Going live in any venue is a great way to attract clients and retain them. They get the benefit of a true exercise regimen, and the lack of editing provides them with an experience that feels more like they have been transported to the gym. If a company is ready for their clients to experience a live fitness production, there are a few considerations to keep it on track. Equipment is a large part of what constitutes a great fitness production that is taped or live streamed, but it can also be the knowledge and flexibility of the Fitness Instructor that makes it the best experience of all.
This blog is designed to help fitness providers outline their needs when it comes to creating a live program instead of a taped version that can be viewed at any time. While the live show can be taped for later viewing, it is what is going out immediately that needs to be smooth. Preparation is a key element, but the ability to improve can also be quite helpful in some circumstances.
1. Choose a Streaming Service
There are plenty of options out there, but a few stand out above the rest. This is generally due to their level of experience, reliability, and the ease of use. Here are a few to check out if it is time to go live.
Vimeo has been in business since 2007, and their experience shows. They do charge for their service, but it offers more benefits that a business might need. These offerings include an analytics option for businesses that need to track their return on investment. The length of time in business provides a solid client base for businesses with an extremely large base of users already on their service, and they offer support with branding options.
YouTube has become one of the most popular viewing platforms in the world, and it offers its own live streaming. While it does have millions of users, the service is free of charge to both viewers and streamers. That can make it a good choice for a fitness production that is just getting started. It requires no special equipment, and users can choose to use their phone or mobile device or even a computer webcam. There are more advanced options for those with a need for encoding, but this option is one of the simplest ways to live stream for beginners.
OBS Studios is yet one more source for those ready to share their workouts live, and it features the ability to use different operating systems that are currently on the market. For those who use Windows, most streaming services are compatible. Mac and Linux are not always included, and that is where OBS Studios comes in handy. Being able to stream from any webcam can be a plus, so this service is definitely a consideration when it comes to making use of an established system to start a live fitness production. The service is supported by voluntary contributions, and support is also handled by volunteers. While there is no normal fee for use, contributing to keep this service running could be a future expense for those using it.
2. Create a True Brand Experience
Any time clients view a live stream, they are expected to view the action. It might seem a waste of time to bother with branding, but that alone can help turn new clients into regulars. They may not be concentrating on the colors, the design, or even the lighting, but those details can filter into their thoughts as part of the experience.
When it is time to set up the studio for the production, there should be a template for ensuring the brand comes through every time. It is generally a good idea to keep logos and colors in the same place to help reinforce the experience. The studio set design should consistently reflect the brand with the same care that goes into the equipment and rehearsals for the program.
Brand awareness has become an important part of business today, and it is a way to foster client loyalty. By ensuring the studio space embodies the same lighting, set design and colors each time, it can eventually create the elusive atmosphere that may be missing. Membership often depends upon loyalty to a particular brand, so proudly displaying it each time a scheduled stream goes out is one more way to attract and retain clients.
3. Mandatory Equipment Checks
When it comes to any live broadcast, issues can always crop up. Avoiding them before the start of the program can be a good way to attract and keep clients. There should be a complete schedule of mandatory equipment checks before every broadcast. Properly functioning equipment is what will help make the production more professional, and doing it while leaving time for correction or substitutions for faults can create a better overall product.
One area that should be constantly checked before and during the stream is the audio component. Whether it is music playing in the background or an instructor speaking, there is nothing more irritating than bad sound levels. They need to be consistent for a good experience by viewers, and audibility is important when instructions need to be followed. Keeping up with sound checks can help ensure a great experience by members tuning in.
4. Prepare for Technical Success
It would seem easy enough to create a live stream these days, and all it takes is a few pieces of equipment and a streaming service. That is certainly an optimistic view, but being prepared for technical success means having backups on hand. Any piece of equipment can break down without notice, so having substitutes on hand to switch out during the production can create a great experience for all involved.
The list of items might seem long and boring, but backup cameras, extra laptops, additional hard drives, and even extension cords can save the day. When it comes to wi-fi, it is always good to have a backup plan that can be substituted at the last minute. Without that, the viewers might not be impressed at what they are unable to see.
Every piece of backup equipment should also be tested before the show goes live. It might seem like a chore, but having them tested, labeled for quick switches, and ready for action could save the day.
5. Recovery from Technical Issues and Human Errors
One of the reasons people choose to live stream a particular program is because it is real. They often can get the same program at a convenient time, but all the technical issues and human errors have been taken out. That can make their experience feel less than what they would get if they were participating in person, but it can be difficult for providers attempting to offer the perfect experience.
It is important to acknowledge issues and errors without letting them disrupt a program, and there are ways to do it. Humor is a good tool when a trip or misstep occurs during a routine. A presenter willing to laugh at their own missteps encourages viewers to feel more comfortable when they make their own mistakes, and that alone can help them feel they should return on a regular basis to the same live stream.
Technical issues can become a nightmare at times, but speaking to the audience about them as they happen can be a saving grace. A joke about the cable everyone thought was plugged in correctly can make the show one that will be memorable in a good way. The need to switch cameras or a communication fumble of facing the wrong cameras is one more opportunity to connect with an audience through the use of humor while bringing them back for more in the future.
A live show can be a great way to promote fitness, and Endorphinz knows this is a great way to bring audiences along on a workout journey. These are just a few tips to help get a production live and ready for loyal clients.