Holding meetings are always challenging, and council and board meetings are no different without proper organization. When you’re required to live-stream your meetings to reach a wider audience, things can easily become chaotic without planning ahead.
How many live-streamed meetings have you held recently where numerous technical issues occurred you couldn’t control? A lot of these issues can be avoided by preparing beforehand to avoid mishaps.
Here are four things to check first so you don’t interrupt your meeting to fix them.
1.Determine what to display to the public
Do you know what items to display publicly during the council meeting to help inform viewers? Maybe you’ll want physical charts present from board members when explaining governmental statistics. These need special attention with accurate camera angles.
Or, maybe you’re planning on using on-screen graphics in real-time. Doing this can become tricky if you don’t have your technicians up to speed on when to zoom in on the graphics during a council member’s presentation.
2.Determine your equipment – Cameras and Internet connection
Remember the days when you had to sit through those constantly buffering live-streamed video? Those days are better now thanks to high-speed Internet, but it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen again with bad Internet service.
If you’ve been cutting corners on your Internet lately, be sure to check the connection to assure you can realistically live-stream your meetings.
The same goes with your cameras, which correlate directly to the video quality during the stream. Also, even if high quality cameras are used, technical problems often seem inevitable. The only way you can mitigate these risks is by always testing and performing regular maintenance checks.
You’ll also want to determine the number of cameras in place. Is one fixed camera mounted on a wall enough? Can you realistically live-stream your meeting with just one fixed or human-run camera?
To achieve a better live production, you may need more than one camera, including different places to set them. Work with a floor crew to set your cameras so they don’t obstruct any spaces for staff. Find locations for your cameras so they don’t block the view of audience members attending. Plan ahead so you can get the most out of live-streaming meetings.
3. Designate Roles and Responsibilities
You may have already automated parts of your meeting, but a lot technology still requires some sort of human intervention. Check in with your team, such as administrators or IT staff who make sure participants are properly logged in for the meeting, for status updates or just that they have what they need.
Closed Captioning is essential when you have hearing-impaired people who need information about local issues. Make sure those responsible for captioning have the proper equipment in place and have done what they can to reduce errors. Garbled captions are far too common of an error, especially when you need to make certain policies clear.
4. Do a Dry Run
To capture close-ups and proper angles for council members, you’ll want to do a test run with your cameras before going live. Even with no members in the chamber, you can do a mock live stream to see how each angle works.
Also, check on timing and switching between different views so compelling moments aren’t missed. During your dry run, you’ll want to assure everyone knows what they’re doing rather than being interns who don’t understand all the technical ropes.
A group meeting, either in-person or through video conferencing, can get everyone on the same page to assure nothing goes awry.
Adopting a new technology always involves some sort of learning curve. Don’t give up, and remember to always practice. If you don’t know where to start to live-stream your council/committee/board meetings, reach out to us! We offer meeting management solutions incorporating our tech partner’s live streaming video service seamlessly.