Live steaming has become a hot topic among event planners, some of whom embrace it while others reject it. As you may already know, it involves transmitting video and audio coverage of an even in real time over the Internet. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages to live streaming an event?

Pro: It’s Easy

Many event planners are surprised to learn just how easy it is to live stream their events. While there are several “premium” services available, YouTube’s free Hangouts on Air works just as well, if not better, than most of these paid services. Simply visit Live Streaming Events while logged into your Google account and choose New Live Event > Quick (using Google Hangouts On Air) > enter a title for your live stream > choose either “Go live now” to begin live streaming your event now, or schedule your live stream for a later date. Some alternative live streaming services include Google+, Ustream and LiveStream.

Con: May Impact Ticket Sales

Assuming your event is paid, live streaming may have a negative impact on ticket sales. Some guests may simply choose to stay at home and watch the live stream instead of buying a ticket and attending the event. Of course, you can overcome this problem by restricting live stream access to paid users.

Pro: Reach a Larger Audience

By live streaming your event, you’ll be able to reach a larger audience. It’s not uncommon for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of users to tune into a live stream. All of these extra views can help you achieve greater brand recognition for your event, while also opening the doors to new sponsorship opportunities.

Con: Requires More Bandwidth

Another potential drawback of live streaming an event is the increased bandwidth it requires. Live streaming requires a substantial amount of bandwidth, as video/audio data is transmitted in real time over the Internet. Netflix subscribers, for instance, need at least 5 Mbs to stream high-definition media. If you have a limited amount of bandwidth available at your event, you may not be able to live stream it. Granted, you can always opt for non-HD video, but many event planners aren’t willing to sacrifice quality for bandwidth.

Pro: Creates Library of Content

A huge advantage of live streaming your event is the massive library of content you’ll create in the process. If your event consists of three keynote speeches, each of which lasts an hour, that’s three hours of footage that can be uploaded and shared on the Internet.