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Broadcasting Live Events: What You Need To Know - Understanding The Basics

Determining Your Business Needs
Now that you know what is involved in the broadcast, you need to decide on the technical needs of your webcast. Depending on your needs and the type of broadcast taking place, webcasting your live event can require very little resources or have a lot of complexity. The scope and scale of the five components will determine the cost and resources needed to pull off a successful webcast. But before you answer the technical questions, you should ask yourself some business questions to get the most out of your broadcast.

  • Does the event need to be live?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • How do you plan on measuring your return on investment?

Does Your Event Need To Be Live?
While broadcasting your content live has its advantages, it is also more expensive than simply recording it and archiving it for later use. Many times, the nature of the content warrants it to be live, such as breaking news, a corporate announcement or an investors relations call. However, if the content is not of a time sensitive nature you may want to reconsider allocating the resources and budget of broadcasting it live and seek other options from the service provider.

Who Is Your Target Audience?
Understanding who your target audience is, your end users, is crucial in having a successful webcast. You can have a flawlessly produced broadcast from a technical standpoint but it can fail if it does not delivered the message you wanted to convey and if there are no end users watching it. When preparing to webcast your content figure out whom your ideal end user is. Knowing the time, physical location and way they will be able to access the broadcast is essential. This will also be a huge question when we talk about factors that effect the cost of the webcast.

How Do You Plan On Measuring Your Return On Investment?
Whether you spend $1,000 on a webcast or $10,000, no investment is worth the money if you are not prepared to judge how successful it was. Having a defined set of parameters that will allow you to see your ROI is essential. A large portion of the ROI is usually based on the metrics delivered after the webcast by the service provider. These reports (also known as "reporting") vary in detail based on the distribution service provider chosen but will typically tell you how many people watched your broadcast and the average length they viewed. You should also judge the metrics based on the quality of the message you delivered. Was it clear, concise and delivered in the format and way you wanted? Also, if you made your viewers pre-register before the event, by filling in their contact information, you have the ability to send them a follow-up questionnaire asking for feedback. This is another great way to measure the effectiveness of your webcast.

Understanding these variables is the first step in broadcasting a successful live webcast on the Internet. Next week, in part two, we will discuss the factors that will determine the technical scale of your webcast and the cost of outsourcing as well as estimates of what you should pay for these services. Additionally, we will review some vendors in the service provider space who can help manage the pieces for you.

Contact Dan Rayburn at www.danrayburn.com

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