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Article published 13/08/2020

YouTube is the world’s most popular video website with billions of video views taking place each day. Not only can you upload your own video content for free but you can also live stream your events giving your live event a place online where your audience can find you and tune in.

YouTube Live Streams offer lots of features and different ways to create a simple live video or broadcast a full blown video production. Here are some ways go get started and make the most out of broadcasting your event.

How to start a live event stream on YouTube

Login to your YouTube account. If you don’t already have one you can set one up for free.

Click the ‘create’ icon at the top right and then choose ‘Go Live’. You’ll be taken into YouTube studio and given the option to Go Live right now or at a later date. Don’t worry, both options allow you to choose your settings before any streaming starts.

Then you need to choose the type of stream you want to use.

  • Built-in webcam – this is the simplest and quickest option using a built-in webcam. This is great for one or two people talking to camera and you can Go Live almost instantly.
  • Streaming Software – this requires additional streaming software but allows you to use additional cameras, multiple camera, microphones, add overlays, graphics and play other video content. Think of this more like your own TV show!

Streaming software allows you to use external devices to stream and send the footage directly to YouTube Live. The kind of software you use entirely depends on what you want to do so you’ll need to think about what your end result should look like.

YouTube has a guide and step by step instructions on how to live stream with an encoder.

Once you are setup you can schedule your live event stream. Here you can choose the date and time of your stream and add additional information. Don’t forget to add a description of what it’s about and a thumbnail image.

Click ‘Create Stream’. You can now share a link to your stream for the audience to use to access when you Go Live. You can also edit settings and features from here.

Tips for a successful live event stream

YouTube itself is a great place to search for tips and tricks to enhance your live streams and develop more technical knowledge of how to evolve your productions.

Here are some of our own tips and things to consider to make your streams as successful as possible…

  • Promote your event in advance – make sure everyone knows your event is taking place and how to access it.
  • Have a good connection – test and make sure you have a good broadband connection. This will avoid problems with latency and issues occurring like pictures and video falling out of synch.
  • Plan from start to finish – rehearse the event in advance making sure all your technical features are working as well as the event performance.
  • Think about lighting – lighting can be different for video screens to a real live event. For example, theatre lighting is often much darker than when lighting for video.
  • Think about sound – good quality sound is vital to a good viewer experience. Try placing the microphones in different places for best quality and volume.
  • Monitor your stream – if you’re appearing in your live event ask someone else to monitor your stream in case something goes wrong they can help.
  • Respond to the comments in real time – interact with your audience live as they are commenting and liking your video. Audiences like this and it will make them more likely to come to future events.
  • Use YouTube live features - Live automatic captions and Location tags are easy way to make your videos more accessible.
  • Create highlights for promotion - YouTube live has a feature where you can create highlights from live videos. This gives you a short edited version of your video. This can be great if you plan future events to allow you to have something to promote them with.