Checklist for Setting Up a Live Stream Funeral or Memorial

When you’re planning to set up the venue for the live streaming of a funeral, memorial or celebration of life, it is important to keep in mind that you will be catering to three audiences and each one is important. To make each of your audiences feel as included as possible, think of them equally in terms of the visual and audio presentation. 

Your three audiences include those gathered in-person in the venue, those who will watch the live stream online and the third audience is those who will watch the video recording of the event which may be posted for on-demand viewing at a later date.

For the best possible outcome, consider retaining a professional event planner to help you plan and produce the event. Funerals, memorials and celebration of life events are important milestones which cannot be done over and require the utmost attention to detail. You’ll be thankful for the investment you make in professionalism.

Visual Cues are Important for a Live Stream Funeral or Memorial

Visual cues help the audience understand and feel the spirit of the event. Visual cues can include both on and off camera images for each audience. Some visual cues include:

  • Attendants who welcome guests and their attire
  • Floral arrangements and positioning for on-camera visibility
  • Multi-media including slideshows and videos which should be available by simulcast to online and in-person audiences
  • Live musical performances available by simulcast to online and in-person audiences
  • Visibility of in-person guests to the online audience based on preferences of the family

funeral event checklist

Checklist and Suggestions for Setting up the Live Stream Venue Space

  1. Create an Order of Service outlining the program for the event, include time-line and names of all participants and distribute to event staff, ushers, speakers and musicians.
  2. Arrange for guestbook table(s) with table cloth if desired.
  3. Guestbook – recommend loose leaf pages or postcards which can be added to a book later. This permits spacing out the arriving guests for privacy and social distancing.
  4. Multiple pens should be available for guestbook signing.
  5. Hand sanitizer should be available at touch points.
  6. Flower arrangements – work with your videographer to place the arrangements for best visibility during filming. Be prepared to accept and place additional arrangements that may be brought by family and friends.
  7. Photo collage displays are a nice way to provide tactile and visual elements.
  8. Tribute photo – we recommend a dry-mounted photo with a matt finish, mounted on an easel. We recommend avoiding glass covered photos to prevent glare.
  9. Appoint a point person as event manager so that the family members are free to participate in the event without distraction.
  10. Appoint ushers to welcome, direct guests, hand out leaflets, etc.
  11. Hold a pre-event meeting on-site at least 1 hour prior to the start of the event with the event manager, videographer, ushers, speakers and musicians if applicable to review the Order of Service and assign responsibilities.
  12. Test the public address system if you are using one.
  13. Test the live stream audio and video as an online participant. If you are using a professional company like Virtual Memorial Gatherings, they will take care of this for you.
  14. Plan how you want the family to enter and exit. For the sake of online guests and those who will watch the recording later, many will want to see the faces of family and friends and this can be accomplished by having the recessional exit take place in cooperation with the videographer.
  15. Position the on-camera speakers for the best possible lighting. For outdoor venues, check angle of the sun during the same time of day that you will be going live. Avoid back lighting to prevent silhouetting of the speakers. 
  16. For outdoor events consider bringing paperweights in the event of wind and secure all banners, tripods and microphone stands with professional photographer’s weighted sandbags. For paperweights we like to use small, smooth river rocks.
  17. For safety, secure all exposed cabling with gaffer’s tape.

You could also use these tips for holding a virtual memorial gathering and use the guidelines for setting up your visual aspects for an online event.

We hope these tips are useful. Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

We’re here to help you plan a virtual memorial or facilitate a livestreaming option.

We’ll guide you through the options.

We’ll answer your questions.

We’ll make suggestions based on your expectations.

We’ll never pressure you. Be comfortable in the decisions you make.