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For many businesses, COVID-19 has made providing in-person wellness services either difficult or impossible. Because of this, providing virtual services from home via live streaming has become an increasingly popular method of driving sales and customer engagement.

However, it's also presented a new challenge as providers work to adapt their homes to hosting live stream services. Whether you’re living in a studio apartment or a two-story house, each living space will have its own unique benefits and drawbacks.

Before diving into producing live streams in your home, you’ll want to identify the business’ live streaming goals and the options you have for transforming your space.

Planning your level of investment

Your business’ long-term plans:
When building your in-home live streaming workspace, it’s important to consider your business’ long-term plans for when it becomes possible to provide in-person services again.

  • Do you plan to adopt a hybrid model (live streaming your in-person classes), or keep your virtual and in-person services separate?
  • Will you allow staff members to continue teaching virtual classes from home, or conduct all of your live streams from your business location?
  • Will virtual services play a large part in your business’ offerings going forward?

The answers to these questions will inform the level of investment you make into your live streaming setup today. Keep in mind, it would be best to purchase hardware you can transition smoothly into your long-term setup once you begin providing services at your business location again.

The size of your staff:
While it’s true that using purpose-built audio & video hardware will greatly improve the quality of your live stream, investing in premium hardware might be harder to budget if you need to supply that hardware to a larger staff.

Fortunately, there are many hardware options that can dramatically improve your live streams for a more scalable cost. In the end, the ideal solution will strike a balance between quality and budget that fits the needs of your business.

Choosing your ideal room

Ideally, you’ll be able to use a room that’s dedicated to live streaming. Having a dedicated space allows you to create a semi-permanent arrangement that you won’t need to set up and take down every session. It also allows you to decorate and stage your live stream to best reflect the tone and branding of your business.

That being said, there are many ways to make shared rooms work great for conducting live stream services. When selecting which room to use for live streams, keep an eye out for the following qualities:

Easy to set up
It should be clean, and you shouldn’t need to move a lot of furniture.

Ample space to move
Your live stream workspace should be spacious enough for you to move around comfortably. Likewise, you should be able to place your camera far enough away that you won’t risk moving out of frame during your session.

Not a high-traffic area
You don’t want other residents walking in on your live streams.

Plentiful natural light
Natural light will reduce the need for lighting hardware, but make sure your primary light source isn’t positioned behind you.

As close to your Wi-Fi router as possible
Keeping your streaming device close to your Wi-Fi router will help reduce latency and improve your live stream’s performance. If you can connect your computer to your router directly with an ethernet cable, that would be even better.
We also recommend running an internet speed test on your computer to make sure your internet service is fast enough to support HD live streaming.

Soft acoustics
To prevent noticeable reverb in your audio, it’s best to choose a room with a lot of soft surfaces, like carpeting. If you have to use your garage or a similar room for live streaming, try laying down some rugs and hanging blankets on the walls to soften the acoustics. Just make sure any hung blankets aren’t visible on-camera.

Free of visual distractions
The background of your live stream should be free of distractions, like clutter, TV screens, or other residents. This contributes greatly to the professional feel of your production.
If you don’t have a wall you can use as a backdrop, try hanging a large piece of solid color, cut fabric instead.

Making the most of your chosen room

Keeping your audio & video hardware set up between live streams can be harder to maintain without a dedicated room. If you’re working in a smaller living space, we recommend integrating your live streaming hardware into your existing computer workspace.

For a great example of this, check out this video from Mindbody One Champion Michael Jay:

Creating a modular workspace that can be easily rearranged for live streaming is a great way to improve prep time before a session while also reducing the troubleshooting time needed whenever you have to set up your audio & video hardware from scratch.

A great way to ensure flexibility in your working space is to opt for small & portable hardware. For example, if your space requires dedicated lighting, LED panels can be a life saver. They’re compact, lightweight, and produce significantly less heat than incandescent lamps. What’s more, smaller panels can run on battery power – reducing the need to string cables along your floor. Most lights will need a tripod to stand properly, so keep that in mind when shopping.

If your needs require you to regularly change rooms or locations, it’s even more important that your hardware be portable and easy to set up.

Creating a professional-looking product anywhere:

Creating a clean space that reflects your business’ brand makes a huge difference in the professionalism of your live streams. Of course, your space is only part of the equation. An investment in purpose-built audio & video hardware is a major step in creating a high-quality live stream that differentiates your business from your competitors.

Remember, investing in your live stream productions doesn’t have to break the bank. Acquiring just a few budget-priced core essentials will have a tremendous impact on your production quality.

For more information, take a look at Mindbody’s Recommended Audio Hardware and Recommended Video Hardware articles, as well as our Creating content like a pro Learning Center course.