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Overcome The Challenges of Virtual Meetings With These Best Practices

There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a virtual event that is quite different from a live event.  Complexity is increased because you not only have a large audience of dozens or many thousands that are viewing this live television show of sorts.  Let’s dive in and explore the most essential best practices for creating a successful virtual event of any size.

The Technical Side of Virtual Meeting Production

Essentially, you have to create a more robust technical infrastructure to support this broadcast.

A few things to remember:

  • Bandwidth issues – very important for remote presenters as well as for your technical base of streaming operations
  • Provide a virtual “green room” to hold remote presenters before they go live on screen
  • New equipment issues

Remote Keynote Speakers or panel discussion participants need to be cognizant of bandwidth issues. If you are a remote presenter, it is especially important that no one in your house is sapping your bandwidth by playing video games or engaging in other digital activities that put a heavy demand on your internet connection. If you are presenting from a corporate office, this is not a concern. But from home – tell your family to hold off on gaming or streaming movies before, during and shortly after your presentation so you can monopolize the bandwidth most robustly for yourself.

Virtual Meetings Best Practices

Virtual Green Room protocol:  Technically prep and manage the remote presenter so their participation is seen & heard seamlessly.

Prepare your remote Presenters in advance and let them know that when they join the virtual meeting, they will be put into a virtual green room – similar to what happens backstage at a live event.  In this virtual holding room, the Presenter will be guided by a green room manager.  This technician will go through the technical details with the Presenter prior to their scheduled speaking time. They will be spoken to on a back channel in order to check their microphone level, their audio output, their lighting, the Presenter’s background, whether virtual or otherwise, and to check their camera setup. This ensures that the live portion of the broadcast happens seamlessly.

Once the production team is ready for the remote speaker, the green room manager will move the speaker to a different “room”.  In that room the keynote speaker will be able to see and hear the live program on their device. The beauty of this is that the digital stage manager will be able to discreetly relay information to the keynote speaker and vice versa.

Prepare The Best Virtual Presentation Quality

Technical suggestions to ensure the best virtual presentation quality:

  • Use a ring light to evenly light your face and eliminate unflattering shadows on your face
  • Center your camera – have it at eye level
  • Having a microphone is important – a Lavalier mic – do not use your computer’s mic/audio
  • With virtual events there is also a video/audio delay to contend with. The live stream signal is delayed due to processing. Because of this delay, you don’t want your remote presenters watching the live stream while they are speaking. They will be provided with a return feed on their computer that will allow them to see and hear in real time what will be transmitted to the live stream

Get Creative With Your Virtual Event Set Design

We have had success in designing virtual event sets like a TV news studio, with two or more LED screens to display slides, videos, etc.  When appropriate, we also use a jib camera to give fluidity and motion to what the audience sees in that “TV studio”.  This gives your viewing audience a look that is ultra-professional. The subtle motion provided by the jib camera helps your viewers feel more engaged with this dynamic presentation.  While your presenter does not need to move a lot – if the camera moves – it keeps the presenter focused on the content yet allows the audience to experience the subtle changes to the visual landscape – keeping the presentations fresh and lively.

What Comes Next?

Whether they’re salespeople, developers, dignitaries or executives, the people who attend your event should leave transformed in some way. That’s where we come in.

With Carlstrom Productions as your event production team, you’ll show them things they’ve never seen before. Put our decades of experience to work for your next big conference, product launch, or sales meeting. Contact us to get started.

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