Public Meetings: Video Stream Simulcasting Broadens Constituent Access


The last year created new innovations out of crisis for public meetings. Digital solutions aimed at helping governments engage with their constituents existed before the pandemic. But the restrictions placed on in-person public meetings greatly impacted how local governments involved their residents and stakeholders in critical legislative discourse.

Many governments leveraged existing video tools to provide virtual access. Others cobbled together workable processes to weather the storm while still providing means for constituent input, as well as management and tracking of issues.

Regardless of how governments created public meeting solutions during the pandemic, one thing is certain as we emerge to a “new normal:” Constituents have had a taste of digital government in action, and they like it.

The ability to engage with public meetings online, providing meaningful public project feedback and input, attracts more residents to engage with their local government. As councils and organizations embrace these new channels of interaction, effective digital government can no longer be a piecemeal approach. Governments that connect with residents where they are most likely to participate will create the best chances for civic engagement. Whether in person, through a website, or mobile interfaces, the best interactions feature solutions that integrate powerful technologies into a seamless experience.

Innovating Tools to Manage Public Meetings of the Future

Meeting that developing demand, the govMeetings suite of tools is undergoing major enhancements, refreshes, and adding new capabilities throughout 2021. Building on an already industry-leading platform, these new elements will be the ultimate tool for managing public meetings for today and in the future. These capabilities will also grant clerks the power they need to prepare and run meetings, transmit live video streams, record minutes, and publish their meetings while engaging the entire community in the legislative process.

These enhancements improve and support the changes to public meeting environments, such as virtual and hybrid meetings, by moving in-meeting applications to the cloud. By reimagining the govMeetings streaming solution to incorporate the latest video technologies, governments can also count on dependable, secure, and highly-engaging online meetings for all constituents.

Constituent Audience Growth with Multichannel Video Streaming for Public Meetings

Video streaming played a vital role not only in the growth of civic engagement with public meetings during the pandemic, but in making it possible to hold public meetings at all. This need will continue post-pandemic as governments continue placing much needed emphasis on access to the public process for all its citizens.  For communities and governments looking to make strides toward addressing inequities, video streaming is a powerful tool.

Social media continues to show the depth of that engagement power. Facebook Live and YouTube both played important roles in providing a platform for government video streaming and will continue to do so in the future. Integrating the power of these platforms into a consistent and manageable experience for governments, however, can prove a difficult challenge.

The new Live Cast streaming solution in govMeetings allows users to leverage the power of these streaming services to present simulcast streaming of public meetings with fidelity, security, and reliability. Granicus has teamed with  Wowza to leverage Wowza’s ClearCaster™ appliance and Streaming Cloud™ service to allow clerks the ability to send video streams to multiple streaming destinations with simulcast streaming. After an easy initial setup, clerks and staff can easily send streams to their government’s website, YouTube Live, and a wide range of other destinations, increasing exposure and access.

How Simulcasting Impacts Public Meetings

Simply put, simulcasting broadcasts video to multiple targets at the same time. Meetings transmitted through govMeetings Live Cast can simulcast live and in real time from govMeetings to Facebook. Then, with cloud-based streaming, the live video can also stream to YouTube, websites and other video sites.

Innovations to Come

Governments want to involve all of their community in public meetings. Doing so makes sure that public debates around government plans represent the actual needs of the widest variety of residents and stakeholders. From the broadest debate, governments can make decisions that stand the test of time.

Granicus continues to develop the govMeetings solution to make citizen involvement easier and more convenient through audience growth, while providing the highest levels of cybersecurity and ADA accessibility.

Live Cast is just one of several new govMeetings enhancements Granicus will be announcing in 2021. By integrating new and forward-thinking solutions to video streaming, agenda management, minutes recording and publishing, and more, govMeetings helps clerks avoid issues with redundant distribution while

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