5 Tips for Live-Streaming a Graduation Ceremony
Preparing for a graduation ceremony can be a massive challenge. You will need an adequate PA system for guests and distant family members will want access to online graduation streams. In this guide, we share five tips for setting up a graduation live stream to create a seamless viewing experience.
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Get the Stream Working First
Setting up your first graduation video stream is hard enough. Don’t worry about creating an elaborate multi-camera setup at the beginning. Just start with a simple one-camera configuration and try to get the best possible audio and video feed. High-quality content is way more important than having a live switching feature or special overlays. Ideally, your stream should be sent to a cloud-based service that supports all major devices. This will allow anyone to access it with ease.
Test and Troubleshoot Your Equipment
In the days leading up to commencement, you should budget plenty of time to test out your live-streaming rig. Try to learn about every piece of equipment. This will ensure you aren’t caught off guard when you need to fix something during the ceremony. You may also want to hire a technician for a few hours to optimize your system and learn basic functionality. During the test, it’s important to gauge the sustained bitrate at the venue. By doing this you will know what resolution to choose for your stream.
Design an Enjoyable Experience
Once you’re pleased with the stream’s quality and reliability, you can focus on the overall user experience. Try to design your commencement page like an elaborate web portal. Include information about the graduating class, links to other videos and photos, and stories about your school on the page. In the months leading up to commencement, reach out to the graduating class and alumni network. Ask them to share poignant stories from their journey. Also, encourage graduates to post content using a specific hashtag so you can collect it all for a graduation slideshow.
Spread the Word About Your Live Stream
Simply posting a graduation stream won’t lead to engagement. You need to promote the stream through multiple media channels as well. Once the stream is a sure thing, start mentioning it on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Send an email to parents and students a few weeks before commencement, with a link to the live stream page. Include the graduation hashtag (ex. #UCSDgraduation) for your school in your email as well. This allows students and faculty to start posting content before the big day. Remind parents and students when the stream officially goes live, so they can mark their calendars and tune in.
Make Sure You Have Ample Bandwidth
Finally, it’s crucial to have enough bandwidth to support your stream and hundreds (if not thousands) of simultaneous viewers. Use a hard-wired and dedicated Ethernet cable for the stream and a backup cellular solution if the main connection fails. You can also move some of the live encoding processes to the cloud to free bandwidth for the stream.
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At GraduationSource, we believe that a well-planned graduation live stream can make the day even more special. Visit our blog for more graduation planning tips.