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Patrick Dolan: Creating Connected Events in Dallas

 


It’s a pleasure to introduce you to our Dallas Team Lead, Patrick Dolan! Patrick joined Varvid early in 2008, after working with Aaron Booker (Varvid’s CEO) on the board of directors for an IT industry peer networking group.

Being active in the IT industry for for 30 years, and having background in production management, Pat’s skills have established him as a practicing live streaming professional. In 2011, his accomplishments guided him to opening Varvid’s Dallas office.

Dallas Events Live Stream

Patrick is courteous, attentive, and honest. His devotion to your event’s success is founded on maintaining an upbeat personality even throughout the most trying times of production. Simply, Pat aims to provide the North Texas area with a professional and fun approach to creating a truly Connected Event!

Contact Pat by calling 214.838.6960, or emailing patrick@varvid.com.

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Why Live Streams Increase an Event’s Physical Attendance

To expand the reach of an event, more and more organizations are starting to use live streaming video as a way to engage their online audience and to provide content to people who aren’t able to attend in person. Most often these streams are free and easily accessible through social media, with Facebook Live now being one one the most effective ways of delivering live content. However, some still question the effectiveness of live streaming events, as they worry people will watch online rather than attending in person. So, if an organization wants to increase the physical attendance to their event (and thus their profit), why should they offer the event online for free?

Consider the reason why individuals attend conferences, concerts, or sporting events to begin with. For first-hand experiences, of course! For example, an EventBrite case study concluded that 67% of millennials that watch a live stream of a concert are driven to buy tickets for the next upcoming show. Although it can be entertaining and informative to watch an event from home, there are many aspects of the on site experience that just cannot be offered via live streaming.

Scaling New Heights Woodard 2016 Conference

For example, conference attendees purchase tickets to meet like-minded folks, engage with new tools, and to gather information from class sessions. Live streaming conferences does not give a remote viewer direct access to these experiences. While an online audience member is able to follow a presentation, their questions are less likely to be answered, they do not have access to resources, and they do not have the opportunity to shake hands and trade business cards with other attendees.

This is not to say that live streaming doesn’t have value, but the point we’re making is live streaming is not a replacement for the on-site experience, it’s a way to deliver your content to a wider audience and encourage them to attend your next event in person. Considering that individuals face different financial challenges, and work schedules, events available through live streams are a powerful way to connect with an audience that otherwise would be missed. From a marketing standpoint, however, growing an online audience is one of the most effective ways to generate a larger physical audience for your next event.

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Project Announcement: The Varvid Podcast

In 2017 we will be starting a new project, The Varvid Podcast, which explores how live streaming can be used to build and strengthen communities. We’ve posted a teaser episode to our new podcast library (check it out here).
The Varvid Podcast Finder
The Varvid Podcast is a resource for everyone interested in live-video production, whether you’re new to live streaming or you’ve been webcasting for years. Host Aaron Booker will pick the brains of individuals who use live video regularly to discover how they use it to connect communities, why live video is important in today’s digital world, and any tips and tools to help improve live broadcasts.
Wirecast Interview with Andrew Haley about live streaming
As we get started, our guest interviews will be broadcasted live over Facebook, and the edited versions of the episodes will be released bi-weekly on our podcast page. So far our guests include Adobe’s Creative Cloud Evangelist, Paul Trani, the Live Streaming Evangelist at Telestream, Andrew Haley, and Josh Hamm, the Media Director for Life Center Church in Tacoma, WA.

Whether you are a live-streaming professional, have an interest in streaming technology, or if you simply just want to learn more about the use of live video, please tune in!

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Digital Marketing Live Stream at Seattle Startup Week

Varvid live streamed a portion of Seattle Startup Week 2016 for JPMorgan Chase & Co. branch, and title sponsor of the event, Chase for Business last Wednesday. By using a Roland VR-50HD video switcher and three camera sources, we streamed to Chase’s YouTube channel. Out of the three cameras, two were operated: one focused on the presenters while they took turns speaking, and the other captured the audience’s reaction. The third camera was set in the back of the room capturing a wide shot of the audience and the presenters.
SSW Video Captures

Although the entirety of the five-day event wasn’t live streamed, we did get to cover an important panel discussion titled: “Do I really need to invest in Digital Marketing?” The short answer:”Yes!”. Social platform leaders from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp held an hour long conversation and Q&A session about the role of social media shaping business identity through digital marketing.

James from LA operating one camera SSW is an event led by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs that aims to develop the Seattle community by building momentum and opportunity for business owners. This year’s event was hosted at Impact Hub in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. If you are interested in creating a startup week in your town or city, learn more here!

