Help me live-blog a bunch of drunk industry colleagues.
June 15, 2016 3:11 PM   Subscribe

I've been asked to ''Live Facebook'' an industry event tomorrow night, and I have no idea what I'm doing! I'm usually good at tech related things, but this one has me stumped. Details within...

So I got pulled into a project at work, and I’m not sure what I’m doing! My company is running a booth at a big media industry event tomorrow night, and we’re showcasing some super cool new technology. My boss has just asked me to ‘’Live Blog’’ the event on Facebook, with those short live videos they let you do now. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I consider myself pretty tech savy, and well-versed in general Facebook use (I’ve managed a couple pages before, but nothing crazy), but I’ve never used - or watched - the live video feature. Unfortunately, my googling so far hasn’t led me to anything understandable. Just news articles, and Apps to download.

- I will have access to wifi, and pretty much any technology I need, short of a desktop (I can get an iPhone, Android, iPad, Macbook, etc.).
- I am an administrator of our company Facebook page.
- I do camera work, so I’m not worried about lighting, composition, etc. Audio might be a bit of an issue though?
- We will likely want to do 1-2 minute long videos every 30-45 minutes.
- If it’s relevant, attendees will be drinking... heavily. And to be honest, I’m not sure many people (if anyone) will be watching live, but my boss wants it to show that at least we WERE live.
- We are also potentially interested in paying to ‘’boost’’ or promo these live videos to our followers, in real time.

What do I need to know? How do I configure all of this? Sorry if I sound un-prepared (I AM!). Any resources you can recommend to help me pull this off by tomorrow night would be super appreciated!!

Thank you so much!
posted by hasna to Technology (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My best bit of advice: do as much as you can in advance. Pre-produce this sucker to within an inch of its life so that there are few surprises come show time.

--Write up a broadcast schedule. It should be as specific but easy-to-follow as possible. Use a general timeline and then specific call sheets for each participant. "Bertrand, I need you at the booth at 5 p.m. SHARP. Do not be late. Fulgencia, you go on at 5:30. You are also to find and bring Filomena, who tends to run late. Do NOT be late."

--Make intro videos in advance. Here's where we are. Here's what we're going to do. Here's who's going to be doing it. Here's what else to expect. Here's what you missed. Here's a recap. All of these can be done well in advance, even the "what you missed" and the recap. (See: Facebook ‘Live’ Doesn’t Have to Be Live and How can I stream a pre-recorded video via facebook live?.)

--Write brief scripts for yourself that include descriptions of the product, quotes from the product manager, CEO, favorite clients, etc.; unique selling points; funny anecdotes or ironic asides or color facts ("Did you know that our CFO Jose is an ice hockey fanatic who's been to every Stanley Cup?"); talking points to run by others right before you go live with them ("Brigitte, when we go live I need you to tell us why this product is so good our competitors will cry.") Know your material. Don't rely on anyone else.

--Pre-downloaded images, graphics, memes that you can print out and have ready to point the camera at. Just stick them on the wall of the booth.

--Find out if anyone there will NOT be drinking and then make a solid plan to talk to them.

--Don't drink and don't caffeinate and don't drink milk or eat chocolate. Most people perform much worse with any of those (the last two make glommy, phlegmy mouths). The caffeine isn't the boost people think it is for a lo-res live feed. It tends to lead to fast, loud, distorted, disjointed speech.

--Use a tripod with an arm if you can. That'll take some of the swoopy jumpy jerky ick out of it.

--Audio is going to suck. You can buy good directional mics for mobile products that can help but you might just have to suck it up.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:33 PM on June 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

Oh, and good luck. Tomorrow night! Eep.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:37 PM on June 15, 2016

All that stuff seems right on but the extra software is likely too complicated for tomorrow night. The mechanics of Facebook Live are simple: 1. Get an iPhone with the Facebook app on it, log in. Go to the Page that you should be an administrator of. 2. Tap Publish, then tap the little halo icon. You're about to live stream from your page. From an iPhone, the video and audio are surprisingly good. You can use either the front or rear camera; you can two-finger zoom. I think people are still pretty forgiving of live video. I don't think you can edit the video afterwards, but you can save it to the phone and then edit & reupload if needed.

For the content, all the stuff that Mo Nickels said about preparation holds. Streaming a demo or presentation is a good subject. If you're just walking around the booth ad-libbing it have a plan per Mo. The worst thing I see in Live videos is that you are doing stream of conscious improv and run out of steam about 30 sec in.
posted by troyer at 4:36 PM on June 15, 2016

Do they have a program or schedule of events already planned/printed out for the booth demo? Definitely snatch a copy if you can, even if it's informal. This will let you know how many different products are being shown and approximately at what time so you can pace yourself and let yourself relax in between video sessions.

This almost goes without saying, but definitely stick as close to the front where the action is as you can; that ought to help with the audio problem, although it's probably still not going to be awesome. Such is the nature of live blogged iPhone video.

Do you have time to make a sort of general "Hey, we're going to be live here at [EXPO] from Blargh a.m. to Blargh-thirty p.m. so stay tuned for all of our great gizmos!" and then boost THAT video? That will be less stressful than trying to promote freshly live videos, and it'll still get the message across.

Yes, nthing Mo Nickels--get as much info on the presenters as you can ahead of time so you have their names, titles, what they're demo-ing, etc. so you don't get that awkward dead space. I'm assuming since it's product demos that you'll probably do more live-blogging when the product is being shown off so people can see what it's doing, so maybe talking won't be as important, but knowing more is always preferable.

If anyone starts behaving in an embarrassing/drunk manner, kill the video quick and either start filming again later when the offending party has left, or just wait until the next product to start up again. No one will notice if you're speedy enough!

GOOD LUCK! You'll do great! Live blogging is not as scary as it seems, even with video involved. :)
posted by helloimjennsco at 6:04 AM on June 16, 2016

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