🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

simulive

Simulive: The Key to a Worry-Free, Flawless Virtual Event

Live streaming can be stressful and prone to issues from your presenters’ internet. Enter Simulive—a pre-recorded video that streams as if it were live and guarantees a smooth event. This time-tested guide will walk you through all the steps: recording, post-production, and simulated live streaming … with some pro tips along the way.

What is Simulive?

A “simulive” event, also known as a “simulated live stream”, is a pre-recorded virtual session that is presented as if it were a live event. 

It is not explicitly labeled as pre-recorded, and can be scheduled for broadcast at specific times across different time zones. 

This format is very popular for webinars but can also be used for virtual galas, fundraisers, conference sessions, hybrid events, and more.

A simulive session is created by pre-recording your video, doing some basic or advanced video editing to ensure it looks good, and then streaming it out as if it were live.

Your event attendees don’t have to know these sessions are pre-recorded.

Here’s how to make simulive streams look and feel live:

  1. If done well, the presenters will talk to the audience as if they were live in one take.
  2. They are streamed out, so attendees can’t rewind.
  3. Live chat is enabled, providing basic interactivity.
  4. If you need live Q&A with attendees, it’s generally best to handle that in the chat with written responses. 
  5. Another more advanced option is a mostly pre-recorded event with a live intro and live Q&A. As long as you don’t have the same speaker in live and simulive portions, this can be done without spoiling the simulated live effect.

We’ll go into each of these strategies more below…

Of course, this format doesn’t work for workshops or other highly interactive events. 

a video camera on top of a tripod in front of a crowd

Unlike an “on-demand” video, which is also pre-produced, a simulive event is livestreamed. If an attendee comes to the session late, they can’t rewind

Still, for webinars and presentation-style sessions, there’s very little difference from the attendees’ perspective except for smoother transitions.

Why You Should Run Simulated Livestreams in 2023

Attendee’s standards for virtual events are rising. 

If your events have any serious technical issues, there’s a good chance your audience won’t stick around. 

They’re also looking for more quality, engaging content – and pre-produced videos give you the opportunity to trim the fat, add polish, and ensure a reliable livestream. 

Here are the main benefits of the simulive event format:

  • Improve your audio and video quality
  • Easier to schedule presenters
  • Remove the risk of internet issues
  • Option to shoot retakes
  • Much less stress for all involved
  • Simulive Livestreams Have High-Quality Video

    One of the main risks of live virtual events is if a presenter’s internet isn’t reliable. Lousy internet connections can cause:

  • Distorted audio
  • Freezing video images
  • Presenters dropping out all together
  • Issues with streaming media content during the live presentation
  • Technical issues occur even with the best preparation. So always be prepared.

    Simulive is the solution to ensuring high-quality audio and video with no lags or drops. That’s why we call it “worry-free” livestreaming.

    Schedule Easily Around Speaker Schedules

    Simulive makes scheduling your presenters at a conference more flexible. For example, you might have 10-100 speakers in a large virtual event

    It can be tough to schedule all of them on the same day and at the same time. 

    a hand penciling in a date for a speaker pre-recording over a calendar

    With simulive, you can schedule multiple recording sessions whenever your speakers or panels of individuals are available.

    Experience Less Stress

    Maybe the most important benefit of a simulated livestream is that it can be entirely worry-free since we’re removing all the main risks of a live event:

  • Internet quality issues
  • Individuals getting sick
  • Late arrivals
  • Cancellations
  • Extra noise from pets or children
  • Alarms and car horns
  • Live mistakes
  • Other technical difficulties
  • Your simulated live event will look and sound just how you want. You can edit the video, if needed, on your own schedule. And then sit back, relax, and actually enjoy your live event

    a woman with curly hair sitting on a couch with a laptop watching her simulive at home

    It’s also much less pressure for speakers to pre-record, knowing they can retake a segment.

    Presenters have less stress than in a truly live event with 1000s of attendees, with the pressure of being clear, concise, compelling, and looking great. 

    And they won’t have to worry about live technical issues.

    Pro Tip: ask your speakers to participate in the live chat during your simulated livestreamDuring panels, you can maintain the appearance of a live event by inviting individuals to chat only while other presenters are speaking. 

    Let presenters chat with attendees throughout their session. These interactions provide a significant level of value and engagement for attendees and more overall interactivity than the speakers could offer if they were live. 

