featured image - Live Streaming vs Pre-Recorded Content Which is best for your event

Live Streaming vs Pre-Recorded Content: Which is best for your event?

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Planning a virtual event involves key decisions, like selecting the ideal streaming method for your content. Among the choices: picking the right event software, determining the event's duration, and deciding on the content type. Do you go for live streaming, pre-recorded sessions, or a combination of both? Each approach has its merits in enhancing viewer engagement. To guide you, we've broken down the pros and cons of live-streaming versus pre-recorded content for your virtual event.

The Growth of Virtual Events and Video Streaming

The recent years have underscored the value of virtual events and video streaming. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated their adoption, the shift towards online events was already in motion. Brands recognized the potential of live online events not just as a temporary solution, but as a powerful tool for engagement and promotion.

A Vimeo survey revealed insights into audience preferences for digital content. A notable 80% of respondents expressed a preference for live video over reading a blog. Furthermore, when weighed against social media posts, 82% leaned towards live video. A significant 87% expressed increased interest if the content offered behind-the-scenes glimpses. From the perspective of live event streaming, 67% stated they were likely to buy a ticket to a similar event after viewing its live stream. The same percentage emphasized the importance of video quality during their streaming experience.

The growth trajectory of live streaming has been further fueled by the expanded offerings of social media giants. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook have bolstered their live video features with additions like Instagram Live, Instagram Reels, and Facebook Live. These initiatives parallel the capabilities of dedicated video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, and even Twitter's foray into live video content.

In this evolving landscape, brands attuned to the trend are reaping the benefits of hosting live virtual events. They now have a myriad of choices in content delivery – be it real-time streaming, showcasing pre-recorded videos, simulating live broadcasts with pre-recorded content, or blending these approaches. The future is bright for virtual events, and the data suggests they are here to stay.

Benefits of Live-streaming

Live-streaming is media that is being streamed to a user as it is being filmed. With live-streamed content, there is no significant delay from the time that the video content is being recorded to the time when viewers are watching it. This makes the video content “raw” and “unedited”, which provides viewers a chance to connect more intimately with the content.

Live-streamed footage also has a chance of showing aspects of a company that viewers don’t normally get to see. Because of this, high-quality live streaming has shown more genuine engagement between viewers and a brand. Benefits of live-streaming include:

  • More affordability: Since live-streamed events do not require editing or much in terms of video production, they might save your brand more money. Live-streams can be filmed from a computer and uploaded directly through the virtual event platform. No matter what platform you are using, live-streaming video needs an encoder so that it is immediately available to the broader public.
  • Greater interaction: Live-streaming allows a more intimate look into a brand persona. It might allow viewers backstage or a glimpse into the personalities of those who are a part of the brand. Because of your brand’s authenticity, viewers feel like they are interacting with humans rather than abstract brands. You might find more engagement through live chat features or on social media because of it.
  • Immediate streaming: Live-streams are live and that means the video content is immediately available. As an event company, you won’t need to record the content, market it, or schedule any release date. When it’s recorded, all that work is done.
  • Time: Unless the live-stream requires that a presentation is given, and that brand needs to prepare for that presentation, then, for the most part, the live-stream saves a brand time on the production end. Invest your time into something else, like creating high-quality content on the live-stream.
  • More engagement: As interaction with this content increases, you’ll see increases in audiences and viewers. This is because you will be tapping into a specific market of people who prefer live streaming over other types of content. Simply by offering live video, you are engaging a new audience for your brand.
  • More receptivity to a brand: As your brand awareness grows, you might see more brand recognition and receptivity in the market. Live streaming gets your name out there in ways that pre-recorded content simply can’t!

Benefits of Pre-recorded Content

Unlike live-streamed content, pre-recorded content is exactly that—pre-recorded and then uploaded through your event planning software to an online audience. Brands who use pre-recorded content have more control over the product and can specifically time the release of this type of content.

In general, there is more work that needs to be done to promote and produce pre-recorded content. From production, timed releases, and uploading the content, you need to have more of a hand in pre-recorded content.

While more work is needed to get this type of content up and running, there are clear benefits to pre-recorded content:

  • The option for retakes: With pre-recorded content, you can be confident with the production quality because you have the option for retakes. Retakes allow you to perfect the content until you are happy with it. This is a stark contrast with live-streamed content, which gets no edits.
  • Impress your audience: Since you are able to put more production elements into pre-recorded content, you are able to truly impress your audience. Depending on your budget, you could incorporate a green screen, augmented reality, mixed reality, and even 3D projection mapping for truly high-quality and immersive content!
  • High-quality video production: With pre-recorded content, you are able to do it right. You are not forced into getting a device that has an encoder built in it, and instead, you can purchase or rent high-quality video production equipment. With production equipment and even a production company on your side, you can truly produce an impressive and engaging online event.
  • Greater flexibility: The biggest worry when shooting live-streamed content is that the content is there for good. In this way, you have to have an entire production ready to go for one-take. You must also practice making sure every line is right and everything is perfect. Sometimes this can be stressful. So, pre-recorded content alleviates this stress and allows the production to go a little more smoothly and more flexibly. You can edit shots together and edit out certain parts of the video that don’t contribute to your brand narrative.
  • Appeal to more time zones: Pre-recorded content can be uploaded in a live event for any time-zone, which will allow your brand greater reach globally. Instead of having to be awake at all these times, simply pre-record that content and then manage the publishing schedule.
  • Schedule flexibility: Similar to the previous sentiment, brands have more flexibility with pre-recorded content because the presenters do not need to be available at all times. You can have a fully online event before the event is set to air so that scheduling conflicts don’t happen!

Live-Streamed, Pre-Recorded or Hybrid

Choosing between these two styles can be difficult at best. A live-streamed event, for example, showcases your brand’s authenticity and is likely to have a greater reach. However, the benefits of pre-recorded content mean that your brand can appeal to a wider audience and have greater flexibility when it comes to producing the content.

If you are hosting a virtual conference or virtual webinar, then you might want to lean towards a pre-recorded style event. Live-streamed events are great for product unveils, interviews, and showcasing behind-the-scenes looks at your brand. Still, both styles can benefit any type of event. Of course, one solution to this dilemma is by offering a range of both.

By offering both live-streamed content and pre-recorded content you can tap into the unique benefits of each style. Host a live-streamed portion of your event that showcases your brand’s members “out in the wild”. If this portion is smaller than the pre-recorded portion, then you can go above and beyond what you might normally do. Head downtown into your local neighborhood to show off the ways that your brand is out there in the community. Or, head to a unique wildlife area (that still gets video reception!) so that your viewers can see something new, breaking up the boring content they may be served by other brands.

While you are offering a live-streamed portion, you can still provide pre-recorded content that types into the high-quality production value that you love. Hire a videographer or production team so you can go to the set and experience the very best of video production. Or, buy your own green screen and put your video editing skills to the test!

Running Your Virtual Event with Accelevents Event Planning Software

Hosting a virtual event can be an exciting journey, though decisions about production might seem daunting. With Accelevents, the process becomes seamless. We offer brands a top-notch event management platform, ensuring they can effortlessly bring their ideal virtual event to life.

With live streaming options, the ability to load pre-recorded content, simulated live features, and lots of integrations, Accelevents makes intuitive sense for any brand that wants to host a live-streamed event, a pre-recorded event, or a combination of both.

If you decide to host a hybrid event, Accelevents also offers an event page builder, registration and ticketing features, check-in and badge printing functionality, as well as mobile apps for event pros and attendees. All our features work seamlessly together so event pros can plan and execute your event from start to finish in one place!

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