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Roland V-1SDI Video Switcher Demo

Rob Read, Business Development Manager at Roland Professional AV, often comes to the Varvid headquarters to demo new products. Recently, we filmed Rob’s demo of Roland’s V-1SDI to share with you all! 

The V-1SDI video switcher is flexible,versatile, and portable. Connecting and switching 3G-SDI cameras, playback sources, and HDMI sources (cameras, smartphones, computers, tablets, Blu-ray players) is made easy with the T-Fader and backlit buttons. The results are, certainly, nothing short of professional.

With support for 3G-SDI, the V-1SDI can operate at full 1080p resolution and can take advantage of the longer cable distance of SDI making this compact solution suitable for events and applications in even large spaces with the most professional level of SDI camera sources.

MAIN FEATURES OF THE V-1SDI

Support for SDI and HDMI cameras, smartphones, tablet computers and PCs etc.

Easy to operate with hardware controls

Compact and portable

Supports up to Full HD 1080p

3 x 3G-SDI and 2 x HDMI* inputs

2 x 3G-SDI and 1 x HDMI* output

Quad input multiviewer with source labeling and audio metering

Composition effects including DSK (Downstream Keyer), picture-in-picture etc.

Full 14 channel audio mixer included

Software control using V-1SDI RCS application for Mac and PC and remote control via RS-232 connection

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Boston Election Panel: Live Streaming in The Political World

The political world has no doubt grasped onto the power of livestreaming. Earlier in the 2016 presidential race, for example, Hillary Clinton used Periscope to stream a campaign speech; further, the congressional gun control sit-in streamed over Periscope last June. Similarly, on September 26th, the Trump v. Clinton debate went live on various platforms and included real-time fact checking.

Beyond these mainstream broadcasts, political practitioners, educators, and observers have been streaming discussions about the current presidential race. Nevin Zais, Varvid’s Boston Team Lead, operated a Connected Event for The Boston Election Panel discussion.

Political analysts on stage for the Boston Election Panel

Nevin’s task was to execute a smooth livestream (and recording) by live switching between presenters and making the event look outstanding to remote viewers.

“We’re using three Sony EX1’s, a Roland VR-50HD video switcher, and a Blackmagic 4K recorder,” he said.

By supporting The Colby Club of Boston and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, the “Pulling Back the Curtain on The 2016 Election” discussion was accessible to the public on September 27th. 

Livestreaming behind the scenes image.

“Events like this one really help connect and educate the community,” said Nevin, “especially if people can’t make it to the venue.”

This panel dissected the strategies behind endorsements, campaign finance, and voter behavior throughout 2016. Certainly, this year’s election has a one-word description: unconventional.

Nevin on switcher

This panel discussion was presented by the Alumni of Colby College. To learn more about Colby College events, you can find a calendar here.

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Live Streaming Product Announcements for Businesses

On August 22nd, the Varvid team joined Faithlife for their Logos 7 Bible Software debut. Although Faithlife has a product launch about every two years, this year marked their first livestream experience!

“The live event increased the anticipation leading up to the re-opening of the product website,” said Brian Russell, Faithlife’s Video Producer.

Product launches are one-time events that generate a sense of urgency, and live streaming promises direct involvement with the product’s brand and creators.

This is why Faithlife’s webcast was able to attract 879 simultaneous viewers at the peak of a four-hour broadcast. They offered their motivated viewers the opporunity to access new tools, watch demos, and ask questions about Logos 7.

Anyone with an internet connection is able to access a live broadcast, which gives brands and opportunity to expand their reach. For example, Faithlife’s livestream captured the interests of people living anywhere from Arizona to Ukraine.

Live content gives an individual, no matter their location, the ability to go “behind the scenes”. Certainly, viewers value the chance to see the ins-and-outs of a product and its’s business. 

 

 “Comments [made] during the broadcast suggested that our audience was eager to hear about the software product we were announcing. Within the livestream, we announced the new features and premiered the accompanying videos along with interviews and live demonstrations of the product.” Said Brian Russel, the Video Producer at Faithlife that oversaw this project.

Curiosity attracts viewers to a livestream, but viewers stay engaged when a human connection makes them feel valued. Engaging an audience is accomplished through interactive content creation.

Faithlife offered their viewers an interactive experience by using two studio spaces that produced different content for the broadcast.

 

Faithlife Interview Section

One studio served as an interview station where creators and developers discussed the benefits and answered questions about Logos 7.

In the second studio, a single camera and computer source streamed a demo of the software. Utilizing these two studio spaces connected the remote viewers with Logos 7, and to those working “behind the scenes”.

