Live streaming town hall meetings is a great way for companies to communicate with staff – but running them smoothly, without interruption, and ensuring your key communication goes well can sometimes be a challenge.
That is why not everyone who runs town-hall meetings is bullish about the need for webcasting – even if a live stream can transform the reach of your meeting, and offer an easy way to reuse for comms later on.
Why live streaming town halls can have its challenges
Adding technology to an event can be a headache, if it interrupts what you do and means your meeting runs less smoothly. You don’t want the tech to get in the way of the message, after all. What happens if the stream breaks down? How do you know everyone will follow the content, presentations and absorb everything that you’ve chosen to include?
For one of our new clients, the tech for their live streaming of town hall meetings was getting in the way of the message. As a global insurance provider, webcasting their town hall meetings and webcasting them live meant staff in different locations around the world could watch and take part for the first time. But they had found that live streaming wasn’t as easy or smooth an option as they had hoped – dulling the impact of that improvement, and giving the internal communications team a headache.
In particular, the comms team found that videos embedded in presentations shown in the webcast were not starting automatically. Instead, they had to instruct staff to press play in the presentations on their own screens – presenting the risk that staff might miss vital bits of the presentation.
Aiming for the best live streaming town hall meetings
When we spoke to our client, it was clear that they had a number of different sources for content in their webcasts. There were speakers in London (head office), but also in New York – who were joining via a video-conference. As well as that, there were presentations. These presentations were coming from both London and New York, and all potentially included video.
The challenge, therefore, was about understanding how to deal with those different sources for content – and switching between them at the right time. This would remove the need for any manual playing of content. And it would, ultimately, mean that fewer things could go wrong with the webcast feed.
How we created the town hall meeting webcast
Armed with this analysis, we designed the webcast a little differently to how the client’s previous live streams had been set up. This wasn’t just about solving the technical issue – but about giving a comprehensive service that reflected who they were and ensured the webcast was easy to get to and easy to watch.
We did a few things:
- We created a microsite for the client, using their branding. This would be made available to all staff, with a hidden link sent to all company email addresses.
- We used two operated cameras to capture the speakers, close up and in movement, and offered wider angles as well.
- We used a laptop to play the video, and made this a direct feed into the webcast – so we could switch directly to the content in the live stream, rather than having people fumble with their computers to play the content.
- We also ensured that the video conference from New York could also be switched to directly in the system – allowing a seamless introduction of their presentation. We split the signal from the video conference and displayed that on a separate screen so that the executives in London were able to see the presenter in New York all the time.
The result: a seamless town-hall live stream
The webcast went without a hitch – and allowed our client to get the full communications impact they had hoped for from the event. The webcast switching itself, incorporating the presentations live from London and over the video conference from New York, all ran smoothly – while video from presentations no longer held up the meeting as it had done before.
Our client has since gone on to book further town-hall meetings with us – and told us that the new service is helping to transform their use of town-hall meetings for internal communication.
What else can you do with live streaming town-hall meetings?
Our clients are using town-hall meetings to share important company information, and to discuss important changes with staff. By webcasting these meetings, they can make sure that content goes further, but also reuse it in different forms following the meeting. Here are some of the ways they are using town-hall meetings:
- Subtitles for accessibility: Our partner, MyClearText, offers a speech-to-text caption service for accessibility for deaf and people with hearing difficulties. As we’ve covered on this site before, these subtitles don’t just transform access for people with hearing difficulties, they also offer a useful service for others – including people whose first language is not English.
- Adding video conference: Just as our client has done, you can add video-conference features to your webcast to allow different locations to present and contribute to town-hall meetings.
- Adding interactivity: We can also offer interactive features to allow people watching in remote locations to take part in discussions, ask questions and contribute via text.
- Multicast options: You can also choose to stream to different video players – whether that be internal social media, different video platforms or elsewhere.
Interested in live streaming town hall meetings?
We can help you with live streaming town hall meetings – please visit our contact page and get in touch with us straight away. We can offer a free consultation (no strings attached) and can immediately provide a quote for a town-hall meeting live stream.
See the live streaming town hall meetings case study: We have a short case study, summarising the work we did and results.
See the live streaming town hall meetings case study: We also have a short town hall live streaming case study, summarising the work we did for our client and the results.