    In contrast, during a live webinar or panel discussion, the speakers usually need more time to answer many attendees’ questions. If they’re in the chat throughout the event, they could answer all the questions and spark much more conversation.

    What are the Best Practices for Simulated Livestreams?

    Running simulive sessions takes a little practice, but the benefits are incredible. Here are some professional tips to help you make the most of your next presentation. 

    Upgrade Speaker A/V Setup

    Provide your presenters with upgraded audiovisual gear, if needed. This applies to live sessions as well. 

    You want your speakers to look and sound their best. It’s worth investing in an improved webcam and microphone rather than having people speak directly into their laptop.

    Make the Simulive Feel Live with Speaker Coaching

    There are two keys to making a simulated livestream look live:

    1. Record in one take (or as few as possible)
    2. Ask (and coach) your speakers to engage with attendees even though they aren’t there yet

    If your presenters can record in one take, attendees won’t know they are watching pre-recorded content. 

    Engaging with the camera as if the presenter has a live audience present will help build overall authenticity. 

    Pro-tip: Masking Multiple Takes – If your presenters need to do retakes during a slide presentation, ask your producers to mask it with a “zoom cut.” 

    This only works if your producers capture ISO footage (isolating video from multimedia like a slide). By alternating between full-screen video and speaker + slides when the retake starts, viewers won’t be able to tell there was a cut in the video feed.

    Engaging Speakers Create an Exciting Session

    Are you worried that simulated live events will not feel authentic or engage the audience? That doesn’t have to be the case. 

    What can you do to make sure that your event is engaging?

  • Make sure speakers are comfortable recording
  • Have speakers bring excitement and energy to the presentation
  • Encourage presenters to talk directly to the audience as if they are there
  • Allocate time for presenters training and practicing the presentation
  • Even though you can take multiple takes, don’t tire out your presenters
  • Keep speakers fresh and lively 
  • Taking the time for speaker training and creating an authentic presentation will give the illusion that the presentation is happening in real-time. 

    During recording sessions, skilled producers make presenters feel comfortable and natural and provide helpful tips about engaging with attendees – even though they’re not here yet. 

    Speakers should bring the same enthusiasm they would as if they were speaking live. 

    Again, the same goes for truly livestream events, but it’s more likely that your speakers will need to remember to bring the energy when they’re pre-recording. 

    Pro-Tip: Engage With Your (Future) Audience – We encourage and train speakers (especially moderators) to casually and directly address the audience members throughout the session, asking for their input, reminding them to ask questions, and asking them to share reflections in the chat as they go.

    How to Produce Simulated Livestream Events

    We hope you see the potential for simulive to level up your virtual events with premium, flawless video production.

    We & Goliath records and streams pre-recorded livestreams that look great and still engage live attendees. Here, we’ll share tips, processes, and best practices.

    We merge pre-recorded video with custom graphics, b-roll footage, special effects, and animations to engage & impress attendees like never before. 

    There are 3 Phases to Producing a Simulated Livestream:

    1. Pre-Production – Planning & remote Recording Sessions
    2. Post-Production – Video editing, captioning, graphics, titling
    3. Simulated livestreaming during the event
    two men working in a recording studio with several monitors showing things about simulive prerecording

    Phase 1: Pre-Production - Planning & Remote Recording Sessions

    Avoid Zoom for Recording

    While some people pre-record in Zoom because they’re familiar with it, here’s why we don’t recommend it: 

  • Zoom recordings are low-res – If you’re recording more than two people, your recording will be in 360p unless you have a Business or Enterprise account with Group HD. Even then, they’ll be 720p, while what you want is Full HD (1080p)
  • If any presenters have slow internet, Zoom automatically reduces the quality of your video, resulting in a grainy, pixelated look. These technical issues degrade video quality.
  • Zoom can’t capture ISO, or isolated video feeds for each speaker, so you’re stuck with their layouts. 
  • How to Record Speakers in Full HD, Even If They Have Slow Internet

    At We & Goliath, our remote capture solutions enable us to simultaneously capture footage of 1 to 8 individuals, in different locations, up to full HD resolution… safely and remotely*.

    Our producer will monitor and (if appropriate) coach sessions remotely, ensuring the content you need is captured.

    *Resolution is limited to the max resolution of the webcam or smartphone camera being used, plug and play HD webcams and mic’s also available for rental.

