Your business livestreamed

This remote working brought on by the global coronavirus crisis has turned everyone into a video star. Be it Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Teams, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Mikogo or any of the other platforms, all of a sudden, you’re expected to give sales meetings, presentations, seminars, workshops with a webcam that’s usually worse than the camera in your phone. There’s also public meetings- from city commissions and school boards and really important things like the NFL draft. We’ve seen broadcast TV go from huge productions with live audiences to Chris Cuomo in his basement.

The advantages of livestreaming can be immense. Our audience is only limited to places within reach of the Internet, no travel required. Instant feedback and group discussion can become part of any production. When we consider that the average current iPhone has more power in it than a multi-million dollar video production truck circa 1990 when The Next Wave began, it’s only fitting that we’re also on the leading edge of the livestream revolution.

We did our first livestream for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau back in 2012, using proprietary tools from uStream, to later doing livestreams with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) and Youtube. We’ve recently added a live switcher/keyer/streaming board to our video production toolset, allowing us to switch as many as 4 video sources at once including flying keys, graphic overlays and picture in picture.

A client who was supposed to do a 2.5 day live training in person, recently hired us to help her make her WebEx look better. One of the first things we learned is to leave a space on your Powerpoint slides for a picture in picture of you, because no one wants to stare at a slide while listening to you talk about it. Another tip- bigger text on slides, since some people may be participating with small screens.

When you combine professional lighting, sound along with top quality video cameras and a dedicated producer, you take your corporate communications to a whole new level. If you need advice, help or a complete broadcast production package, please consider calling The Next Wave to help you take your production to the next level.

A livestream setup for WebEx

How to take your WebEx seminar to the next level with pro video

How Costco could use customer data to save lives

How Costco could use customer data to save lives

There is a reason companies involved in retail food distribution are paying their employees a premium during the Coronavirus Crisis, workers are risking death to come to work. And while the idea of strolling through the aisles and shopping as if nothing has changed may be reassuring to many, with every touch of a freezer door handle, checkout register, or close contact with a cashier, the risk of transmission rises. This is not how to do business in a pandemic, especially if you are sitting on every customers complete buying history through your database.

Costco has already seen the mad effect of hording, and has limited purchases of items in high demand. But, this still doesn’t solve the human interactions involved in processing these sales using their conventional sales processes. And, setting certain hours aside for seniors is nice, but, not protecting your employees anymore than normal.

This is a new normal, and the solution is simple: Build a list of every customers historic purchases based on frequency of purchase over the last 3 years. Create a pick list, with items purchased most often at the top. Send a pre-built cart to the customer via their customer ID- allow them to place an order, and have it picked, waiting for pickup outside the store at a designated time. Set the limits based on historic purchases- ie: I buy 18 rolls of Kirkland toilet paper every 8 weeks. The same would go for the new reality.

The non-grocery purchases, from toaster ovens to TV’s would still be available via the same cart- without restriction other than inventory constraints. And while there are some items that Costco may stock that I may need that are in high demand, but, I’ve not bought before, like a thermometer or hydrogen peroxide, these would be managed like any other inventory item, as needed, after the people who’ve historically bought it regularly have had first dibs.

While this system is being built for the Coronavirus crisis, it may become the new norm, especially as more people learn to plan more, shop less and realize that time is still a precious commodity.

As to the additional cost of having employees pick and fill orders, add a per order surcharge based on the size of the order. Trust me, customers will be willing to pay, and employees will feel a lot safer not having to interact with as many customers and risk contamination.

While this isn’t possible for most smaller businesses who don’t have the customer data, or the technology behind it, if there is anything this crisis will teach companies- it’s the value of a seasoned employee, who knows your business and how it operates. The costs of training, the costs of hiring, will become incredibly clear for those who lose parts of their workforce due to the pandemic.