As a pageant director, you have something of incredible value—the ability to create original video content associated with an in-demand, one-time-only live event.
In the world of live streaming, that’s considered an ace in the hole.
Not only is your pageant one-of-a-kind, but you also have an interested audience ready and waiting. Sure, many of them will attend the pageant in person, but many of them won’t be able to make it—which is where your live stream comes in.
We’d like to help you take advantage of this opportunity to get a wider audience for your event , raise your pageant’s profile, and maybe even make a little more money. If you’re new to live streaming (trust us—it’s easier than you think!), take a look at this article first. Then come back here for a pageant planning checklist that will help you get organized before you get going.
A Pageant Director’s Checklist For Live Streaming
Preparation is everything when it comes to live streaming. The more information you have about the event, the contestants, and the venue ahead of time, the better off you’ll be. And while you’ll never be able to predict everything that could happen during a live stream, we strongly recommend being as prepared as possible—which is where this pageant planning checklist comes in:
𝩊 Determine the best locations for cameras based on the action and the audience.
If you haven’t planned the stage blocking for the pageant yourself, talk to the person in charge of it to get as much detail as you can about important areas of activity. For example, is there a place where pageant contestants will be positioned for judging? Where will contestants be lining up? Where will the stage microphone be, and where will the awards be presented? Strategize your camera positioning around those areas so your viewers can see as much as possible. But keep in mind you’ll have a live audience as well, so be sure your cameras don’t impede the view from any location.
Not sure what cameras or other equipment you need? Download our extensive live streaming checklist for a complete list of equipment—plus a lot more tasks to check off in preparation for the big event.
𝩊 Prepare graphics for each contestant ahead of time.
Viewers enjoy seeing biographical information about each contestant on-screen along with their close-up camera shot. If you have a detailed list of participants handy, start working on graphics that include each person’s name, age, hometown, and any other information you’d like to share, and put them in the correct order of appearance.
𝩊 Prepare the content you’ll use to fill break times.
Live pageants take breaks—but if you shut off your live stream during breaks it’s possible you’ll lose some viewers who think they’ve tuned in to the wrong place or that the event is over. Instead, create something like the image below—including the time that you expect to resume the live feed—to keep your viewers in the loop. Or you may choose to fill the time with pre-produced interest pieces on contestants or the pageant, or with commercials. Another option is to stream some live interviews with participants or judges during the break. Whatever option you choose is fine, but make the decision well ahead of time so you can prepare for it.
𝩊 Prepare for individual contestant interviews.
Viewers are usually interested in finding out more about contestants, so short interviews are a popular component of most pageant live streams. But you’ll need to figure out the logistics of those interviews well before the pageant begins. When and how will you connect with the contestants you choose? Do you have the necessary A/V equipment to make it happen?
𝩊 Plan how you’ll incorporate master sound from the venue into your live stream.
Whether it’s the music being played or the emcee or contestants talking, you’ll want to bring the sounds from the pageant directly into your production rather than relying on your equipment to pick it up. How you interface with the master sound will vary depending on your live stream setup, but you may be able to pull an output from the main soundboard into your own workflow. Coordinate with the on-site sound crew to see how you might be able to pull audio out of their main board and what cabling you’ll need to accomplish that. This creates a much cleaner video feed, and will sound better for your viewers.
𝩊 Plan how you’ll record the live stream.
The demand for your original content won’t necessarily end just because the pageant itself is over! You may be able to sell DVDs of the event, or make it available on your live stream portal for streaming on-demand. We always recommend recording your event two ways—through your streaming provider and locally, on your computer’s hard drive or on your production unit—so you have a safety net in case one method fails.
Want a live streaming checklist to complement your pageant planning checklist?
We can help! We may not be experts in how to direct a pageant, but we are live streaming experts who have assisted many pageant directors in broadcasting their events. If you’d like to know more about the equipment you’ll need for live streaming and a complete list of the steps involved in preparing for a broadcast, check out our extensive live streaming checklist.
Or, if you’d like to chat with us about your specific event, set up a free consultation. Whether you’re experienced in live streaming or have never done it before, the goal is the same—to produce a top-notch live stream of your pageant. We can help you get there.