I was recently talking to a new webcasting client, and they wanted to know more about how to set up their webcasting team. Which department did the team sit with? How many people would need to be involved? How had other customers formed their teams around webcasting? It wasn’t the kind of question that has a right answer, I’m afraid. (The correct answer, like so many, is “it depends on your organization.”) But what I could provide was some guidance on what questions to ask when setting up your webcasting team to make sure you’ll end up with what you need.
Where Does Webcasting Belong in the Organization?
By nature, webcasting is usually a shared responsibility held between many stakeholders. The exact location within the organization often varies depending on physically where the critical webcasts are managed from, and who has experience and capacity to manage these types of events. Often, companies assemble a dedicated team for webcasting.
So here are some questions to ask yourself about your team:
1. Who has experience running events that need a lot of coordination?
Some places to look might be IT or corporate communications. Other relevant groups are HR and marketing.
2. Will your deployment include eCDN (an enterprise content delivery network) or SSO (single-sign on)? Who has the necessary technical expertise?
This responsibility is often part of the IT department.
3.Where are your webcasts going to be hosted from?
You’re going to need at least some of the team to physically be located where your webcast is going to be produced. If your organization is global or dispersed and you’re going to manage events in a variety of locations, you may want to have a team scattered across those locations so you always have a webcast team member on site. You may also want to consider bringing in a white-glove service who can help run the event for you, if you don’t have the expertise in-house.
How Do You Scale Up Webcast Scheduling?
Another thing to consider is scheduling. If you plan to use something like automated scheduling for relatively small and seamless self-serve webcasts and only one party is going to do webcasts, you don’t have to worry much. But if many groups need their own webcasts, things can get complicated. You need to know if you must ensure you have enough resources to cover concurrent webcasts, such as enough available people, network bandwidth, encoders, and other equipment.
4. How often are your webcasts, and how much advance notice will you get?
You may need to create processes for requesting, scheduling, and preparing for webcast events. Then you will have to figure out how to allocate people and other resources if you need to handle multiple events at a time. Consider having a designated point person.
How Many People Do You Need to Run a Webcast?
This depends mostly on the size of your event.
5. How complicated is your event?
For a small event with a simple tech set up, you might only need two people, a presenter and a producer. For an event with many moving parts, including camera crews and a large audience, you could need an event manager, AV technicians, IT technicians, multiple moderators, a host, and of course, presenters.
Usually, you can plan on a set of “templates” for event types. Based on that, you can decide how many people need to be involved to support a particular live event.
So thinking a bit about the purpose and nature of your webcasts will help you decide how to structure your webcasting team.