Live events like concerts, conferences, and sports games are coming back in full force as the world opens up again post-pandemic. As an event organizer, you want to deliver the best experience possible for your in-person and remote attendees. A high-quality multi-camera broadcast of your event is key to engaging your audience and creating buzz.

However, building a professional live event broadcast setup requires significant investment in cameras, switchers, audio equipment, and more. Purchasing everything brand new can easily run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s simply not feasible for many event producers and venue owners today.

The good news is you can create a stellar broadcast on a budget by buying quality used gear. The broadcast industry churns through equipment regularly as new models come out. This leaves a robust secondary market of slightly outdated but perfectly functional broadcast equipment at a fraction of retail pricing.

In this blog post, we’ll look at how you can source and integrate used broadcast equipment to elevate your live event productions on a budget.

Sourcing Quality Used Broadcast Gear

The first step is finding the right used gear for your needs. You want equipment that’s professional-grade despite being previously owned. Here are some tips for sourcing great deals on used broadcast gear:

– Call Allied Broadcast Group! 918-250-5353. We can help source even those hard to find pieces.

– Leverage your network – Word of mouth is powerful. Let your industry connections know you’re looking for used gear, and deals may come your way. People are often happy to see cherished equipment go to a good home vs. collect dust.

– Time auctions carefully – Auction sites like eBay can yield deals but require careful bidding strategy. Know the true value of items you want and set max bids accordingly.

When evaluating potential used gear, carefully inspect condition and performance. Test functionality and check for any damage. While you can find great bargains buying used, it’s critical to ensure gear meets your quality standards.

Once you’ve sourced some quality used gear, it’s time to put together your broadcast setup. The backbone will be an HD video switcher which allows smoothly switching between camera feeds and adding graphics. Here are some of the essential used gear components to source:

– Portable multi-camera HD switcher – The Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio line offers broadcast quality switchers compact enough for mobile use at reasonable used prices.

Tripods and other camera support – Steady camera work is crucial for live streams. Manfrotto, Sachtler, and Vinten all make quality pro tripods and sliders which hold value on the used market.

Wireless video transmitters  can send video signals from cameras to your switcher wirelessly, enabling more flexibility in camera positioning.

Headsets and intercom – Clear communication between your crew is vital for smooth broadcasts. Professional intercom systems like ClearCom can be cost-prohibitive new but reasonably priced used.

– Audio equipment – A quality audio mixer, wired and wireless microphones, and accessories round out your production package nicely. Brands like SoundCraft, Shure, and Sennheiser are solid bets.

Take time to map out your workflow and equipment needs before sourcing gear. For multi-day events, backup gear is a wise investment in case of technical issues. And don’t forget essential accessories like batteries, cables, adapters, and cases.

Once your used gear is sourced, it’s time to integrate it into your workflow. While pro equipment isn’t inherently complicated to operate, there is a learning curve. Here are some tips to get up and running smoothly:

– Schedule time for testing – Before your first event, schedule multiple days to test the equipment together. Identify any connection or configuration issues and fine-tune your setup.

– Read user manuals thoroughly – User manuals contain key details on technical specifications, connectivity, configurations, and more. Review them carefully to optimize each piece of gear.

– Watch online tutorials – Numerous free tutorials are available on YouTube and elsewhere demonstrating broadcast gear in action. View relevant videos to sharpen your skills.

– Learn the switcher deeply – Mastering the switcher is critical as it’s the heart of your broadcast operation. Practice switching, managing graphics, and more until the workflow is second nature.

– Recruit an experienced video engineer – If budget allows, bringing in an experienced broadcast technician, even for just your first event, can pay off by quickly getting your team up to speed.

– Start simple – For initial events, limit the number of cameras and overall complexity until your team has gained confidence. Slowly add cameras and production elements at subsequent events.

– Troubleshoot issues immediately – Inevitably issues will arise. Resolving them quickly to limit broadcast disruption takes calm, collected problem solving.

Taking these steps will get your used gear operating smoothly for polished live productions. Be sure to factor training time into your event planning. It’s an investment well worth making.

Venturing into the world of professional live event broadcast technology can seem daunting. But used gear puts quality components within reach of your budget. The savings over buying everything new allows you to deliver highly polished streams even with financial constraints.

Some key advantages of the used gear approach include:

– Major cost savings – Used gear can cut 50% or more off retail pricing for pro equipment, making broadcast quality attainable.

– Increased production value – More cameras, smoother camera movements, and broadcast graphics excite audiences used to slick at-home viewing experiences.

– Flexibility – Owning core gear means you can reconfigure setups to perfectly suit each event vs. being boxed into a rented kit.

– Longevity – Pro gear holds up extremely well over years of use when properly maintained. Your initial investment will keep paying dividends.

– Access to Support – Reputable used gear sellers often include warranties and support options in case issues arise. You’re not just on your own.

The world of live events continues evolving at a rapid pace. Delivering truly professional broadcasts is now a must to engage attendees in person and online. By taking a strategic approach to buying used gear, you can affordably upgrade the production quality of your events. Bring audiences an in-person experience enhanced through broadcast technology without blowing your budget.

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