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Virtual Events - When A Webinar Won't Cut It

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

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As we start gearing to get back to in-person events, we have undergone a digital pivot, and here at The Media CTO, we believe the future will be hybrid. Production values for virtual events can not be left behind for you to retain audience attention.

This post is part of our Expert Voices series and co-authored with the kind input from the team at Stream7

A keynote for a digital event needs broadcast-quality production and scale. The humble webinar, long the workhorse of digital visual communications, is not enough, just like putting your keynote speaker in a breakout room will not do. Instead, you will need to look to broadcast-quality production to achieve audience engagement, interaction and scale.

Scaling Your Keynote Broadcast

Your keynote broadcast needs scale. You will need to stream it on your social channels and offer it to partners, influencers, and amplifiers to achieve this. Your goal is maximum reach, whether for brand awareness or as a commercial organiser a big-ticket sponsorship.

Your live broadcast needs to be ready to plug into many platforms and technically robust.

Virtual Events - From Scale To Attention

Achieving the promise of scale is one thing; maintaining attention is another. Aside from coaching speakers and scripting the content, the production values of your live stream have considerable influence on audience attention.

While live streaming from an in-person event makes it easier to achieve the required production value attaining the same standard is much more complicated when dealing with remote speakers. However, you can do it, and the benefits for your digital event can be enormous.

Remote Speakers And Attention Hooks

One of the biggest challenges is the video capture to make sure all speakers have an optimal stream and their environment as good as it can be. There is no substitute for ensuring that before the event, everything is tested and optimised before the live event.

Advising presenters on the best positions to be seated for lighting, improving sound quality, and ensuring they optimise their connectivity.

Stream7 - Remote Live Production Studio
Stream7 - Virtual Event Remote Live Production Studio

As you have little control over the syndication environment such as youtube or on your media partner sites, hooks to your schedule need to be built into your broadcast to entice audiences back to other sessions. Some of these hooks include timely stings and clickable overlays to direct the viewer to further content.

Live Editing - Designing For Engagement.

Live editing is an art and makes all the difference to the viewability of your broadcast. You do not want to leave this to chance. Stream 7 has years of experience in this field, and based on the analytics; they have shared, we see that each grinding moment results in a drop in viewers.

Content is King, as Bill Gates said way back in 1996, and the quality and production of your content have never been more critical. You could be hosting a fascinating event, but if viewers are experiencing feed problems like skipping, poor audio or imperfect synchronisation, you will soon see your engagement rates dwindling. This engagement is the real Commercially Valuable Outcome (CVO) and what drives relationships between brand and consumer.

Content quality has never been more critical

When attending physical events, audiences and sponsors expect high-quality output consisting of all elements of video, sound, lighting and multimedia brought together in perfect orchestration. The move to virtual should not diminish this.

Although video conferencing platforms allow for effective communication, their use is limited when transferring an in-person event to digital. For example, you would not give a presenter a microphone and a pair of speakers and expect a professional result at a physical event.

Sound engineers, lighting designers, videographers, production managers, artist liaisons all have their roles to play to ensure a quality event.

At a virtual event with multiple attendees, video conferencing platforms requires management; an ability to bring them together cohesively is key to creating successful and professional output to maximise audience engagement. The production values for virtual events need to be built in by design, not left to the end.

Our thanks for the expert advice and the input from the team at Stream7

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