What happens during a live event?

Live events are here to stay. After having almost 18 months of live events, we have been asked recently about what happens during a live event! Good question. There are a number of different elements that make up a live stream that beams around the world. Live events are here to stay. According to Marketing Tech, ‘Virtual events were already growing in popularity pre-pandemic, with the sector valued at almost $78 billion in 2019. It is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 23.2% from 2020 to 2027, strongly suggesting this is anything but a temporary phenomenon.

Let us go through them now:

What happens during a live event – Planning

As with every creative project of any kind (design, web dev, filming, animation etc) planning should always take up the most time of any project. There are so many elements that come together (see here) with live events you only have one opportunity to get it right. So it becomes even more pertinent that it is right. We always have at least one prep day with every live project that we do. This allows is to play all of the content for quality control, speak to all the live participant and go through the flow of the running schedule. The running schedule is the key ‘Bible’ used that is followed.  Any issues are then ironed out.

The Hour Before…

An hour before we go live on the day, all the systems (such as ECAMM, OBS, Skype) are fired up and all the tests done on the playlist that has already been put together. This is to ensure everything is 100% right. The director also ensures that anything such as sound levels are checked. This is to ensure that it is a smooth start. In many ways this is the calmest period as all the hard work has been done. The producer for the event makes contact with everyone else, including client, presenters and the production team. This ensures that any last (small) requests can be actioned.

We are live!

The next part on what happens during a live event, of course, is when we go live. It is time to settle the nerves. Depending on the complexity of the project, we start with a real pace. Normally we start with an intro VT and from there we move into an animation to explain what is going to happen. Then a live section with a presenter commences. Again depending on if this is fully remote or a hybrid event, we tend to use Skype as a means to get live elements of the show ‘to-air’. There are also tools within ECAMM which can actually help to bring presenters ‘to-air’ as well which is helpful for multiple live guests. As the director moves through the playlist, we tick off when each element has been played to ensure we keep track.

We sometimes also get the opportunity for presenters to share their screen for presentations. This can be technically very complex and would always suggest that these elements are pre-recorded.

So many things can go wrong!

Unlike when footage is recorded for our award-winning content, when it is live, a lot can go wrong. However by planning so well, it allows you to react as much as possible to the unlikely chance that something will go wrong. You have the internet that you first have to deal with that could go down. Next we have the fact that our live presenters internet could go down. Then the software and the hardware of the computer. Or the fact that the wrong asset is played out at the wrong time. So the director and producers job is to keep calm, not be ‘flappy’ and make sure that they put all of that planning into good use!

After the event.

When the event has successfully been completed. Then it is the job of the director to stop the stream (through YouTube studio) and then ensure that the software has stopped streaming. Once that happens, the whole file is saved (for highlights reels or tweaks to the edit) and then (normally) a legacy page is completed, to house the content in it’s own section. The whole event then normally takes around 24 hours for YouTube to process before it can be played again.

We hope that give you a good idea of what happens during a live event!

About Clearhead

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