As concerns grow across the country about large groups of people being in the same location together, and some communities even limiting how many people can even be together in the first place, more and more Cooperatives are considering cancelling or postponing events in 2020.
Possible solutions for being cognizant of the health of members, staff, and directors but still having your required meetings would be livestreaming the events or holding them over a videoconference.
For smaller events such as monthly directors meetings, we suggest using a tool like www.Zoom.us. This program allows for many individuals – the free version allows 100 people for 40 minutes currently – to be in a video meeting at the same time from different locations. A moderator can control who is allowed to speak, share screens, and answer questions in a chatroom sidebar via text instead of on video.
The video meeting can also be open to the public through link sharing and Zoom will record the meeting for you as well if you need it for reference or sharing with the staff and membership of the Cooperative.
ARC Media uses this program often and we have noticed it is the preferred conference tool of clients and vendors alike when we are invited to meetings others have set up.
When it comes to livestreaming, there are many choices. Google, Facebook, and YouTube all have livestreaming functions built into their programs. These would just fine from a mobile device or camera in small settings. For larger events, you will need some additional equipment and software.
A common set up for large events is to have a main laptop to manage the presentation and to answer questions that come in via comments. Setting up a DSLR camera, or multiples, with the video output run to the laptop through a “mult box” and publishing software is common. You can also port microphones into this setup or use a microphone addition on the camera itself to capture vocals and sound.
All livestreaming can be done through a mobile device or tablet as well but that would most likely require someone to hold the device and move around the room and we would advise against this in all settings.
If you or your internal team are not technically adept at setting up and managing a livestream, we would recommend hiring a video professional to perform these duties.
Below are some popular reference articles and videos for setting up and running a livestream:
Zoom introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2pq4I1urXA
Livestreaming gear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbZlDVxUwpE
Livestream a large event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpFmwk-PRs4
Recommended tools: https://blog.capterra.com/free-live-stream-tools-event/
Stream events for free: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/blog/stream-live-events-free-ds00/
Blackmagic’s “mult box:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxEH4rFAiRs
Open Broadcaster Software: https://obsproject.com/
Top tools of 2020: https://iag.me/socialmedia/top-live-video-streaming-tool
Thanks for reading and always feel free to reach out with any questions or comments!