEO. That’s because webcasting has historically been expensive and complicated, requiring a significant investment of time and money in technology. Using it all the time, or for anything but the largest-scale events, just wasn’t possible.
Luckily, to meet the needs of our changing workforce, live broadcasting is becoming more accessible and more flexible, allowing it to be used more frequently and become a key communication channel for corporate knowledge, culture, and productivity. By broadening webcasting to include self-serve personal webcasting and video conferencing integrations, as well as traditional studio-based webcasting, organizations can easily scale their live events, across the organizational departments, without increasing their production overhead. Now, everyone can be a broadcaster.
How Can You Use Webcasting in New Ways?
Webcasting can be used for an array of communications beyond the occasional full-organization broadcast like a town hall. Think department kickoffs, product launches and demonstrations, investor relations activities, sales events, , employee training, and guest lectures.
To be clear, these other uses can be modeled after the traditional large webcasting event, but they don’t have to be. With self-serve live broadcasting tools, webcasting can expand beyond the corporate studio and include the personal desktop. Or, a webcast can be streamed to an audience directly from your video conference solutions. And, with the right webcasting platform, live events can be recorded, so that audiences can engage with your content via video on demand (VOD) at a time most convenient for them.
These additional methods open up webcasting for a new range of content producers and viewers.
Holding a Large Webcasting Event
Large video and webcasting events often require significant IT and production support, utilize professional cameras and lighting, and involve long-term planning. For organizations that already do these types of events, the right webcasting platform can simplify the event management process and improve the experience for audiences regardless of what type of device they’re using.
Personal Webcasting from Your Desktop is Now Possible
At the opposite end of the webcasting spectrum, personal webcasting from your desktop is also available. Webcasting directly from a desktop or laptop computer means anyone can be a broadcaster without complicated technical set-ups or the support of the production team. In fact, nothing additional is needed beyond your computer and the right webcasting platform. The simplicity of this type of self-serve broadcasting allows you to conduct engaging live events and presentations for and represents an efficient way to communicate a consistent message in an informal setting without significant lead-up time.
While personal webcasting directly from your desktop is simple to do, the right platform can also handle complexity, allowing for multiple presenters and locations and thus providing true knowledge sharing opportunities.
With Kaltura Webcasting, audiences can easily access live events on a centralized events hub, which serves as a video portal for all their published live events, whether during the event, or after. Each live event is automatically transcoded and recorded, using the same link, to optimize the viewing experience and make it more accessible for both Live streaming and video on demand (VOD) viewing. Moreover, you can easily add captions, translations, and hotspots to your live stream recordings, to ensure you extend the shelf-life of your events keeping, future audiences fully engaged.
Video Conferencing Integrations Offer the Best of Both Worlds
Video conferencing integrations (VCI) often fall somewhere between large scale videocasting events and broadcasting directly from a desktop. They allow you to webcast directly from your already installed video conferencing solution such as Zoom, WebEx, or Skype for Business. By leveraging existing video conferencing infrastructure (including rooms, cameras, and equipment), not only can anyone be a broadcaster, but they can get more value out of existing investments.
Moreover, with Video conferencing integrations (VCI) one can enjoy all the benefits of a webcasting solution on top of video-conferencing capabilities. This means, you can live stream engaging events, to an unlimited number of concurrent viewers, with multiple presenters and locations – directly from your video conferencing solution. In addition, you can create a dynamic event experience, with interactive features that include moderated Q&A, announcements and polls, and an interactive player which lets the audience control their viewing experience. You also get access to advanced real time analytics beyond those that come with the conferencing solution, both during your event and after it. These tools can help you better understand how well your event performed, whether by ensuring the streaming quality (QoS analytics) or by tracking the active engagement of your audience, down to a single user.
And, just like with the other webcasting strategies discussed here, if you’re broadcasting through video conferencing integrations, your content isn’t just available live. These integrations allow for easy recording and management at scale, so your content can continue to provide value as video on demand (VOD) for those who wish to re-watch and learn, or for those who have missed the live streaming event, and want to catch up later. Content created through video conferencing integrations with Kaltura Webcasting can also be easily edited and enriched with added interactivity, captions, and other features.
How Do You Become a Broadcaster?
Now that you know what’s possible with webcasting, the obvious next step is to figure out how it works and how to make it happen.
By placing a tool like Kaltura Webcasting at the center of your webcasting implementation, you have a choice about how each piece of content that will reach your audience is produced. Three main choices exist: using an external encoder (best for high-production large scale events such as all-hands meetings), using a desktop for Kaltura Personal Webcasting (ideal for more frequent, less formal mid-sized live events) or using a video conferencing integration (VCI) (best for companies who are looking to leverage their existing investment in video conferencing rooms and infrastructure, to live broadcast mid-size events with multiple presenters and to multiple locations).
Whichever production solution you choose, your video content will pass through the webcasting platform before it gets to your audience. The platform allows you to manage your webcast both as a live event and as recorded content available as video-on-demand (VOD). It provides an events hub, making your webcasts easy to access for your audience both when they’re happening live and when they’re available as part of your library of video content after they’re recorded. Sharing and editing features can help enhance this content, while analytics help you understand who is watching, for how long, and what type of experience they’re having.
Webcasting is quickly moving from a special event to a daily experience. With today’s more flexible, intuitive tools, your company can bring people together no matter how far apart they are.
Want to know more, or see some of this in action? Watch the webinar recording “Everyone is a Broadcaster.”