A vaccine for Covid-19 seems to be still far away (at least for most of us), which means that online conferencing will continue to boom, and we constantly discover new tools and apps that can be used to stream, meet, and collaborate.
We took another service for a test. It is called Crowdcast, and it allows you to create an online presence to host all your live events.
Crowdcast is a service to host your live online event paid or free, where you can stream to multiple platforms at once, start right away with your webcam or connect to professional streaming software.
To test this service, we signed up for the two-week trial and created our own profile and event.
Features at a glance
As a creator on Crowdcast, you have your own profile page and a channel that people can subscribe to. The upcoming and previous events are listed on your channel.
You can create your own registration form and embed the event on your own page.
Attendees can take part in any event by only registering with an email address.
No app needed, it is possible to participate using the browser as well as desktop or mobile.
How does it work?
Creating your first event
The interface of the service is really simple and clear. The first thing you see is creating the event where you add basic information and divide the event it into sessions if you want to.
Here, you can change the name of the event, schedule it, add a description, make private or public, and, last but not least, add access options. You can choose between free access, password, Patreon, and payment.
After getting it done, you will see additional options such as editing the cover picture of the event, registration form, streaming options, and some advanced settings like customizing the registration button and limiting the number of attendees.
When everything is set up, you go to the page of your event. There’s a nice countdown, showing how long it is till your event.
At the time of the event, you have the option to stream with your webcam or connect to the live stream software.
You can also test the quality of your video and audio before going live.
When the live stream starts, you get multiple possibilities to interact with your audience: polls, chats, Q&A.
You can still edit everything on the fly.
You can also enable or disable any of the functions, register the emails, email the attendees, export the chat log, delete the session, and archive or duplicate the whole event.
One of the features that stands out is that you can simply upgrade one of the attendees to a speaker.
Each session can be streamed on Facebook, Youtube, Periscope, or on your own site.
Crowdcast integrates well with several helpful services like Mailchimp, Slack, Drip, ConvertKit, etc., multi streams, and RTMP Studio support.
A diverse audience
We browsed through the events on the Crowdcast discover page and noticed that the range of conference types is very wide. The kinds of organizers are diverse as well: starting with individual content creators and ending with big companies and NGOs.
So, the platform can be suitable for a lot of different conferences.
Another cool feature is that you can join any online conference you see, as well as re-watch the one you have missed.
There is no free plan, but you can check out the service during the 2-week trial. Paid accounts start at 29$ per month and go up to 195$ per month. The service proposes four kinds of subscriptions: Starter, Lite, Pro, and Business.
Some of the features are only available in the more expensive subscriptions. The main difference between the different account types is the streaming time, number of guests, and advanced features.
We noticed a few bugs while editing the event in Safari, but there weren’t any issues while working in Chrome. However, at this price, one would not expect to experience interruptions.
All in all, Crowdcast is an easy to get started live stream platform with a simple onboarding process and clear navigation. This service will work for both independent content creators and businesses.
It should be mentioned, though, that it has limited branding features, so it is probably not the first choice for big online conferences or events with a strict corporate identity. For instance, Livestorm, another platform we wrote about, allows you to add a logo and your branded colors.
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