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Ensuring Smooth Running of Live Events

Steven Kopec

Head of Service Management

May 17, 2021


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The live event industry has been particularly hard hit throughout the pandemic. Canceled and delayed events have started to give way to events with minimal in-person presence and no audience. At the same time, the consumer appetite for engagement with live events continues to grow. All of this means that being able to live stream events is more important than ever.With consumers unable to attend events in person, the appetite for live streams that transport them to the event is huge. That means they also have very little patience for interruptions to the feed or anything less than broadcast-grade quality. However, live streaming has its own set of challenges. Unlike pre-recorded, live content has one chance to get it right and unforeseen issues have to be addressed immediately to avoid interruptions. Infrastructure issues such as excessive buffering and low bandwidth, and end-user issues such as outdated devices can result in disconnections and errors.To ensure large-scale content can be successfully delivered to viewers, a dedicated team needs to be on hand to monitor, identify and resolve issues before they become apparent to the viewer.

What can go wrong with a live event?

Going live means that when something does go wrong it can be very challenging to resolve it without impacting the feed for viewers. At the same time, there are a number of problems that often arise, such as:Infrastructure issuesThis could, for example, mean excessing buffering or lower than expected bandwidth availability from your CDN partner. Your infrastructure may not be scaled or prepared for the expected load or you may simply get more traffic than you thought you would.End-user issuesSometimes consumer devices may not be ready for the quality of stream you are presenting. Monetization features may also not be working or not working properly, such as advertising or paywall.Unseen issuesOther unseen issues may arise, where you are not able to identify and resolve them before your customers experience them. This could be issues such as internet connectivity in areas, disconnections from your stream, and uncommon error messages related to non-user visible functions.

How can Accedo help?

Accedo delivers hundreds of hours of live events for our customers every year. From live sports to three-day music festivals, the Accedo Support and Service Management team members work with our customers to make sure that these events go off without a hitch, regardless of what platforms you’re using.Some of our successes include:· A cricket tournament where matches had upwards of 10,000,000 concurrent viewers. We provided an infrastructure review beforehand, as well as managing the events and vendors during each match.· Broadcast of a major international football tournament. As part of our preparations, we reviewed and rebuilt part of the broadcaster’s infrastructure, allowing it to increase its customer load by 60 times. This allowed the broadcaster to support a larger audience for a significantly lower cost.· Broadcast of championship football games. We provided live event management across multiple vendors in its application stack, both as on-site and remote support across 50+ key matches during the year. These matches featured some of the biggest, most important games and drew concurrent users in the 500K range.Accedo uses a four-stage framework, following a well-established process to ensure that we are prepared for your event, and that starts well before the event goes live.

Pre-event review

Before the event, Accedo will sit down with your team to understand the goals of your event, including target audience, locations, the expected number of viewers, and technologies to be used.We will then use the information from the pre-event assessment to identify potential issues and key areas that need to be addressed before the event. Our engineering, DevOps, Monitoring, Information Security, and Support teams will then develop a plan to make sure that we check all areas of your platform and the service to ensure you are ready for your event.During this evaluation, we may make suggestions such as additional CDN capacity, further instrumentation in your applications, or back-end to make sure that we’re capturing all of the potential points that can see a problem, and we will then present you with a test and recommended event plan.

Pre-event testing

It’s great to start with a plan, but making sure that it is tested rigorously before your event is key to minimizing the risks and eliminating any predictable issues that could negatively affect you, your brand, or your customer’s experience during the live event.As part of that execution, Accedo will load test your solution from different points of access globally to make sure that all components of the solution are ready, and any changes that we’ve recommended are working as needed.We will introduce issues into the mix and test the solutions to the expected scale of events so that we can see how the solution reacts and recovers in case of an issue.

During the event

And we don’t stop there. During your event, we make sure that your team is supported by some of the best in the streaming world. Accedo Service Management team members have decades of experience in managing and supporting live event streams for some of the largest brands in the world.We use a combination of commercial monitoring technologies, custom-developed monitoring tools, and our experience to make sure that we are mitigating issues that may come up before you notice them, and more importantly, before your customers are noticing them.

Owning it all

You will have the option to have Accedo function as a one-stop-shop for all of your event management. This means we will manage all of the vendors in a single solution, ensuring that you have one team to contact in case of any issues with your solution or event. Accedo makes it easy for you to offer live events in conjunction with our Service Management team. We want you and your service to be a huge success and we have the experience and proven track record to provide you with that outcome. Get in touch to find out more.

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