At Itaka Media, the client is king, if the client asks for a livestream... we deliver! in that particular case, it was the last Brussels conference of the Estonian Presidency of the EU in partnership with the think-tank CEPS (see the intro video I did here). For the Estonians, the livestream was super important as they branded their presidency as the Digital Presidency and did a lot of livestream during their presidency especially in when events were taking place in Estonia. The event was a full day and we were requested to stream all the plenary sessions that represents more or less half of the day.
For us, livestream was not exactly new as we did some tests here and there and delivered some livestream in addition to some services. For instance we did a livestream for an overbooked conference in Brussels but for many reasons it was complicated and not 100% satisfactory (link to the livestream changed in Youtube at the last moment and we had to tell the client during the steam :-) )
So the challenge was pretty high for us but you always have to start somewhere with these things. In the end, all went super well and the client was over the moon. The screen shot below shows that during the livestream of the event we reached over 15000 people and we had very often over 200 people watching even more in the beginning when big VIPs where there.
Here are some take-aways from that experience:
-Know your software: The client was using a Livestream.com account they opened to us. The platform is great and the software is really powerful... but it runs on PCs only! We discovered that 2 days before the event... Time to rent a proper PC and make all the test we were ready on the D-day :-)
-Get a dedicated internet connection: Together with the client we asked for a special LAN cable that would provide us a good and stable internet connection. We did some test the day before on the spot and all worked fine. We would have use the wi-fi nothing would have worked properly and the livestream would not have worked.
-Get someone dedicated to the livestream: It is technical, it is computer intensive, many things can go wrong... so for these kind of big events, better have someone fully dedicated to that that knows what to do in case of problem. For instance, at one point after 2 hours of stream, a break happened in the stream. Alessio was there to reboot everything and the interruption was less than a minute.
In conclusion, livestreaming has a great multiplying effect potential when used well (especially with Facebook). In order to get that, it needs some careful preparation and at Itaka Media we are ready for it!