Saturday, April 26, 2008 How to Execute a Successful Webcast

This article comes from and was written by Nico McLane. It first appeared in the February/March 2008 issue of Streaming Media Magazine ( Table of ContentsDigital Version) and is described as, "A primer on selecting the right equipment, making the right production decisions, and establishing a solid webcasting plan."

While webcasts are generally a considered a business tool for corporate presentations they are fast becoming a way for content producers to widen their reach to a global audience. Oprah's 10-week web cast series "A New Earth" is a prime example of how an existing brand can embrace a new medium and garner success as a live and on-demand webcast.

McLane writes that, "While a webcast is, by definition, a live event, a key part of a webcast’s success is the value it retains when it is accessed and repurposed after the fact. An effective webcast will live on long after the event has ended, and it has the potential to be repackaged across infinite channels that have a deeper “measure” of return on investment. If you deliver a meaningful, quality product in the live webcast, these are the opportunities that should not be missed or mismanaged."

Within the business setting it's all about numbers and ROI (Return On Investment) and McLane points out that the companies can save significant annual costs by replacing expensive operator-assisted conference calls with live webcasts and webinars. In additional, the viewers of these web-based presentations become active participants in a rich media experience through the use of live chat, document sharing, full motion video and other features which you won't find in an audio-only teleconference feed.

In her article, McLane highlights several key components on how to execute a successful webcast, which are:
  • The “Grade A” Live Webcast Experience: Click and Go (more...)
  • Respect the Product (more...)
  • Site Inspection (more...)
  • Learn the Jargon (more...)
  • Equipment Check (more...)
  • Other Elements of Best Practice Preparation (more...)
  • Monitor Your Webcast Onsite (more...)
  • The Walkthrough Checklist (more...)
Her "Walkthrough Checklist" offers practical tips for success and are all important considerations when you produce a webcast. Such as, lighting, backdrops, what type of microphones to use, projection, camera positions and room layout. Whether it's a webcast or not, these are all fundamental details I cover with each of my productions.

Since it's related to this post, I included the video from the Streaming Media West panel discussion that I participated in "Best Practices in Webcast Production" which I had previously featured here.

UPDATE: (More from Nico McLane)