One of the most valuable and visible uses of enterprise video today is the CEO webcast. It’s familiar to everyone because it replaces something everyone can relate to: the prototypical “all hands meeting” where everyone is gathered in the cafeteria, with the company leader speaking face to face with everyone, together.

The times have changed, but the need for this kind of honest and immediate communication to everyone together lives on. For many of our customers, this is the driving use case for implementing strategic video content management across their organization.

A well-executed CEO webcast appears effortless, but in reality requires discipline, preparation and the right tools in place in order to be successful. Here are six must-have components to every successful CEO webcast:


1. Authenticity. Think of that cafeteria all hands meeting…one of the most valuable elements was hearing your leader speak frankly and naturally about what’s going on.  It’s critical to preserve that authenticity in a live streamed webcast too. The less powerpoint the better. Ideally your CEO will speak without a teleprompter, but if she uses one, make sure she has practiced with it and is comfortable. The setting can be an auditorium, a “fireside chat” set, or even a webcam or mobile device. Authenticity trumps production value – some of the best events are the simplest.


2. Interactivity. Another important element of in-person events is the ability to field questions and respond real-time to the team.  Modern live meeting platforms like Qumu’s allow questions to be asked. Audience polling and screen sharing are other tools that make the meeting more interactive.  Asking a question ahead of time can increase participation and help break the ice.


3. Security CEO webcasts are a paradox; they need to reach as wide an audience within the enterprise as possible, but be tightly secured from anyone outside of the company. You need your Video Content Management platform to manage the security of live and on demand video with the same rigor as your other communications and content via LDAP and other similar tools. It’s also important to be able to comply with your company’s content retention policies.


4. Reach An all hands meeting that doesn’t reach “all hands” defeats the purpose. You need your video platform to reach your teams on three dimensions: distance, time, and device.

  • Scale: map your employees globally, along with their network environment. Develop a plan that ensures live streaming capacity, with good viewing experience, accounting for expected attendance percentages. This is the downfall of many live events: not having the capacity to reach thousands or tens of thousands of people that want to watch live.
  • Time: Some of your employees will want or need to watch later. Have a plan for time shifting a re-broadcast and also making the event available for on demand viewing.
  • Device: Mobile viewing is no longer an option; build mobile into your overall broadcast plan.  Also be sure and review all of your audience and their needs. For example, many companies have thousands of thin client users. Enterprise video platforms can deliver high quality video to thin client desktops at scale to include this portion of your audience.


5. Reliability Enterprises that make CEO webcasts look easy work very hard to make that happen. Successful events require a process, clear definition of roles, the right technology in the right places in the organization, and rigorous testing and rehearsals of every aspect of the event.  A common misstep: being tempted by shortcuts.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


6.  Searchability In today’s constantly “on” businesses, not everyone can attend the event live. And despite best intentions, some will quickly forget to click the link in the email to watch it later that day.  Overall viewability is greatly improved for organizations that make it very easy for people to find the video later, when they are ready to watch.  Modern video content management platforms have Speech Search capability that makes finding a broadcast or even a specific topic within a broadcast as easy as searching for something with Google.

CEO webcasts are more important than ever in our global, virtual work environments. Making these events as good as they can be is a differentiator for your business that will improve the engagement of your people and the unity of purpose of your organization.