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Guide To Live Stream A Graduation Ceremony

Guide To Planning a Commencement Ceremony Live Stream

The weeks leading up to graduation is a frantic time for both students and faculty. Every year there are tons of school administrators wondering how they can connect peoples families together to share in one of the most important life moments.  Surely enough they turn to their Tv productions teacher, their technical staff, or other school administrators to ask a simple question. " How to we live-stream graduation this year? Can you get it done"? Depending on your school's situation you may or may not have the resources to live stream your graduation in a professional manner. Before you go down the very technical hole of how to live stream the graduation ceremony you need to answer a few basic questions on whether or not it is possible and if it is worth the expenditure or time and effort.


If you have a tv broadcast center or a digital production class you can use them to operate cameras...etc to reduce cost of the live stream.

What to consider before live streaming your school's ceremony.

Do you have permission to record the students with both video/audio and even more so do you have permission to stream video and post it online?

Nothing is worse than getting sued because your district had the policy to opt-out of photo and video recording. If this is your case then consider consulting a lawyer about posting media release signs on all the doors to the facility and release forms in order for students to be apart of the actual ceremony.Nothing is worse than getting sued because your district had the policy to opt-out of photo and video recording. If this is your case then consider consulting a lawyer about posting media release signs on all the doors to the facility and release forms in order for students to be apart of the actual ceremony.

Do you have a budget for your live stream?

For most schools even if you have the professional video equipment to live stream you will still need a budget to take the video feed and get it online for everyone to see. If you would like a complete breakdown of cost associated with live streaming then check out our other article for event planners on live streaming pricing cost for events.

What equipment do you need to live stream a graduation?

The equipment to live-stream graduation has come a long way in recent years. For most people, they can simply take out their cell phones and start a live video and stream to a platform like Facebook live or Youtube. As with anything, there are limitations and considerations that will limit the quality of the broadcast. We will talk about that a little bit later. For now, let us discuss the core components that you need in order to be able to stream.

Camera -

First, you need to get a image of the graduation. Cameras for live streaming can range from a simple webcam to cameras that cost thousands and thousands of dollars. For most purposes of streaming, a simple camera will get the job done. Now if you want a multi-angle stream with professional switching then you may want to consider a live streaming company.

Audio -

Nothing will ruin a live stream faster than bad audio. Audio that isn't synced up with the video or audio that isn't loud enough. When you are planning your audio setup for your live stream you will need to consider where you are getting your audio feed from. Are you getting it from a shotgun microphone or directly from a sound board or mixing console if you have a professional audio system. If you are going to have a choir or a band play you will need to think about how you want to mix them because audio for live and a recording are quite different.


There are tons of different options when it comes to getting your live stream out to the masses. But before you do that you have to be able to get your camera video and audio inputs together and encode it in a format that can be used on a platform like facebook live. What type of encoders for a live multi camera stream do you need? Well it depends on where your wanting to stream to and what equipment you have. You can get a hardware encoder like Teradek Vidiu Go that you feed your camera directly into. You can also get a software video encoder like OBS Studio which is common for a lot of people. The issue with software programs that do the encoding is you need a pretty beefy computer to run everything and that alone can get quite costly.

Live Streaming Platform

There are tons of options out there for the type of Live Streaming platforms you can use. As with any platform there are features that are helpful and some that are not. It is important to look at exactly what you are wanting to do. A few questions you can ask yourself which will help evaluate what platform to use would be:

  1. How does your audience access the video content.
  2. How can you manage the video content.
  3. What type of customization can you do on the platform? Can you add your logo?
  4. Are you getting what you paid for?

A few of the popular platforms are: Vimeo, IBM cloud, Brightcove, Panopto, Kaltura, DaCast, and of course Facebook Live and Youtube. Of course if your looking to stream your wedding and looking for a custom wedding page for your wedding guest to view along with a Turnkey Live Stream Production Company then we can always help you out.

Helpful Tips For DIY Graduation Live Streaming

Now that you know what questions to ask before planning your live stream and the basic equipment you will need lets now talk about some helpful tips for actually running a live stream graduation ceremony.

TEST, TEST, And Test

If this is your first live stream then it is super important in the days leading up to the commencement ceremony to test all of your equipment in the actual environment you are going to be in. It isn't enough to test in your office where your setup is smaller, your internet is steady, and you have access to backup gear. You should try and test everything in a setup like you would for the actual graduation. Learn every piece of your equipment and what works and what doesnt. The biggest thing to check is a sustained internet speed at your venue. Running one internet test isn't enough. You need to run a sustained test on the day of week and even the time you will be streaming to make sure their isn't any external factors that your not aware of.

Make it enjoyable

Once you have your stream going then its time to make the experience a positive one. Do you have other photos or videos that you want to share during the graduation? Think about what content you can show during those boring speeches. No one wants to look at a person talk for four hours.

Market, Market, and Market

You have put together all the work of making a live stream work but it won't matter if no one knows about it. Think about how you want to get the word out about the live stream portal. Do you have an email list that you can use? What about having people subscribe to push notifications? Do you want your live stream to show on multiple channels? Consider doing paid ads for everyone who has been on your website.

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