5 tips for running a professional Google+ Hangout

Anyone can run a Google+ Hangout all you need is a Google+ account and Gmail address, which is great as it’s opened up creating video to pretty much anyone who has a computer.

However as experts in video production we are a little particular about getting the quality of a Google+ Hangout right, after all its your brand reputation on the line..and with anything live – things can and do go wrong. So here are 5 steps to consider when you are running a Google+ Hangout.

Hangouts have enormous potential, but this is only fully realised if you get the production right. Treat a Hangout like a standard Webinar and you’ll miss the opportunity to showcase Hangout’s great video capabilities. Treat a Hangout like a traditional video production without understanding the intricacies of streaming; including the Hangout format and you can fail to make the most of your event.

You can run a basic Hangout with just a webcam moderate to high quality PC or Laptop computer but the visual quality and audio won’t give you that professional production look.

Decide on the best shoot location

Depending on what type of event you want to run for your Hangout, whether it’s based in a studio, an event location such as a cinema, trade show or your office. Do a recce of the venue beforehand to make sure that the location is right for your event and has good acoustics, soundproofing, lighting and broadband connection.

LCD Soundsystem Google+ Hangout

LCD Soundsystem Google+ Hangout

Broadcast quality camera equipment

Consider hiring or purchasing a good quality HD camera and using a tripod, or for live show coverage a Go Pro camera that can be used on the move. Make sure you capture lots of footage, if you plan on running an on-demand event you can edit your content to get it right for the broadcast.

For live shooting, make sure you have a rehearsal a week before to iron out any issues. If you don’t have experienced camera personnel, then you can outsource your production work to a video production company who can supply a cameraman and all the required equipment.

managed Google+ Hangout, professional Google+ Hangout

Lighting

Think about the location you are shooting in and make sure that you have good lighting, poor lighting will result in producing grainy, washed-out video that can’t be improved in post-production.

The easiest way to overcome lighting issues is to shoot outdoors, where even a cloudy day produces enough ambient light to keep your video crisp and colorful. If it’s sunny, try to shoot in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. When it’s directly overhead, it casts unflattering shadows on subjects’ faces.

When shooting outdoors isn’t an option, bring as much light into the room as you can. Turn on lamps and open blinds to let outside light in.

Or invest in a lighting kit, such as http://www.kinoflo.com

Kinoflo lighting

Audio

If participants are taking part in the Hangout from a desk or home based computer, make sure they wear headphones and mute their microphones when they aren’t talking so that you avoid background noise and interference.

There are a few different options such as shotgun mikes for capturing audio directly in front of the lens; lavaliere (lapel mikes) for sit-down interviews and on the move reporting; and pzm-type mikes, which are omni-directional and therefore suitable for auditoriums, large conference rooms.

Consider Internet bandwidth

For group video connectivity we suggest 1 mbps/2 mbps (up/down)

For participants in a Hangout make sure they have the minimum requirement (over 500kbps required, test your connection speed here: www.speedtest.net).

Although, Google has just launched two new Hangouts features for improving performance in areas with poor connectivity. The first is a bandwidth slider located on the top right for manual adjustment, and the other is an option for audio-only mode. Google wants to make all of its products accessible to everyone, no matter where they’re located or what Internet conditions they’re working with.

We hope this rough guide helps and if you do want to find out more about how to run a managed professional Gooogle+ Hangout, then get in touch. We have helped a lot of customers to produce high quality Google+ Hangout events, see Four innovative ways businesses are using Google+ Hangouts or download our Google+ Hangouts PDF to see the production services we can offer.

We will be running a Google+ Hangout about how to run a stellar Hangout production, register your information to find out more about attending.

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About Neeley Casserly, Dreamtek.

Group Marketing Director Dreamtek UK & UAE and The Virtual Forge Connect with Neeley and Dreamtek on Google+

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