For the purposes of this blog, we’ll be using our branded live, Toolstation Tuesday’s as an example.
What tech do we use?
In order to run the show via the On The Tools Facebook page, we use a new All-in-One system from Multicam. It consists of two PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) cameras controlled through a central unit by a member of the production team. This is a great bit of kit, reducing the required crew for the show from six people to three.
In terms of how we broadcast, we use Facebook Live Producer, a piece of software that offers a pop-up box function where our audience can submit their competition responses. The reason we use this is to avoid being penalised for ‘engagement bait’.
Essentially, Facebook doesn’t like it when members are asked to comment something specific. Nor do they like it when members are asked to like and share (all of this applies to standard posts too). If Facebook thinks you’re doing any of the above, it will penalise you – limiting how far your content can reach. Seriously, do not be tempted by engagement bait! Using pop up boxes, like those offered via Facebook Live Producer, avoids this, without losing the chance for audience engagement.
For any form of live broadcast, you need to be thoroughly prepared beforehand. Every camera angle, prize offered, on-screen graphics stinger and competition mechanism needs to be on point and signed-off before the show. Of course, you can’t anticipate everything….. the foam bricks pyramid used in one of our games, Brick Shot, could collapse before the game starts, the presenter might be unable to read a viewer shout-out because of the assistant’s handwriting, or the close-up camera could stop working and need to be recalibrated manually during the broadcast.
If you think through what could go wrong, and prepare for these issues, you can save yourself a lot of hassle and panic during the live.
Each Toolstation Tuesday has a live audience in the studio, made up of the people from our office. The audience plays a hugely important role, creating a good atmosphere by offering live reactions to what happens throughout. Any chant, joke or shout-out coming from them represent ways of making our show more relatable to our watchers and shows appreciation to our audience for tuning in.