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Event Live Streaming Services: Enhancing Virtual Experiences

by Natalia
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Efficiently transporting a source to a viewer entails delivering a video and audio along with any other data that comprises the experience, with the smallest possible delay, at the lowest possible cost. This is a non-trivial task because the internet was not initially designed to transmit multimedia content. Live streaming has leveraged the rapid developments in internet technology to become viable; however, there are still many remaining problems that if solved, could improve the live streaming experience for event organizers and their remote audiences.

Many events are now being live streamed to increase accessibility and to foster an increased sense of participation among those who are unable to attend in person. Examples include live streaming sporting events, music festivals, and live streaming lectures or talks at conferences. The increased prevalence of live streaming has led to an increase in research and development efforts focused on improving the quality, reliability, and efficiency of live streaming. Given that live streaming is a means to digitally transport an experience from one location to another, it has inspired this research into ways to effectively transport the specifics of the streaming source to the viewer.

Live streaming differs from video-on-demand in that while there is a finite end-point to a video-on-demand, the same is not true for live streams. Audiences may tune in and out at will; when they tune in, they may join the stream already in progress. The content of a live stream has a temporal component that does not exist in video-on-demand – it is new and happening in the moment, even if the content being streamed is an event that is also happening in real life.

Live streaming, simply put, is taking a video and broadcasting it to an audience in real-time, over the internet. This may be a recorded lecture, a newly unfolding current event, or an event happening live.

Live streaming services have become increasingly important in recent years. The market for live streaming is projected to increase in size significantly over the next few years.

The Growing Importance of Live Streaming Services in Singapore

Following this, the most vital stage is the archived content availability itself. The primary satisfaction goal of event consumers is to watch event desired event content without being impeded by ad requirements. Therefore, it is important to provide a clear, high-quality VOD representation of event content and easy access to ad-specific content, both of which are achieved by the centralized content repository. This moves into the viewing immersion phase, where a lightweight search and seek into ad and event content is done with metadata linking to replicate the original ad experience, and desired content access is used as a segue into higher-level value and type-categorized event content, which is expected to stimulate future event viewers.

The proposed framework is a three-stage process, beginning with the event live streaming services transition phase to a centralized content repository and concluded by archived content availability with a focus on viewer immersion. To alleviate the problem of no content legacy during live events, the transition phase involves automatic system recordings of key content or event stream elements, which are then organized and categorized with metadata to facilitate easy access for event consumers. This sets the stage for the ad content delivery phase, which no longer targets live event content, allowing event consumers superior value by sparing more content time and focus and the ability to immediately locate desired ad-specific content. With the expectation that event consumers will miss certain ad content in the live phase due to modern ad immersion techniques, this provides a simple ad content re-finding method.

Benefits of Live Streaming for Events

The main benefits of live streaming for events concern the breaking down of barriers to allow virtually anyone to attend and gain the information and education from industry leaders. In 1998, the Online Journalism Review conducted the first study of webcasting, and this area is continuing to grow, allowing event organizers with nearly any budget to get their event out to a public unable to attend in person. A large portion of people are unable to attend events due to cost, family commitments, or time off work. Most people would prefer to learn in their own environment, and geographically, the event could be a great distance away. Hotel and travel costs add up quickly. By conducting or webcasting the event from a studio, you can save thousands of dollars and put that toward speaker fees, staff, or profit. High-speed internet connections have now allowed viewers to watch live streaming media and presentations from their PC in their office or home. Live and archived webcasts build a virtual event community. Forrester Research states that 68% of enterprise-level businesses use webcasts or podcasts for internal or external communications. Virtual attendees can receive information and learn from one another. During the four 2008 US election debates, live streaming video captured 14 million viewers concurrent to the debates, and NPR.org set a site traffic record on word.

Choosing the Right Live Stream Company for Your Event in Singapore

First and foremost, it is critical to be absolutely clear on the details of your event. Whether you are hosting a musical performance, an electronic music festival, a wedding, a gaming competition, or a company meeting, there are a number of details that will go into what sort of live streaming service is right for your event. Take the time to understand exactly what it is you plan to do with your live stream.

In the world of live stream services, there are a wide range of offerings designed around an equally wide range of events. Some live stream companies are targeted toward music and festival producers, while others are better suited for small-scale personal events like weddings. It is important for event hosts to take the time to learn as much as they can about these services and then to dig deep enough to get a clear understanding of which service is right for their event. This article is intended to provide a high-level overview of the necessary steps to take so that you will be able to find the best live streaming company for your event. These steps are an idealized version of what to look for and are designed to help set you down the right path. In the end, the most important thing to do is to be patient, ask a lot of questions, and shop around.

