“Our live event has gone virtual! Click below to register for a star-studded lineup.”
Since your organization has transitioned to home-based work, how many emails have you received touting the next great virtual event? My informal estimate is 3 – 5 per day.
Since VideoLink has been producing virtual events for years, every new invite piques my professional curiosity. So frequently, I register and then head straight to the agenda. And then, usually, I wish I’d had the opportunity to have a quick conversation with event organizers to share some knowledge on our Team approach to virtual events. So, if you’re thinking about producing a virtual event, allow me to offer some perspective on the three Teams that are essential to producing a great event.
Team #1: Creative
Who doesn’t love a well-produced live conference? Great keynotes, panels, exhibitors, and networking opportunities. No question, the live event is a great professional experience.
But at a live event with great speakers, we’re focused. We’re out of the office and on a mission to get the most out of our investment. At home, well, that’s a different story.
In the home viewing environment, viewers are not as locked in, and so your event needs to take a different approach. Simply repurposing your live event of back-to-back speakers without adapting the content to remote viewing is a recipe for failure. It’s a lot like radio on TV. It just doesn’t work. Registration and retention both suffer and engagement opportunities are missed.
So, the first bit of advice I’d like to share; when reimagining your event, bring creative storytellers into the mix early on. Reimagine your agenda, and create a new show for a new platform, one that fully embraces the nature of the remote viewing environment.
Shorten your presentations, rethink the run-of-show, and program in interactive features at regular intervals.
Consider adding fireside chats, panels, and pre-produced videos to the mix. Keep the pace brisk, the segment types varied, and the interactive features meaningful.
Team #2: The Platform
For those planning their first virtual event, the first logical step appears to be choosing a platform.
Rich media platforms, with their diverse interactive feature sets and detailed analytics, are core components of virtual events. But all too often, first-time virtual event planners equate the platform with the event, which is understandable but inaccurate.
Rich media platforms are powerful and highly configurable tools, but they are raw material. They need to be configured, programmed, and populated with excellent content to deliver a great event. And that responsibility falls beyond the scope of your platform partner and onto you and your team. In the end, a platform is only as good as its content and the way that content is configured. Viewing your platform as a starting point and not a one-stop-shop is critical to creating a great event.
Team #3: Production
Rock-solid video production is essential to creating a professional, glitch-free event.
Transmission, lighting, redundancy, and live-event troubleshooting are all make-or-break components of a virtual event. These components are all independent of the virtual event platform, which is why you want a video production partner on your virtual event team.
Zoom and Skype are great tools. But, professional production companies with web-based communication tool experience (full disclosure: us!) have hardware solutions to improve production quality. They also have broadcast redundancy solutions to ensure your backup plan has a backup plan because nothing kills a virtual event quicker than technical difficulties.
Bringing it All Together
Hopefully, you’ve got a better picture of what goes into building a great virtual production team. And yet, we’ve just brushed the surface, with so much more to discuss. Still have questions? We love to talk about virtual productions. So drop us an email or contact us here. We’re always happy to share some advice and put you on the path to producing a dynamic virtual event that keeps your invite out of the “Deleted” folder, sponsors thrilled, and viewers glad they attended.