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:
- If done well, the presenters will talk to the audience as if they were live in one take.
- They are streamed out, so attendees can’t rewind.
- Live chat is enabled, providing basic interactivity.
- If you need live Q&A with attendees, it’s generally best to handle that in the chat with written responses.
- 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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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 livestream. During 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:
- Record in one take (or as few as possible)
- 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?
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:
- Pre-Production – Planning & remote Recording Sessions
- Post-Production – Video editing, captioning, graphics, titling
- Simulated livestreaming during the event
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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:
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.