Virtual events, hybrid meetings and live streaming will continue to be the “new normal” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosting a virtual event requires the same care and planning as an in-person gathering; the fundamentals still matter, and your audio visual (AV) partner continues to play a pivotal role in making it a successful event.
It is critical to treat your virtual event just like an in-person gathering by creating relevant, thought-provoking content, with dynamic delivery, and an engaging experience for the audience.
Matt Emerson, president of CEAVCO Audio Visual Co., Inc., who is also the founder and a member of the Rental and Staging Network (RSN), outlines 10 ways your AV provider helps ensure a successful virtual event by:
1. Developing a strategy that approaches the event from the attendees’ perspectives that is uniquely designed for a virtual experience. It should include shortened and streamlined sessions, engaging content and professional moderation.
2. Executing technical aspects seamlessly by managing all facets of production, such as muting participants’ microphones, playing pre-recorded content and switching to live presentations at the appropriate moment.
3. Identifying the right platform—either an existing solution or a one of a kind, custom-built program.
4. Consulting with presenters in advance to test connections, ensuring there are not any connectivity or speed issues that will negatively impact their presentations. Pre-recording speaker sessions is also recommended for virtual events.
5. Creating eye-catching content and engaging the audience in creative ways with a live check-in to orientate attendees, as well as encouraging attendee participation through chat, polls and Q&A.
6. Coaching presenters about posture, eye contact, segues and lighting (especially if using a webcam or broadcasting from home), as well as providing clothing recommendations so presenters wear colors that perform well on camera.
7. Providing professional moderation with carefully timed introductions for videos and presentations.
8. Promoting the event with custom developed attention-grabbing web portals for registration, event information, attendee networking and material downloads.
9. Eliminating meeting planners’ stress to learn and execute technical aspects. An AV company is your partner, handling the technology and allowing planners and other team specialists to focus on programming, marketing and strategy.
10. Expanding event reach by delivering a value-added experience that produces results that extend past the screen. When done right, virtual events generate revenue and supply footage that can be used for future educational and promotional opportunities.
Taking these steps will create a positive experience for your attendees, presenters and stakeholders and deliver the rave reviews and accolades that every planner wants to hear once the event has ended!
Mark Miller is president of the Rental and Staging Network (RSN) and president and CEO of Markey’s Rental & Staging, a national rental and staging company, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. With more than 35 years of experience in the event technology business, he leads RSN, a top-tier network of live event production companies throughout North America. The network allows event planners and producers to access the very best in live event production throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.