​​How To Live Stream a Graduation using a Smartphone (on a budget)

Gaston Garcia
Gaston Garcia
December 1, 2022
​​How To Live Stream a Graduation using a Smartphone (on a budget)

Graduations are a time for family, friends, and loved ones to gather together. It’s a special occasion to celebrate the success of their graduate, a moment that will be remembered and cherished for years.

Many families and schools wonder how they can keep these milestones present in the future, and live streaming them is a fantastic way to achieve that.

These days, you can go live without spending too much money or without having any prior experience with broadcasting events. There are affordable ways for you to go live at a graduation ceremony using the tools you already have.

You can use your smartphone as a streaming device, and it’s as easy as recording a video.

What are the benefits of live streaming a graduation ceremony?

Some people who cannot attend the event may be too far away or have other obligations that prevent them from being there. Live streaming the ceremony will allow them to watch it in real time, which is great because it allows them to be a part of the big day for their loved ones.

Here are some of the main reasons to go live at the event:

  • Sharing the event with friends and family who are unable to attend in person
  • Keeping an online replay for people who would like to watch it later on their own time
  • Allowing graduates to watch their own ceremony whenever they want, since it will be stored online
  • Celebrating the graduates' achievement with everyone else, and even future generations who are aiming towards the same goal

What do you need to live stream a graduation ceremony?

You might be surprised to know that you don’t need much. Since you already own a smartphone, all you need is a small tripod that you can get for 10-15 USD, and maybe a microphone, depending on the location.

To make it as simple as possible, you can live stream using just your phone, or any tablet.

graduation ceremony streaming live

If you want to improve the quality of the stream, a small tripod will definitely increase the production quality, even if you think you don’t need one.

The simplest, most affordable tripod can do the trick. Here’s a link to one from Amazon that will get the job done.

Then, if you want to provide an amazing experience for viewers at home, you can do so by increasing the quality of your audio. You can add a wireless microphone for 60 to 90 US dollars. Here’s one for Apple Devices, and one for Android.

Oh and by the way, if you prefer to use a tablet or iPad for this purpose, you will need one of these.

How to go live at the graduation ceremony?

1- Schedule the event

Before graduation day comes, the first thing you need to do is schedule the event using a live streaming app or platform. 

This can be done using free social media options such as Facebook or Instagram, but they have certain limitations. For instance, they might block your livestream as soon as the music starts playing.

Using a live streaming app such as EventLive will simplify your job and make your first graduation streaming a success. You can download it for iPhone or Android phones, and it works great on iPads too.

After installing the streaming app, you can go ahead and schedule the graduation ceremony. Don’t worry, you will have the chance to test it for free as many times as you need before the actual event.

2- Get their expectations up

Streaming the ceremony with a smartphone doesn’t mean that they’re going to get a poor experience. It’s quite the opposite.

By customizing your event page with important information for the graduates as well as their families, everyone will be stoked when they see the final results.

online graduation viewing page

Before inviting them, make sure to add important links and a welcome message to your live stream. You can pin it at the top so no one misses it.

Virtual attendees will see it before the event and you can get them to leave a message on the guestbook or simply enter their email address to get notifications when the video stream starts.

If you want to go the extra mile, get images from the school and graduates to create a simple slideshow for them. It will play automatically when they join the page, which really helps with boosting engagement.

3- Invite and share the event page with others

Since there might be other people interested in your live stream, you can involve students, the school, or even some parents who would love to have the video as a keepsake. It saves automatically online as well as on your phone, so no need to do anything in that regard.

EventLive allows you to share it with as many people as you need, since there’s no cap on attendees.

You can simply share the private link with them, and unless you set a password, anyone can join with a single tap. They can watch on mobile, desktop, or TV, all without downloading the app or signing up.

As you’re going for a DIY solution, you won’t need much help from anyone really. That being said, it’s good to let them know that you’ll be streaming live, so they don’t pose for pictures or stand in your way when they see your simple setup.

4- Get the credit

If you’re doing the live stream for an organization such as a school or faculty, or even for a business, don’t forget to upload your logo (or theirs) to the event page.

People can click on the logo to get more information about the institution or business right away.

When doing the live stream for yourself or a family member, you don't need to upload a logo or anything like that, so you can skip this.

5- Test your internet connection on location

No matter how easy live streaming can be, it is important that you test your internet connection before going live. EventLive allows you to run unlimited tests to check for internet, audio, and video. Simply look for the “Good Connection” overlay on your screen.

You can also do it in a minute or two by using a free speed tester such as Ookla’s Speed Test or any free broadband testing app.

Look out for your upload speed, as it will help you choose between 4G/5G or WiFi at the actual ceremony. You need at least 3mbps for a smooth live stream. Remember this: Download speed is not important and Upload Speed is the one you need to look at.

While choosing your connection, consider the fact that if using an open WiFi network, multiple people will be connected at the same time. This will directly affect your ability to stream live video. Using an unlimited data plan or a private WiFi connection is best.

This is also a great moment for you to test your audio. If you decided to get a wireless microphone for this purpose, connect it to your smartphone and place the transmitter close to the podium or event speakers. The app will automatically detect it and show you a green bar with audio levels on the left side of your screen.

6- Go live at the actual graduation ceremony

You’re ready to go. It’s showtime.

At the graduation ceremony open the event within the app, and press “Go Live”. It will be available one hour before the scheduled time.

Guests will be notified immediately after you start, so it’s best to give them about 5-10 minutes to connect.

Set your phone on a tripod for best results, connect your microphone if you have one, and tap the recording button.

Easy, isn’t it?

Tips to make your graduation live stream a success

  • Whenever possible, visit the location in advance to see where graduates will be walking in and out of the stage. This will help you choose the best placement for your tripod and your wireless microphone.
  • Share the event with enough time, so people can activate the notification bell and share it with other people who might be interested in it
  • Choose between a Guestbook or Chat to allow interaction from viewers at home. Guestbooks are fantastic as they allow you to download a PDF with all the well wishes and messages, while Chats are good to create engaging conversations between virtual guests.
  • Add useful links to the virtual event, such as Event Program, School or Faculty websites, and social media channels that they use
  • When using modern smartphones, you can use the zoom buttons within the app to highlight each student. iPhones are especially good at this as they enable you to swap between 0.5x and 2/3x lenses without losing quality.
zooming at a graduate ceremony live stream

  • Keep in mind that without a wireless microphone, everything you (or anyone else) says next to the device will be heard by viewers at home. It’s always good to let people around you know that you’re streaming live, especially if they are commenting on the graduation ceremony or having a private conversation.

I hope this guide was useful to you, and that you lose the fear you might have of going live for the first time. Download the live streaming app and play with it for a few minutes to see how easy the entire process can be.

I wish you the best of luck, but I know you won’t need it after choosing the right tools for the job.

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Gaston Garcia
Gaston Garcia

Live Streaming enthusiast, in-house Marketer at EventLive, Wedding Photographer. Interested in all-things technology.

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