AT 1:04 PM
Categories: AV Installation Digital Signage Event Professional Seminars Hybrid events Icon News Uncategorized Webcasting
Planning a webcast will be made a lot easier if you know what questions to ask at the start of the production. In this short video, Brian Tennent provides a brief introduction to webcasting and examines all the variables that have an impact on your webcast production and budget.
Also, here is the transcript of the video if you’d like to take away some notes from Brian’s presentation.
Webcasts can be as simple as taking a live presentation and putting it on audio. It can be taking the same presentation that you see live and putting it on screen in terms of slides or put on video as well. It can also be interactive, you can do things on a webcast that you can’t do on the live side of it.
What you’ve got here is you’ve got the picture, here you’ve got the slides and down here there might be a link to chat or other functions that you might want to do.
On the technology side – how do we do it? Basically it splits down into two sides; the frontend, or the capture, the bit that we do in the room, and the back end, or transmission on to the web.
At the front end, if you want to add in just the audio feed, well it’s exactly the same as you do when you do a dial in. You just add a box (to interject with the phone), doesn’t cost a lot of money, then we just feed the audio up to the web. The slides, similarly, very easy to do: you take the slides, you upload them to the website, we have a laptop with a separate internet link and it just sits there, and as the person in the room changes the slide the operator changes them on the webcast.
The next thing at the capture, the next step up, is going to be the video. Well again, relatively straight forward. You’ll need a video crew to record the event.
Then you come to the big question mark. This question mark is how you get what you’re doing here, the video, to the website. With the audio it was easy enough, you just phone up (send the audio by phone to the webcast website). With the slides, you’ve already sent them up there (to the website). With the video, you’ve suddenly got the issue of wanting to get all this information – and it is a lot of information from a video – up onto the internet.
The back end, at Northcote (Webcast hosting company who partner with Icon), what do they do? They create a webpage, if it’s just unbranded and it’s plain and simple that’s OK, but the next step up is to make it look like the host’s site – either your bank’s site, or make it look like the end user’s site.
They can then manage the registration; this is something particularly for financials, particularly for roadshows. It’s when you want to limit the people who can get in to see this, so they can be password controlled. And the last thing that Northcote will do is they’ll archive it.
Next technical issue you’ll want to consider is the actual uplink (i.e. the speed of the broadband link that sends data from your venue to the Internet). If you are doing it live and you’ve got an uplink to the site, you’re dependent on that. If you lose that link you’re really stuffed, so it really needs to be considered: you need to ask yourself, is it worth paying a bit more to get something better, or should I look at this very carefully?
Other pitfalls you’ve got are the human ones. So, can the person talk live on site, and to the world? Can they stick to the script? Can they handle what goes on in the room? So you’ve got to consider those things. There’s not much you can do about it, but you have to consider it beforehand.
The one way to mitigate some of these issues is: a lot of webcasts aren’t quite live. So they’re recorded, say, an hour or two beforehand. This gives them the comfort factor of changing their mind, changing the script, fluffing their lines, any technical issues; it cheats, but it’s a good work round for that.
The first question we would have you ask, or we would ask from the front end – it’s an important point – is it live or pre-recorded?
I mentioned just the two hour pre-recorded, I don’t mean that. I mean is it possible to do this whole thing a week in advance, or two or three days in advance? Can you get the people all together? In which case you’ve got no problems;
We can come along to where you are, we can record it, we can edit it, we can play with it, get it approved, load it up onto the website, and on the day push the button and then it goes live. That’s a very nice, comfortable way of doing these things, and it’s worth considering.
If it’s not live, you’ve got to consider ‘what’s it going to cost?’ Well you’ve got a conference anyway, you add a dial in, it’s a £100 or so, it’s nothing great. You’re going to add in slide functions, well again, that’s just going to be a laptop with a link (to the Internet) so it’s not much there. If you add the video, well you’ve got a camera crew, you know what they cost. It’s all quite linear and incremental; you know where you’re going with it.
You come to the big variable which is the (Internet) link from the site. You might have to start adding in links, for example, this place (Drapers Hall) doesn’t have one, so if you came down the side you’d have seen our satellite truck sitting outside with a big dish on top.
On the back end costs, again: fundamentals. You’ve got to setup the website,You’ve then got to add in video function, maybe the chat function. The big cost items, the big ticket items you should watch out for: the business of customising it to make it look like a client’s site.
The other big variable is the cost per person, per minute; you’re going to get a bill for how many people and how long they’re logged on for. Again, now this is where your costs go crazy if you’ve suddenly said “oh, we’re going to let anybody get in, or we’ve got a list of a thousand people and they all log in and it’s a two day conference, it’s going to shoot right up. Or if it’s just for an hour and it’s only 50 people, it’s going to be lower.
If, when somebody comes up to you and says “I want to do a webcast”, what questions do you ask to try and narrow this down?
1. You say “is it live”, because that makes a difference to the front end cost.
2. “What’s the content – is it slides, video, interactivity? What is it that you want?”
3. Next one is the venue, how good is the venue? You’ve got to work out what connection you’re going to need.
4. And last, of course, you’ll need your audience size and duration.
If you ask those four questions, or you’ve got answers to those right at the beginning, you’ll get a much clearer idea of what it is you need to do.
Icon becomes first London Reseller of Revel Digital Signage solutions
What is a Hybrid Event?
A stunning AV installation for The German Gymnasium
What are the important questions to ask when planning a webcast?
Our Christmas ‘Webcasting’ event at Drapers Hall
your peers, share