5 tips when you webcast in a foreign country

5 Best tips for live webcasting internationally

We webcast all over the world. We also webcast locally in the San Francisco Bay Area locally, Townhall Webcasting for corporations is a local webcasting service we perform. That requires no real travel arrangements that we cant deal with all day long. Load the Webcasting equipment on our truck, usually one of our video flypacks, and hit it.
But global webcasting in far off lands,, we have been doing it for years now. And it carries it’s own set of travel and cultural issues that you need to deal with on an international webcast.

We are constantly thinking about how make travel, packing, and the actual gear we purchase and use in our live webcasting production process as efficient as possible.

1- Choose webcasting gear that is small but mighty

Always be aware of the newest and most compact gear available.
We research, purchase, demo and test new video production webcasting equipment constantly. We set the equipment up in our equipment chain in our studio and out it through it’s paces. If it’s smaller and simpler thats great. It also has to be 100% reliable and produce great images. Most of all it has to add to our flexibility. You need to have a process and the gear that does not fall apart if one or two requests by the client, or an unexpected change at the webcast location introduces a change to the production. You need to be able to change input types, accept files, stream to various locations quickly and reliably.

2- Have a scale to weigh your gear

Weigh all of your luggage and make sure its at least 2 pounds under the no charge limit. Usually 50 LBS for International travel. 

3- Test your equipment chain right before you pack

Lay out your webcasting gear on the floor and hook it up as a test and leave it there until you move it directly into your Hard Pelican wheel cases. 

4- Be aware of the voltage requirements of your equipment

Does all of your equipment that uses a power supply have the ability to accept 110v – 240v?  Check this site for info on international power  plugs. Remember a plug adapter is different than a Transformer. If your equipment doesn’t work on the voltage in your destination, you either will need a voltage transformer or equipment that works on dual or 220/240volts. Transformers that accept more then one plug or high wattage equipment are heavy. This will ruin your packing plan to avoid overweight fees.
If so is there a switch on the equipment to set the voltage?
For those pieces that use UPC (Universal Poser Cords) do you have the right plug adapter?

5- Get a Carnet

A what? A few years ago we were on a trip to Shanghai China. We were working for a US company that was organizing and hosting a large Medical Policy conference there. Being that we were not guests of the government, having video cameras was a “Red Flag” at the customs entry into China. We ended up having to post a $12,000 “bond” with Customs before we could enter the country. Needless to say this was a huge hassle, took a full day out of our schedule. Try to find thousands of dollars in China, that you or someone willing to lend it to you does not need for 10 days, at a moments notice.

We have not needed this in Europe, or South America, although we have been hassled a bit on return in New York once from Prague. It would have been useful there.

We have learned that this situation cannot be avoided in certain countries. It is a bit of a hassle but is worth it for those countries that are not your typical tourist destinations from the US.

Having your client arrange for a Work Permit can help, but is a lot of trouble and  often they wont or cant do that.

Having a Carnet, helps a lot. A carnet is a US Customs form. US Customs also offers Form 4577. This form is what we used to use. It is lengthy and a hassle to fill out since every single piece of equipment needs its own form filled out with details. So now we use a Carnet

Carnet is a single form that lists all items your crew would be traveling with, it proves you own it and eliminates the need to pay taxes on it as if you bought it at your destination and are trying to bring it back new. US Customs Agents are legally required to accept it. It also helps to have your gear not look brand new. Have labels and names on all your gear so it all looks uniform, as if its all belongs to the same company.

Categories: Conference webcasting live webcasting townhall webcasts