Like any traditional event planning, there are many factors that go into the preparation of a webcast or online event. More often than not the logistics that make virtual events different from physical events may seem daunting to someone planning to go virtual for the first time. Choosing the right solution partner who will help to you to tackle key issues like infrastructure and bandwidth considerations will make all the difference in your planning and preparation and overall success.
Being an international corporation with thousands of employees comes with a lot of power, including the power to negatively impact portions of their network while streaming high quality video content to their employees. When choosing an online video communication solution, it is important to know your own strength as a company and if the solution provider can back you up during a stream.
From a technical standpoint, it is important to know your bandwidth limitations, which will tell you how to scale your digital communication system. In order to prevent unwanted network crashes, you should review the locations in your network that will be participating in the broadcast in order to determine if they can support their potential audience all watching live video at the same time.
It is equally important to vet the specific application being used to deliver that video. A good way of doing this is to load test the application, or check the historical usage data of the solution provider before delivering live video stream to ensure it can handle your audience. For example, if your audience is in the several thousands and the provider has only been tested with 1,000 users on at once, you could run into some issues.
During a recent Fortune 500 customer’s 2016 sales kickoff online event, powered by INXPO, there were over 6,000 attendees, nearly 60,000 group chat entries and over 350 GB of content distributed. To make sure their event ran smoothly, INXPO provided that client with a full ‘dress rehearsal’ that mirrored the anticipated live day production in every way and also worked with their infrastructure team to identify problem areas in their network and formulate strategies to overcome those problems
Another key thing to consider from a technical standpoint is the applications global footprint, meaning how big the provider’s global content delivery network is. The proper network should be able to handle high quality streaming of the same program across continents. There should be no reason why your employees in London are experiencing fuzzy content when it’s streaming crystal clear in Los Angeles.
For another Fortune 500 customer’s CEO broadcasts streamed through INXPO, the average audience size is 10,000, with attendees all over, from US to the UK to Hong Kong. With INXPO’s global delivery network participants are able to view the program from a local network allowing for the highest quality stream.
There are many different options when optimizing video delivery across a company’s network. Local edge servers, INXPO’s own Adaptive Caching solution, and Multicast are just some of the different technologies that can assist with bandwidth limitations for live streaming to large audiences. Virtual events and webcasts are similar to physical events, in that we recommend you give yourself as much runway as possible to properly plan the experience including contingency plans when things don’t go as planned. It never hurts to have more time.
As a general guideline we recommend a lead-time of one to two weeks for a webcast, two to four weeks for an interactive video production and one to four weeks for a webcast series. Virtual events lead time is a bit more variable as they often have large agendas and require the creation and delivery of a lot of content. With that in mind it is important to review the amount of runway you are giving your planning and execution teams against the full scope of the event to ensure everyone is set up to be successful.
INXPO is a full house service provider; we guide and support our customers in their strategy, project management, IT assessment and deployment. To learn more about our full service video communication solutions contact us today for a consultation with our team.