How to Stream Your Council Meetings Online to Boost Transparency

In the age of digital connectivity, the importance of accessible and transparent city council meetings cannot be overstated. Integrating online streaming, an electronic voting system, and modern audio-visual (A/V) equipment significantly improves transparency and accessibility.

This guide outlines the step-by-step process to start streaming your meetings online, enhancing public engagement, participation, and decision-making.

Step 1: Choosing Platforms and Technology

Before embarking on this transformative journey, ensure you’ve covered these essential groundwork steps:

Select Your Platforms: Choose user-friendly platforms like YouTube or Facebook for online streaming, as well as an electronic voting system with a visual display to make it easy for the public to follow along with your meetings online.

Invest in Modern A/V Equipment: Acquire high-quality A/V equipment that includes advanced features like mic-switching and pan and zoom capabilities. This ensures that online viewers have a smooth, seamless experience during council meetings.

Test the Waters: Conduct tests to ensure seamless connectivity, audio clarity, and video quality for both in-person attendees and online viewers.

Step 2: Ensuring a Great Experience for Online Viewers

Establish a Streaming Hub: Establish a dedicated online presence for your city council on your chosen platform, such as YouTube or Facebook. This hub will host all live streams and archived recordings. Announce Meetings: Publicize the live stream schedule through your website and social media channels. Encourage residents to mark their calendars and participate actively. Engage with Virtual Audience: Consider assigning a moderator to monitor online comments and questions during the meeting. Address relevant queries, fostering a sense of involvement for remote viewers.

Step 3: Utilizing Electronic Voting Systems

Select the Right System: Choose an electronic voting system that suits your council’s needs. Look for features like secure electronic voting, real-time results, and user-friendly interfaces. Additional features such as discussion management are also valuable.

Electronic Voting & Discussion management system for city council, county board, and school board meetings.

The City Council of Wausau, WI streams their meetings online on YouTube and utilizes the OpenMeeting electronic voting system to streamline their meeting processes.

Streamline Meeting Activity: Streaming your meetings online often means you will have more citizens watching your meetings, so efficiency in your meetings is important to boost public perception. Fortunately, electronic voting systems streamline meeting processes such as roll call, discussion, and voting.

Enhance Transparency: Display real-time voting results on-screen, such as motions, seconds, discussion, and vote results to provide transparency and accountability, reinforcing public trust.

Step 4: Post-Meeting Evaluation and Improvement

Evaluate Performance: After a few streamed meetings, gather feedback from both in-person attendees and online viewers. Assess the quality of the streaming, how easy it is to follow along online, and overall A/V experience.

Refine Your Approach: Use feedback to fine-tune your processes. Implement any necessary changes to enhance the overall experience and engagement levels.

Overall, streaming your meetings online is a fantastic way to make your meetings more accessible and transparent for the public. Councils are modernizing their meetings by combining the powers of online streaming, an electronic voting system, and modern A/V equipment. This integration fosters transparency, inclusivity, and participation, creating a space that resonates with both your constituents and the digital age.

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Ready to modernize your legislative meetings? Talk to one of our experts and see if OpenMeeting is a fit for you.