Determining Your Event’s Requirements

Determining the event’s requirements is the most important factor in choosing the right company to live stream your event. A company might be an expert in live streaming sporting events, but lack the expertise in live streaming an indoor corporate meeting. In this case, many sporting event streaming companies will have all the necessary production equipment and expertise that a corporate event might not require. If your company were to hire said sporting event company, you would be overpaying for their services. On the other hand, most corporate event streaming companies might not have what it takes to broadcast a sporting event. Most corporate streaming companies specialize in seminar and meeting type events that usually take place indoors. If a corporate event company were to broadcast a sporting event that takes place on the field or in the woods, this company might not have the capabilities to properly stream the event. When missing an outdoor event, it is very common that a company may require remote production. This involves production staff taking production equipment to a remote location to the main production switch. Most corporate event streaming companies may not offer this service. In both scenarios, the event would not be adequately streamed. This example illustrates the importance of hiring the right live stream company for your event.

Evaluating Technical Capabilities and Expertise

– What is the intended interactivity of your event? If you anticipate heavy audience involvement with your stream, there will be added stress on the provider’s services. High interactivity can also necessitate specific features (e.g. closed captioning, Q&A dialogue boxes) that not all providers will support.

– Where is your target audience located? Timing and location of your audience can have major impacts on your streaming quality. If you have viewers in China and are hosting your event in the U.S., you may want to consider a provider with servers located in China to provide a better viewing experience for those viewers.

– What is the expected audience size? This will dictate what resources the provider will need to handle your event. Be sure to select a service that can accommodate your expected audience without sacrificing stream quality.

Your technical needs will differ based on the complexity of your event. For a small, internal meeting, a company with basic webinar capabilities may suffice. However, streaming a major conference with breakout sessions from around the globe will likely require a provider with much more sophisticated capabilities. Some questions to consider:

Comparing Pricing and Packages

When comparing pricing and packages, the single most important thing is to have a clear idea of what you want. If you don’t know what you need, many companies have sales reps who will help you determine what you need, but may steer you towards their own product. You need to know what you want. If a sales rep starts asking you questions about your needs, tell them you’re only interested in hearing what they can offer you based on your specific requirements, not on the tailored package they can create for you. This may help prevent potential up-selling. Pricing and packages often have a lot of hidden costs, so it is worth taking the time to get exact quotes for exactly what you need. Big companies are great because they will meet your every need. Packages at those types of companies often start around a few thousand dollars. Shop around with small companies – just because they’re a small company doesn’t mean they’ll give you a better deal. Normally small companies make a lot less profit and would be happy to take on smaller jobs. If your event is a small one off, or you want to try live streaming on a small scale, explore companies or freelancers who just do streaming and not full scale video production. Their costs will start at only a few hundred dollars.

Assessing Customer Reviews and Testimonials

One of the most important ways to determine if a live streaming company provides a reliable service is to check the feedback given by previous customers. Testimonials provide an indication of the level of satisfaction experienced by customers who have used the service. Reviews and testimonials should be a crucial factor in the decision-making process while choosing a live streaming service. Look for comments made by customers who have similar requirements to the one you have for the service, as this will provide an accurate gauge as to whether the company is able to meet your specific needs. If there are no comments made by customers with similar requirements, then look for comments that indicate the company is flexible and able to customize their package to meet the customer’s needs. Look for long detailed comments, as these are more likely to provide an accurate account of the customer’s experience with the company. Also, take note of the tone of the review. If a customer takes the time to write a positive review, then it is likely that they were very satisfied with the service. If a customer was dissatisfied, they are likely to be very vocal about it. Be cautious of mixed reviews, as they may indicate that the company is inconsistent in the level of service that it provides.

Conclusion

As a prudent event organizer, the onus is on us to keep abreast of the latest tools and technologies. This is because our clients expect us to deliver superior quality events. Over the last year, we have witnessed a surge in demand for hybrid events because COVID restrictions have limited physical ones. It is predicted that hybrid events are here to stay. As such, an important pillar in hybrid events is the relay of live content. It is looking likely that in the near future, content providers will not be filming content in advance to show at a specified time, but doing live recordings instead. Though virtual events have struggled to match the interactivity and engagement levels of physical events, live content can recreate these elements. However, to relay live content at a reasonable quality that is accessible to all event attendees can be quite difficult. The recent diversification of live streaming services has made this process much easier. In the near future, we believe that all content providers will be using some form of live content relay. This is because not only does it give an improved experience for attendees, but it also saves on costs for the providers themselves. At this point, creating server holders to store content has become somewhat redundant, as content can just be streamed from hosting sites. Live content of course requires technological hardware, but this is a one-off investment at an acceptable price. Given these reasons, it is anticipated that the wider event industry will be a major consumer in live streaming services.

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