The emergence of the internet as the standard delivery platform for entertainment media has changed the perceptions of even the average viewer. A rising flood of dynamic, high quality, on-demand productions has created a jaded audience with rigid expectations. Yet, as of 2012, much of the Corporate Canadian webcasting world has failed to grow their own standards to meet these new demands. Too often low quality production ‘methods’ are just accepted. Industry ‘standards’ such as cameras simply being placed in the back of meeting rooms or worse, talented and passionate business leaders put in front of a camera with little preparation in a poorly lit boardrooms and expected to “perform” like Anderson Cooper on Election night. The result is little better than the average high school production on YouTube.
In June, The Streaming Network was tasked with producing a press event for DFS Canada which necessitated a high quality studio like production that emulated a TV like aesthetic. In our search for the right venue we were contacted about the MaRS Discovery Centre’s New Media Department and their studio. The venue turned out to be just what we needed to produce a higher quality experience for our audiences.
So far we have used the MaRS studio to deliver a number of successful events for clients looking for a professional webcast experience.
Clients booking webcasts in the MaRS Studio are entitled to a 10% discount on webcast events and have access to:
- Fully controlled studio environment with track lighting and in room audio support
- Full HD Production services with video switching and in house teleprompter support
- 100MBS internet service capable of supporting multi language high bandwidth streaming events
- In house catering services with an adjacent boardroom for speakers to prepare for the event or organizers to monitor the live stream
- Green Screen support for virtual studio productions or full drape for physical sets
The Streaming Network adds its own flare with our custom set development:
Click here to view the DFS production
In May, GovCamp Toronto organizers were in need of assistance to produce an interactive, and openly collaborative virtual event. GovCamp, which follows the same successful model as ChangeCamp, is a platform designed to ignite dialogue between thought leaders in the community, government, and industry, in a nontraditional conference environment. With Microsoft already on board as a sponsor, they reached out through Twitter to the Streaming Network’s Director of Broadcast Operations, James Deane.
Being avid Twitter users themselves, the event organizers and speakers were interested in utilizing the medium to actively engage virtual attendees as well as physical audience members. The result was an example of how social media can be leveraged in a controlled environment to hold one productive conversation among many. By channeling event dialogue through the 140 character platform, both virtual and physical participants were able to interact in a mutually accessible format, delivering feedback to organizers, and allowing participants to converse on the events of the day in real time.
Key lessons to take away from GovCamp’s event success:
- A truly effective social media event strategy starts the discussion before the event, enables an open exchange of ideas during, and allows for those who participated in person, or virtually, to continue the discussion following the event.
- When looking to integrate social media with your virtual event, knowing your target audience means knowing their social media preference. If the platform isn’t a place they are familiar with, it’s unlikely to be a comfortable environment for them to communicate in.
- Integration of social media into virtual events, or otherwise, cannot work if the event organizers are not committed to the medium! Regardless of platform social media is about having a conversation. If you aren’t actively using the medium you aren’t actively in the conversation.
All in all, it was a great event with a great message and most important, a great discussion!
The 360° Event enables viewers to access webcast events from any PC, BlackBerry smart phone, iPhone/iPad or Android device. When users click on the event URL, they are automatically re-directed to the webpage appropriate for their given device.
The pilot project for this service was conducted on March 30th 2011 for The Strategic Coach, where we assisted their events team to expand the reach of their live seminar by way of video webcast. Their target audience is made up of people who are consistently on the go, hence why the requirement for mobile streaming was key, as this ensured that they were able to reach as much of their potential audience as possible. One of the main objectives for this event was to generate leads, so event reporting was pivotal. To accommodate this, SN developed the 360° reporting tool, which enabled them to track all mobile registrations and views to the same effect as those who registered and/or viewed from their PC.
Watch the webcast here
In March 2011, The Streaming Network was selected to stream Bauer Performace Sports Ltd.’s official Announcement that it had begun trading stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Live from the TSX, we worked alongside some great agency partners to deliver this short and impactful video webcast to the market as well approximately 400 Bauer employees across the globe. As many of us have grown up playing sports, we were very excited to be a part of this big day. There was nothing particularly remarkable about the technology used to execute the webcast itself, however, the entire show (from initial confirmation to delivery) was completed in less than 48 hours!
Watch the webcast here
In February 2011, The Streaming Network was selected by BodyBuilding.com to broadcast the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia fitness competitions. Up first, in March 2011, was The Arnold Classic, which was a great success, reaching over 26 countries and over 100,000 viewers in two days! Keeping in line with our focus to always be pushing the streaming envelope, we implemented a live transcoding solution. This allowed us to stream live in 10 different formats/bitrates to the web, BlackBerry, iPhones/iPads and Android Devices, and also included a near HD stream to the web! Check out BodyBuilding.com for updates on the Mr. Olympia broadcast scheduled for September 2011!
To the producers at The Streaming Network, it seems crazy that people are still looking to plan their first webinar or webcast program. Since we, at TSN, live in this world and have been working on such programs for years, it is easy to forget that the market is just now embracing what we have known for a long time.
Web events are an integral part of any integrated communications plan. If you are one of the many who are just starting your journey into the web events world, but have been asked to investigate “Webinar” platforms, we have written a white paper to help you select a platform and plan your first event or series of events.
Click here to access the white paper – No strings attached!
*Although the White Paper does not bluntly come out and say it, our Webcast Center Platform is the best webinar platform on the planet! (In our humble opinion, of course)
Canada Post is one of those highly evolved webcast users who boast their own production department and a webcast schedule with more than 90 events a year! It is not economical for producers to travel to the Canada Post venue to support these events, so the broadcast crew at Canada Post needed the ability to fully manage them. This was easily handled with them acquiring a subscription to our Webcast Center platform – but the project was not done there. Canada Post hosts events for hundreds of internal personnel as well as audience members from the general public. To accommodate this, we set up an internal distribution server for their internal audience in addition to our standard hosting for the general public. This customization was rolled out in a 2 week window and now they can webcast whenever they want!