4 Easy Steps to Stream your Event Live for Free

iphone live streaming

I have been talking a lot about Hybrid events lately. Streaming, virtual audiences, interviews with Jeremy Dodd on how he handled the Gnomdex live event stream, pointing to Michael McCurrys blog and Julius Solaris LeWeb event Ustream post but today I figured out how to do it myself with no help at all.

In the past 15 years I can remember several times ordering up a giant satellite truck to the side of the venue and having a whole other team of black shirted techs just to push the event to other venues.

Here is my production secret only for my readers and listeners:

1) Grab your iPhone or borrow a friends iPhone.

2) Download Ustream Live Broadcaster application from the iTunes store. Download Free event streaming Ustream Live Application

3) Raise your iPhone up into the air! Point it directly at the speaker and activate your Ustream Live Broadcaster Application.  (If you want to get real fancy get a tripod and a riser)

4) Stream the event to the Ustream website for the world to see. (or the world with an internet connection)

Seriously, Apple just approved the Ustream Live Broadcaster application for iPhone. Your stream goes straight from iPhone to the Ustream Web site.  The video can be watched live or embedded in other Web pages for free.

The Ustream.tv Live Broadcasting application works on both 3G and Wi-Fi.  It has the Ustream chatroom which helps others that are not at the conference or event to interact. You can also put the videos on Youtube and Facebook.

So here is another technology that has dissipated from my production companies menu of engagement options. Well for an internal meeting you might not want your competitors watching.  You would think this would make me depressed but I love watching conferences, and this way I will be able to get that streaming information from the events I could not attend.   I really only go to conferences as a attendee to mix it up with my fellow industry friends and get that good face time.

Have you streamed an event? If so how did it go? If not, why not?

Photo Credit Andy Caster

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  1. says

    Before the Iphone, this was being done on a Nokia for a few years now! Not that I want to start an iphone bashing now.
    …just saying!


  2. says

    I’ve streamed many events, including performances. Many artists I’ve worked with were surprised at the response. They initially thought, “If my event is on the web for free, nobody will
    come and pay for it”

    We all know this isn’t true. Take the example of live sports. Televised sports did more for building audiences than many imagined.

    If you’re not livestreaming your conference, event, or performance, you are simply missing out.

    That said, when you decide to do a webcast, great video is key second only to perfect audio. Work with a pro videographer.

    • says

      I totally agree Jaki. One thing I am running into is venues not set up to handle the stream. I think you should have a dedicated line for this to make sure your video is quality. Things are changing!

  3. says

    Thanks for posting this Mike. Its great the cost of broadcasting meetings continues to come down. There are many meetings where the economics of a production team just do not make sense. As Jaki points out, audio is very important, so making sure your close to the speakers will be very important. We do this work for a living and either bring our own audio microphones/mixers or plug into the house audio. Bandwidth connectivity is always an issue since it impacts quality. I have yet to be able to get a reliable and sustainable wireless connection with our AT&T data modem – maybe I’m simply in the wrong cities! When this happens and you don’t have a dedicated line, its nice to be able to capture a quality camera recording for publishing later to the web. Still, when the content is important and the budget tight, this is a great solution.

    • says

      Thanks Bill for the comment!
      This space is really making a go of it lately around my office. Though most of our events are internal which they don’t want streamed. We are working on EventCamp in NYC coming up and need to find a solution because of the internet connectivity…. where are you located?


  4. Norman Gilmore says

    I can see some producers of small events trying this technique once or twice.

    The low-fi shaky video and echo-y audio emphasizing the coughs of the nearest audience members will certainly encourage viewers to pay for tickets to the next event! I predict the average arm will collapse after 30 minutes of holding the iPhone up awkwardly.

    Streaming events live has definitely become viable, and a $250 DV camera, a tripod, a shotgun mic, and a laptop to run Flash Media Encoder is all it takes to shoot your live stream with quality up a few orders of magnitude from a phone cam. You can still use free distribution like ustream, or upgrade to an account that has some service level agreement.

    If you want to squeeze it over 3G because of lack of event facility network access, you can get a MiFi or a 3G router that aggregates several 3G cards.

    In Los Angeles, there are companies like TechZulu that will show up and handle streaming for you, either affordably or for content barter, I’m not sure what their model is.


    • says

      Thanks Norman for the comment- Great ideas. I like the tethering idea of several 3g cards. IS Flash Media Encoder part of the Flash product? Last year I tried to hook up my DV cam to a sprint card and Ustream a Spin conference on Treasure Island in San Francisco last year and failed horribly. Thankfully I was just experimenting on my own.

      • Norman Gilmore says

        I may have spoken too soon – not actually sure if there is a turnkey router that takes multiple 3G cards.

        Flash Media Encoder is a free download.


        The biggest variable is your upload network connection. You must run a speedtest (like http://speakeasy.net/speedtest/) and then you have to adjust compression to not exceed maybe 80% of your upload speed.

        If you are at any kind of tech conference, the geeks will be overloading the wifi and local 3G towers. Promising a live stream and depending on public shared wireless is only for the bold and exceedingly optimistic.

        Also, I recommend that you start streaming at least 30 minutes in advance. More time for troubleshooting and it gives the routers between you and the viewers time to decide that they should really be moving your traffic along smoothly.

        Just point the camera at a title card or a countdown timer.


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