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Start-of-Show Best Practices for Live Events at Scale

Event producers Liz Hart, Nick Bacon, Nick Nagurka, and Victor Cerejo discuss what happens when it's go-time at livestreamed large-scale events in this clip from their Live Streaming Summit panel at Streaming Medie East 2019.

Learn more about large-scale live event streaming at the next Live Streaming Summit.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Nick Bacon: Once a show starts, Liz, what are you doing when it's go time?

Liz Hart: So I'm actually counting down every single thing that's playing down to the second, and even then some, it feels like sometimes. So if anything is live in the last 30 seconds, 20 seconds, 10 seconds out, we're counting down to every operator and talent with the IFB, so everyone knows where we are and how much time there's left until we're going live again. Simultaneously, because that's not enough, we are then determining where we're going next and I'm preparing at least three options for the director, who will then somewhere when we're in a good multitasking breaking point, say where am I going next.

It's like, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" There's this game where they get a prompt and then the comedian has to give an answer. And if that answer isn't good enough, we're gonna buzz it, and they're gonna have to give answer until it's right. So usually I'm preparing at least three contingency plans, so we can go through each of them without thinking twice. From there we're also checking off what we've played already in maintaining consistency. If we've played something back, we can't play something back too similar right after it, because it would potentially be physically impossible for a host who might have been somewhere to magically appear somewhere else. So we're also keeping in mind the integrity of everything, especially if we are doing a live or live on a delay show. We want to make sure that that the magic isn't lost. So those three simultaneous things are where I'm prioritizing focus.

Nick Bacon: Right on. Nick, presumably when the show starts you're just righting the levels and fixing everything that's been broken all day long.

Nick Nagurka: I'm listening to Liz. I'm listening to Liz and whoever's directing and they are my guiding light as to where we're going next. Because without them, I'm just chasing faders. And then, during that time we're also listening to feeds that might be coming up online, communicating with whoever's handling those feeds. We're listening to any playback roll-ins, pre-fades, that sort of thing, managing talent, IFBs, and continually trying to make sure that everyone's audio is comfortable for them, you know.

Nick Bacon: Yeah, perfect. Vic, I think other than listening to Liz, which we're all doing at this point.

Liz Hart: Whether you like it or not.

Nick Bacon: That's right. What are you doing when the show starts?

Victor Cerejo: Yeah, well, first I take a big, deep breath. And then if I'm streaming, if I'm handling the encoding, what me and maybe a colleague of mine will be doing is we'll be going through, 'cause most of the projects I work on have multiple outbounds, 10 to 30 different destinations. So, when the stream and whenever we're in a holding slate or right before we go live, we're checking all the live posts on your Facebook and your YouTube. Seeing that they're all seeing stable connection, they're seeing our slate or whatever our opening image is. And then just crossing your fingers and going from there.

From a technical producing standpoint, what I'm usually doing is I'm checking in with all my department heads. I'm checking in with my encoding guys. I'm checking in with any of the technical leads on the graphics or playback or is it replay and recording. Making sure everyone's good, everyone has what they need. And then I can just sit and be a producer.

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