Equipment

Smartphones 

The great news is that you probably have the technology you need to be able to livestream in your pocket right now - a smartphone. A smartphone  is the easiest way to use Facebook Live and will allow you to quickly broadcast live without the need for additional microphones or cameras.  Using a mobile phone does though have its limitations, you will not pick up sounds from more than a couple of metres away,   You are limited to a single camera angle but in some instances this may be all you need and by keeping things simple you can concentrate on the content of your event rather than how you are broadcasting it.

If you find you want to have greater flexibility over how you capture sound and video then the sections below provide some further information

Microphones

All microphones have some form of connection in most cases this will be a wire that has either a jack connection or a USB connection.  A USB connection will fit straight into your laptop or PC, if you wish to used a microphone with a jack connection you may need an audio interface such as a mixing desk which you would then connect into a laptop or PC.  

Microphones can either be help in  your hand, held in a microphone stand or clipped to your lapel.  If you are planning on taking questions from your audience at a FB event it is worthwhile having a second wireless microphone that can be offered to participants who wish to ask questions.  We have also found that using a boundary microphone is great for picking up events were a group of people may speak but are separated by some distance.  Boundary microphones pick up sound from all directions and are very sensitive.

We have also had great results from the microphone that is built into our webcam - the more time we have spent on creating this toolkit and using Facebook Live we really think that the only piece of kit you will need to get started is a decent webcam - we have had great results from the Logitec C920 which costs around £50

Audio mixing desk

An audio mixing desk is a really handy piece of kit and allows you to control multiple microphones of different types before feeding them into your Facebook livestream.

We have be using the Behringer 802 mixer which we have found it great.  This has been particularly useful when we added a boundary microphone to a recent livestream.. The boundary microphone allowed us to capture a conversation between 12 people sat in a circle.  You can buy the Behringer 802 mixer on Amazon for around £40

Cameras

We're going to stick our necks on the line now - We would recommend the Logitec C920 its costs £50 and can produce a video stream at the highest resolution allowed by Facebook Live.  The Logitec C920 plugs into the USB port on your laptop and is plug and play.  A good tip is to buy a USB extension cable so that you can setup your equipment a reasonable distance from the event you are filming.  Why not have a look at some of the more recent events in our blog section to see the quality of image you can expect from the Logitec C920.

Tripod

Unless you have the steady hands of a neurosurgeon you are going to need a tripod.  The chances are you have one at home, if not they are relatively inexpensive at around £15 .

Software

For the purposes of this toolkit we have focused on using OBS Studio.  We have done this because this is free and open source with some great articles and forum posts on how to use it.  You wont need to use OBS Studio for some of the methods we have shown to livestream your healthcare event.  You can download OBS Studio here https://obsproject.com/

Shopping list

Keep an eye on our updates page where you will find our most up to date shopping lists