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What Is the Best Video Broadcast Option for Your Company? Live or Pre-Recorded?

Our broadcast control room helps facilitate our virtual events

Does your company have an annual conference coming up that you need to broadcast? There are several decisions to make when it comes to producing the highest quality presentation. The most important question to start with is: Should we shoot it live or should we pre-record the presentation? Maybe there’s a third option?

We’re here to not only help you make that crucial decision, but also to guide you along the way and prepare you for each pivotal moment so your company can be proud of the presentation you create. 

We will be discussing the pros and cons of live broadcasts versus recorded, but there are many other factors to consider before making your choice.

Preparation is at the heart of every successful broadcast and here at CRM Studios, we pride ourselves in our communication and our ability to find the best solution for our client’s needs. Do you plan on having any interactive elements in your broadcast? That might sway you towards a live broadcast. Where is your audience tuning in from? Could that affect your connectivity? That might have you leaning toward a pre-recorded broadcast. 

Scott Burress is Director of Production at CRM Studios and he knows there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Burress said he always stresses the importance of considering all the potential options so clients can focus on what type of presentation they’re going for. 

Let’s get started!

Pros and Cons of Live Broadcast

The Pros:

  • Authenticity is key! Having a live broadcast can punctuate a big moment for your company and it can create a sense of community while also communicating the potential gravity of the moment. 
  • If you’ve got a presenter or emcee you feel confident leaning on, a live broadcast can let them showcase their talent and help facilitate the important content and messages.
  • Interactive elements can really ramp up the engagement of everyone involved, especially if you’re looking to have interaction between the main stage and broadcasts from other locations. These can also help enhance the importance of your event and build confidence in your audience. 
  • Flying and housing the people you need in attendance can get expensive but live streams can reach that same audience much more economically.

“Live is a great option because there’s an adrenaline that comes with it where everyone seems to be more on top of their game and prepared,” Burress said. “It does bring more authenticity and importance to the audience. There’s a certain level of professionalism that the audience perceives that’s valuable. It also gives you the ability to communicate the latest, most-current important information.” 

The Cons:

  • With live broadcasts come live mistakes. There’s no putting Pandora back in the box, especially when it comes to discussing potentially sensitive information or possible verbal gaffes. 
  • Attention spans keep getting lower and lower these days and if your presenter isn’t dialed in, it can make for a painful and boring experience. 
  • Preparation time can rack up. To find a mixture between entertaining and informative, presenters need to put in lots of practice with teleprompters, oftentimes for hours and days before the live performance.
  • Live broadcasts are always subject to technical complications. Different connection levels can cause havoc on the broadcast and the more live feeds you have, the more possible technical issues.

“There have been several times that clients want to do it live and we start to talk to them and they decide the hybrid approach is the way to go,” Burress said. “Some people like the idea of live, but once they get in there, they get nervous. Some people aren’t natural presenters and the nerves get heightened when it’s truly live.”

Pros and Cons of Pre-Recorded Show

The Pros:

  • Every production is important and pre-taping the event allows the presenters to relax a little bit.
  • The ability to redo a segment can’t be undervalued. If you want to make sure everything is perfect, you can correct it with another take. 
  • Without the pressure of a live broadcast, there’s extra time to make an edit or add some graphics. 
  • Adding interactivity and audience participation doesn’t have to be difficult with a pre-recorded broadcast. Another option is to do a hybrid approach in which the primary content of the show is pre-recorded, but at the end switches to live with a panel to field questions from the audience via text, email or phone call.

“You can have your emcee be live and do an interview and they’ll toss it to another segment, but that’s already been pre-taped,” Burress said. “The hybrid version is something we do quite a bit because of logistical reasons and sometimes it’s decided the morning of the presentation. It’s a very viable option and there’s a confidence that comes along with it.”

The Cons:

  • A pre-recorded show may be practical, but your audience may pick up on it not being live. If you’re trying to achieve a certain gravitas or showmanship, pre-recorded may not be the way to go.
  • While there are options to do a hybrid version of live and pre-recorded, interactive elements can be difficult to pull off on a pre-recorded broadcast. 

“Pre-recorded broadcasts may not really feel live and you risk losing your authenticity,” Burress said. “People have gotten used to Zoom and it’s become fairly acceptable as far as the quality, but having a live show gives you the credibility and allows clients to put as much polish on it as possible.”

Key Factors To Consider:

If you’re considering having your broadcasted, there are a few more key questions to consider:

  • What is the best platform to deliver your program? And do you need to collect any analytics related to engagement?
  • If there is feedback between different locations across the country or globe, how interactive does it need to be?
  • Do you need to incorporate PowerPoint videos for supplemental info?
  • Do you need more than a few people to interact together at once such as a panel discussion? Do you have remote guests that need to be considered? How are you hoping to tie them together?
  • It’s crucial to assess how interactive you need the event between our soundstage and folks in other locations requiring streaming before making a decision on your interactive elements. 

“We’ve got the staff and the experience from doing all types of production. We have a really good feel as to what option is best when meeting with a client,” Burress said. “We’ll help them figure out what’s best for their team and their audience and what elements we can bring to the table.”

Whether you’re looking to produce a virtual trade show, a manager’s conference or just your company’s yearly state of the union, it’s critical to make the right decision on a live or pre-recorded broadcast. There’s a multitude of factors to consider, but our video production team at CRM Studios is here to help.

To see all the ways CRM Studios can lead your video production and develop a top-notch live or pre-recorded broadcast, check out our broadcast work and contact a producer today!

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