    Easy starting packages • Advanced options • Proven results

    Phase 2: Post-Production - Professional Video Editing Makes Simulive Stand Out

    Some “simulive” sessions are very polished, while others can be made to look live without additional effects like animation. Every session will need video editing. 

    a close up of a screen showing a a post-production editing session

    Basic Video Editing for Simple Simulated Streams

    At the basic level, the video will need a trim at the beginning and end of each pre-recorded segment. 

    Audio clean-up and basic mastering improve the audio quality. Most companies want branded graphics, intro, titles, and outro

    Simulive video allows you to push your branding throughout the entire presentation without worrying about the hassles of livestreaming.

    If you have the time or a professional team, here are some more advanced audio and video editing techniques to get your recording looking and sounding great.

    Advanced Video Editing Techniques to Make Your Presentation Impress

    No speaker is perfect. And while you hope to record the session in a single take, in reality, your presenter might cough, pause, or even forget what they were saying. 

    In the remote workplace, interruptions like children or a noisy dog can wreck a good session. 

    Professional video editors will edit out mistakes, smooth transitions, and produce a visual product you will love. 

  • Color correction adjusts footage with various color manipulation techniques to match a desired look or achieve continuity between shots. Video editors use digital grading tools from multiple editing programs, like Adobe Premier Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Avid Media Composer. Color correction helps unify the aesthetic look between different backgrounds, shots, and cameras.
  • A video editor can remove a greenscreen from the video. Green screen removal separates the green areas by selecting the area around the subject and masking it. Then the editor adjusts parameters like color balance and lighting until the overall effect is what you want. Greenscreen removal is excellent for dropping in a company logo or backdrop behind virtual event speakers.
  • Your video editor may composite different elements to create a cohesive presentation. For example, the presenter may incorporate slides, want a picture-in-picture image, or may want to move between the presenter and multimedia. These elements combine with branding elements to make a professionally composited video.
  • Finally, your post-production team may provide special visual effects elements like animation, motion graphics, and more. Examples include original whiteboard animations, animated particle generators (ex., smoke or sparkles), animated logos or text, and complex transitions. We will cover that more later in this article. 
  • Professional Audio Editing for Great Sound

    Believe it or not, audiences are more forgiving of bad visuals than bad audio. 

    Why? With a virtual event presentation, if the attendees cannot understand what the speaker says, they can’t truly engage with the presenter. 

    While subtitles remain a popular option for many, spending the extra time to clean up any audio problems professionally will make a huge difference for viewers

    One of the first things a professional audio editor does is clean up mistakes – anything from a dog interrupting or off-screen noise like an airplane or a door slam. 

    The audio editor cannot edit out all extraneous sounds. For example, suppose someone records outside in a noisy restaurant. 

    In that case, the editor will have much more difficulty isolating the voice. For this reason, the first step to clean sound is a clean raw recording.

  • Equalization refers to adjusting an audio signal’s frequency response. It is a powerful tool used during virtual production, allowing infinite possibilities for correcting subjective sound and mixing different sounds. The audio engineer may apply a low-cut filter to eliminate unnecessary low sounds like a computer hum or an air conditioner. A notch filter allows the audio editor to isolate specific frequencies to enhance the individual’s voice and cut out extra noise.
  • Audio compression reduces the audio’s dynamic range by decreasing its volume when it exceeds a certain threshold and increasing it when it falls below the same threshold. Compression controls the dynamic range of a signal, making it more consistent. It also helps make louder sounds less jarring and reduces background noise in recordings.
  • A de-esser reduces excessive sibilant frequencies in vocals and other audio recordings. It detects any sharp, transient sounds known as sibilance that occurs in the sound source and compresses them, allowing for smooth overall levels without drastically affecting the quality of the source recordings.
  • Phase 3: Simulated Livestreaming During the Event

    The last step is to stream out your finished videos into your event platform. 

    Since there are so many platforms and a variety of ways to stream into each of them, we decided this will be better as a post of its own. 

    Stay tuned for tips on how to run simulive sessions in Zoom or other webinar platforms, how to schedule a pre-recorded video on YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and interactive virtual conference platforms, and more!

    Increase Accessibility and Inclusivity with Closed Captions (Simulive Makes this Much More Affordable)

    Eliminating communication barriers in your presentation allows you to develop content that is accessible and enjoyable for everyone. 

    So who uses subtitles? 

