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Create an experience that rivals an in-person event

on May 03, 2020

Thanks to video streaming services, companies can create highly engaging virtual events without everyone being in the same room. Given the uncertain times and greater push for a remote workforce, don’t cancel your upcoming live event. Instead, pivot to a virtual meeting or event and achieve the same results.

In the blog we’ll cover:

  • What type of live events to consider
  • What content you need for a live event
  • Leverage existing tools and platforms
  • Venue and streaming needs
  • How HB Live can get you started

Virtual Events

Virtual events can support a multitude of different event formats and features. Event types include town halls, keynotes, general meetings, conferences, presentations, panel discussions, interviews, and more. Event features enhance the event type and include Q&As, EventCasting, web casting, polling, breakout sessions, or chat. It is important to choose the right event format for your audience and goal.

Part of creating an engaging live event is knowing your audience. Format your event around your meeting goal and audience. Audience engagement techniques change according to the event type.

Different audience engagement techniques allow presenters to be more flexible and imaginative during their event. For example, streaming allows for more interactive elements, such as polling, audience questions, and games. Interspersing preproduced content is another option, combining short, five to 15 minute content clips with a live, virtual presentation can help keep the audience engaged.

Furthermore, the amount of people in a room, or an all-virtual event will dictate the live event format. The presentation will differ if the event is led by a panel or group of presenters versus a single individual. Conversely, your event doesn’t have to be streamed live, you could still film a keynote presentation in front of a small audience in order to gain crowd energy to be watched at any time. When deciding how to host an event, organizers should identify what attendees need to take away from the experience—including information, education, and messaging.

Content Creation

Remember, most of all, that a virtual event is not the same as an in-person event. Target and craft your messaging and presentation around the medium: a virtual one. Highly engaging presentation design is an art form in and of itself. It’s the primary medium to convey your message virtually.

When creating a presentation make sure that it is easy to absorb for both you (or the presenter) and your audience. Keep it short, focus on how to keep the audience engaged because they can log off at any time, and practice as much as you can beforehand. Content for a virtual event should be as clear and engaging as possible. This is key to providing a valuable and easy to absorb experience for remote participants.

There are a multitude of presentation options when considering a live event but always remember to keep your presentation goal in mind when making decisions and creating a slide deck or other form of presentation. Design elements like infographics, charts, short videos, branded slides, or graphical templates to communicate static content are all great ways to enhance a presentation. If you’ve never created content for a fully virtual meeting, whether it be just that, a meeting, or a larger event like a conference, HB Live can help by creating a personal storyboard and professionally designed presentation for the meeting to better connect you with your audience.

Venue and Streaming

Just because you’re considering a virtual event doesn’t mean it should be held at your office or with a plain background. Given your event goal, organizations may need to rent a studio or hire a production team to enhance their own space if they do not already have the necessary live event elements in-house. While streaming live from your office may be a cost-saving measure it may not cater to speaker needs such as a podium, audiovisual equipment, lighting, displays, and background.

Venue and background are only part of a produced event. The right streaming capabilities are a necessity and there are many out there. These services more or less offer the same basic features; it really is more a matter of personal preference. If your company is already invested in a platform like Zoom, Cisco, IBM, BlueJeans, or another similar platform, HB Live can help you leverage your investments to execute your event. Most services also offer a free trial where you can perform dry runs before the event. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the basic functionalities while testing virtual event planning services, such as the timeliness and helpfulness of live technical support.

How HB Live Can Get You Started

If you’re feeling overwhelmed in trying to do it all yourself, don’t worry. If you need help with planning, production, technical equipment, slide design, secure logins for participants, or experience design, HB Live can help with your next virtual event, or help you produce content to share virtually.

Hosting a live event may seem like a large undertaking, and truthfully, depending on your needs and goal, it may be. The cost of a virtual event can vary widely. Having a company to help with production, live capabilities, technical equipment, and presentations can be a time-saving option for your company. Hiring HB Live to host the experience, can be more costly but look more professional than just setting up a web camera.

Given the current difficulties and push for remote working, HB Live can step in and help you shift your canceled live event to a high-impact virtual live event. Work can continue as usual and your employees or customers can still feel connected to your organization.