Scott Mirkin isn’t new to the event-tech rodeo. Since he was 12 years old, Mirkin knew he wanted to work in production. His passion led him to later co-found ESM Productions, a full-service production company based out of Philadelphia that celebrated its 20th anniversary this month. Mirkin and his team have produced and live streamed events for world leaders like President Obama and Pope Francis, and artists like Rihanna and Bon Jovi. Known as a pioneer of live streaming, Mirkin shares what planners should look out for when broadcasting their events.
How can planners measure the success of live streaming?
We created one of the first high-quality, HD audio live streams of a music festival. That set benchmarks for the success of a live stream, which are measured in a variety of ways. One is concurrent views: How many people are watching? The other is the dwell times: How long is somebody watching? We set benchmarks and broke records on both concurrent views and dwell times for [our live-streamed events].
What unique challenges present themselves for broadcasted versus nonbroadcasted events?
If you’re doing a live broadcast, there’s a very specific time when it’s supposed to begin and end. No matter what, it has to happen. There are a variety of challenges that present themselves, but [the biggest] is transmission: Getting the show and getting the signal out is something that needs to be dealt with in a real-time way.
Should planners worry about live streaming detracting from their event?
There’s no replacement for live audience participation. There will always be events for people to convene at. The world of digital and virtual reality may enhance those events, but there’s nothing that replaces people getting together. I think the events industry is going to remain strong.