  • 360 million people, or 5.3% of the world population, suffer from disabling hearing loss
  • By 2050 the World Health Organization predicts that 2.5 billion people will have some loss of hearing
  • Experts state that 27% of Southeast Asians, 10.6% of Americans, 12.1% of Germans, and 8% of Swiss people suffer hearing loss
  • Removing accessibility barriers for attendees will increase attendee engagement and excitement about your company or organization.

    Skip the AI Subtitles - Here’s How to Offer Affordable Captioning Instead

    For those who rely on captions to understand your content, we recommend using something other than AI captioning. AI only has 80% accuracy, which can be pretty frustrating. 

    While the accuracy of AI-powered software has advanced considerably, it still needs to be improved in many situations. 

    Human interpretation or captioning is the best way to ensure worldwide access, although it may be complicated and expensive, especially during a live event. 

    Humans can interpret the context more accurately and deliver realistic captions than auto-captioning methods. 

    Professional captioners identify and place sound effects into the captions, providing a fuller experience to viewers who may have difficulty hearing the original audio.

    Closed captions pre-edited for accuracy can offer a great experience to your attendees at 1/10th of the cost of live captioning. 

    Closed captions help make videos more accessible for people with hearing disabilities and those who are watching in noisy environments. 

    Live captioning can be inaccurate or even unavailable. Adding closed captions in post-production to simulive presentations ensures that every attendee can access your material.

    Adding subtitles to pre-recorded sessions: 

  • Increases accessibility
  • Is affordable
  • Improves productivity
  • Increases SEO results
  • Makes viewers more connected to the content
  • Gives you more control over the end presentation
  • Allows for multilingual translations
  • a man looking at a laptop screen with a graph showing an uptrend on it, symbolizing how closed captions can be a net benefit

    Reach a Worldwide Audience with Multilingual Closed Captions

    Live multilingual interpretation is cost-prohibitive for most events. 

    Virtual events reach new international markets and engage with a larger diverse audience by including closed captions in multiple languages. 

    Providing multilingual closed captions on virtual productions can make them more accessible to those with hearing impairments.

    Increase viewership and widen the pool of people who can benefit from content created with virtual production.

    A much more affordable way to provide multilingual livestreams is by inserting close captions to your simulated livestream and using AI to translate them on the fly.

    Pro-Tip: Free Caption Translation – If you’re streaming directly to YouTube Live or your virtual event platform allows using the YouTube live player, take advantage of YouTube’s free multilingual translation and provide captions in every language needed and no additional cost. 

    Alternatively, translate your human-edited captions into specific languages needed and offer links to those transcripts or embed multiple captions files if the platform allows it.

    Bonus: How to Level Up Your Simulive Production Value

    Suppose you want to take the production value up another notch. 

    In that case, experienced video editors can create & incorporate animated intros, logos, transition slides, and backgrounds. 

    Professional video editors make these elements for you and seamlessly integrate them into the presentation.

    Animated intros are an effective way to introduce your brand or topic in an eye-catching way. Add that professional flare to your event session.

    At We & Goliath, we offer premium simulive production including:

  • HD remote recordings with speaker coaching and upgraded AV gear
  • Custom graphic design for branded backgrounds and slides
  • Virtual backgrounds with green screens, so you don’t look like you’re swimming
  • Live Switching between custom layouts to keep the video interesting
  • Animated titling packages like intro slides and lower thirds with kinetic typography for a TV-style look
  • We’ve produced simulive webinars, galas, and conferences with the world’s fastest-growing companies, including GitLab and ClickUp, and impactful nonprofits like the Urban League, NARAL, and UN Agencies.

    Save Time & Reduce Meetings with Easy Video Feedback

    Your whole team can quickly review, comment and mark statuses in our online tool. We include two rounds of revisions on each video to ensure your livestream is just how you wanted it. 

    Get Worry-Free, Flawless Production for Your Next Simulive Event

    We & Goliath is an award-winning team of experienced technical producers, designers, and video editors who can help you deal with the tech stress for your special event, so you don’t have to.

    Whether you’re planning a corporate conference or webinar series, we have the expertise, tools, and resources you need to make your event a success

    Contact We & Goliath today for your free consultation.

    Together, We’re Virtually Unstoppable.

    We & Goliath

    We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

    A black background with a red, yellow, and blue square.
    Shopping Basket
    A woman sitting on the floor with a laptop.

    We create iconic events that generate buzz.

    Let us help you smash your engagement goals and set attendance records.

    Free for a Limited Time ($500 Value)