Convention centers & special events have evolved with improving technology. Amongst several exciting technology trends, — How, then, can convention centers support this new technology?
Hospitality Network can help. Read on for a definition of conference webcasting, how it differs from web conferencing, and what technological infrastructure your convention center needs to support this new increasingly important capability.
What is Conference Webcasting?
Webcasting generally refers to any live or on-demand video that is streamed online. Webcasts can refer to both in-person presentations, simultaneously performed with a live audience and streamed for real-time or delayed consumption, and live-streaming particularly for the online medium, such as video game streamers.
Conference webcasting, then, refers to an in-person presentation streamed live or on-demand over the internet. This may include keynote speakers at a conference, roundtables featuring industry-leaders, or live Q&A sessions featuring camera angles of audience and speakers alike.
Conference Webcasting vs. Web Conferencing
A web conference is an online event specifically catered towards the online space — including options to chime in virtually, share screens, present slides, and generally take an active role in the conference despite not being in-person at a conference center. Oftentimes, web conferencing does not take place in any one physical location — instead, it features dozens of users all meeting in one digital location.
As opposed to conference webcasting — which provides non-interactive, linear access to in-person conference events and acts as a livestream for non-attendees — web conferences offer a more interactive online conferencing experience, specifically designed to replicate the feel & participation of a traditional, in-person conference for online attendees.
Web conferences are ideal for bringing together professionals from diverse, far-reaching localities; for organizers already running in-person events, however, conference webcasting will likely have more utility.
When Should Conferences Utilize Webcasting?
Webcasting is ideal for conferences with exciting panelists & speakers that event-planners want to share to a greater audience.
Conferences often pay top dollar to bring engaging, industry-leading voices to speak to event attendees. Webcasting provides a means to showcase these voices across the internet — whether through social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook or dedicated streaming platforms such as YouTube or Twitch.
Webcasting can also help companies assert themselves as industry leaders. By offering streamed conference presentations on-demand after the fact, the reach of a conference can extend far beyond its initial dates — attracting more attendees for the next event.
How Can Convention Centers Enable Conference Webcast Solutions?
To enable conference webcast solutions, convention centers need to implement relevant streaming and network infrastructure. High-quality streams require crisp audio & visual equipment to capture footage, alongside reliable WiFi networks for speedy streaming.
High-quality cameras ensure online viewers gain a crisp, accurate look at conference speakers and panelists. We recommend cameras that can stream in 4K (4,000 x 2,000 pixel resolution) for the crispest, most impressive resolution for event live-streamers. If those cameras are out of budget, however, even an iPhone camera can reliably film and stream events.
Conference centers should also consider how they want to film events. Is a single camera enough? What would a multi-camera set-up entail? The answers to these questions will vary based on your conference’s unique needs and should be considered early in the planning process.
Because conferences tend to take place in large rooms with echoing acoustics, using the native microphone of a camera will result in spacey, hard-to-follow audio for webcasting. In turn, recording audio using specific microphones on conference speakers is absolutely essential to webcasting.
Audio can be recorded via microphones lapelled to a speaker’s clothing. Alternatively, conferences can record audio natively through the microphones speakers use to present in the first place.
Properly syncing audio and video is also of the utmost importance. Any on-stream delay between audio and video will look unprofessional and detract from the quality of your stream.
Desktops, Laptops, or Tablets
Whatever the means, convention centers need some sort of smart device to act as the control center for webcasting. Streams need one central source to connect to streaming platforms; meanwhile, another device should have a live view of the stream open at all times to monitor viewer perspective.
Live-streaming video without lag or delays requires an incredible amount of bandwidth; YouTube recommends a 20,000-51,000 Kbps for the highest quality of video streaming. In turn, it is essential for convention centers planning to support web conferencing to have a powerful, high-bandwidth wireless network connection.
Unreliable networks will cause streams to sputter, video quality to fall, and, at worse, cause a stream to fail altogether. These issues can tank the quality of a webcast, and ruin the ability to play the presentation back after the fact.
Hospitality Network Powers Conference Webcasting With Responsive Internet Connectivity
Conference webcasting is an excellent way to broadcast influential speakers and panelists across the internet. By broadcasting powerful presentations, conferences can assert themselves as industry leaders and convert more attendees & members in the future. In order to support conference webcasting, however, convention centers need the correct infrastructure — including reliable internet access.
Hospitality Network offers powerful WiFi network design and implementation for convention centers — supporting smart solutions such as simultaneous conference webcasting. Request a free consultation with our team today.