 

Faithlife's Studio

Working with Varvid went smoothly, and sharing the technical responsibility with them meant I could turn my attention to the content,” Russell said. 

Livestreams connect businesses to an international, remote audience. What makes them successful is offering viewers a one-time event with human interaction and engaging content.

To see how Faithlife managed, you can see a recording of their Logos 7 Software broadcast here.

 

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Where Are Legends Born?

Magic: The Gathering Live Stream Presented by Varvid

Have you ever wondered where legends are born? Legends are born at Wizards of the Coast’s Magic: The Gathering Pro Tours, the highest form of competitive play for the premier collectible card game.These top-ranked players enjoy the spoils available to those living the life of a professional Magic player, at four annual worldwide stops making up the Tour.

Each event showcases a prize pool of $250,000. In addition, the highest level players are selected to play in the annual World Magic Cup – with an additional $250,000 purse.  In all of the tiers of play, there are thousands of participants from around the world facing off to earn the right to play at the professional level so that they too can play the game and see the world.

[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”left” variation=”orange” textColor=”#666666″]For the past ten years Varvid has been providing online match coverage for Hasbro’s worldwide Pro Tours[/pullquote3]For the past ten years Varvid has been providing online match coverage for Hasbro’s worldwide Pro Tours. Pro Tour Born of The Gods, Wizard’s most recent tournament, live streamed from Valencia, Spain and garnered almost a million online viewers who tuned in to see the three-day match coverage. Magic The Gathering hopefuls from around the world were watching every move the seasoned hall of fame players made as they dueled for the final cash prize of $40,000.

CEO of Varvid, Aaron Booker, said “In this era, attention spans are short. Wizards realized early on that their audience expected video coverage of the tournament as rapidly as possible.  We deliver Magic’s Pro Tour tournament video match coverage to the Internet live and rebroadcast it within minutes after live streaming. This is extremely important to the Hasbro Magic: The Gathering brand and its community.”

Interested to know when the next Pro Tour will be available to view? Tune in May 16th-17th for the Journey Into Nyx Pro Tour: click here.

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Building a Strong Brand is More Than Having a Cool Web Site

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 5.59.36 PMOne of the most engaging brands most of us have ever experienced is Starbucks. You can not only actually smell their brand, but also experience it when you walk into their shops and speak to a barista to order your coffee – it’s visceral and makes you feel rich, that’s why Starbucks customers pay more for a cup of coffee than most.

[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”right” variation=”orange” textColor=”#666666″] You can not only actually smell their brand, but also experience it [/pullquote3]

Ok, so your company isn’t Starbucks spending millions on building brand so how do you learn to build or create a brand? There are so many parts to building brands, I’ll keep it simple for now.

The difference between marketing and building brand is branding is a much larger and more strategic positioning of your company, service or product and marketing is the actions you take to distribute the message to your audience.

Or you can think of it this way. People are loyal to (and keep buying from) brands, but make a buying decision because they were touched by some type of marketing activity – an online ad, an email, etc.

Assuming you have consistency in marketing activities across the following areas, you are on your way to helping give your company some brand personality.

  • Simplify your web site to convert visitors – engage visitors emotionally about a felt need
  • Update social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – design to look and feel like your web site
  • Send emails that educate, not overtly sell – let others appreciate your value, give them something
  • Send gifts or thank you cards – let people know you appreciate them
  • Host and promote events to educate and engage your audience – connected events engage the audience; you could host your own event or sponsor someone else’s.

A strong brand image that helps support your marketing activities are the roots of the tree and your marketing activities are the fruit that prospects pluck from the tree. As you think of your brand image start to imagine how the following all look and feel to people who are seeing your company from the outside.

  • Company and or product logo
  • Tagline
  • Look, feel and experience on your web site and or inside your office or at your location
  • When customers meet and discuss business with your people
  • Events you host or sponsor
  • Videos they watch
  • Emails they read
  • Social media sites customers might interact with

These are just a few areas that great brands build a cohesive look around.

At Varvid we do everything from live webcasting to video marketing with animation, web site design and product design. One of our favorite clients we love that has a great brand is Wizards of the Coast. If you didn’t already know, Varvid webcasts their annual international Magic the Gathering tournament live over the Internet.

This brand is an experience. Not only do people play the game on XBox, there is a card game along with a very powerful social media presence that requires engagement. And each year, Magic the Gathering hosts an invite-only playing of the game to crown the champion. Varvid has the honor of broadcasting it on the Internet to thousands of followers. It is so cool!

If you have not started thinking about your brand, Varvid encourages you to start – people stay loyal to great brands.