Coronavirus Concerns, Don’t Cancel, Go Virtual

When Face-to-Face Events are no Longer a Good Choice, Going Virtual is a Solid Alternative.  

As events cancel by the handful amidst Coronavirus concerns, our team advocates for meetings to go virtual. A webcast may be the best way for the show to go on as the Coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world. Our savviest clients are ready to adapt to this climate of concern over face-to-face meetings and pivot toward virtual learning. So, firstly how to decide if your event should go online?

1. Events That Have an International Audience

Event planners with programs that host a large percentage of international attendees need to consider the cancel thoughtfully as airlines limit flights, travel bans are issues and even border closures go into effect.

2. Programs With Target Demographics Over Age 60 

Due to the nature of the Coronavirus outbreak and the increased mortality rate in people over the age of sixty, it may be irresponsible to proceed with programs that entice more mature audiences. 

3. Large Gatherings Within The Most Affected Major Metropolitan Spaces

Certain counties, like Santa Clara are beginning to ban gatherings of more than 1000. Regions hit hard by the Coronavirus outbreak are seeing major events like Emerald City Comic Con cancel or delay. There is a tremendous amount of pressure put on event organizers to do the right thing to both keep attendees safe and avoid taking part in further spread of the virus. 

 

Meet the criteria listed above, then it may be a good time to consider how to take the entire program that was meant to be live and make it dynamic and digital. As easy as one, two, three, here are a few tips for how to successfully make the transition online.

1. How Much Lead Time is There

First, take into account how much lead time there is for this pivot from a live event to a virtual program. For planners whose shows are two weeks out, for example, the conversation should be around procuring a webcast partner to broadcast keynotes and sessions, as the primary program offering, or simply as backup to accommodate attendees who are unable to travel.

If a show is six weeks out or more, there is more time to think about how to distribute the full program digitally and develop a more interactive online experience.

 2. Program Goals Drive Platform Choice

Next, it is important to keep program goals in mind when selecting a digital platform. What should the experience be? Is it a straightforward live stream? Should there be one-way or two-way interaction? Does there need to be accommodation for multiple languages? What does the registration platform need to look like? What type of data needs to be collected, for example, event survey, broadcast view reports etc. There are many platforms to choose from, and new consumers to this event technology should think about their functional needs before they sign a vendor contract.

3. Seize The Opportunity With a Clear Message

Going from a live event to a virtual event on a dime is a major pivot, but it does not need to look like a last minute add-on. When sourcing a broadcast partner, look for a partner that allows platform customization to match core messages and company branding. Cohesive branding will ensure seamless integration as organizers begin to promote the digital program in place of the live event. 

 

Event planners are masters of adaptation and decision making. The current circumstances of the Coronavirus will certainly test those skills, but we are confident savvy organizers will prevail by seeking alternative ways to meet. Contact our team to discuss how to easily take a program from live on-site to online and virtual.

 

Livestream Types and Definitions

Webcast, hybrid and multisite solutions all differ slightly to bring content to key audiences.

In today’s modern world filled with technology, new solutions are coming out at an alarming pace. It can be hard to keep up with all the jargon, the expanse of features and know best how to apply the correct solutions to yield core event goals. This brief post aims to clarify the subtle differences between webcast, hybrid and multisite events. Stripped down to their most basic, these solutions are all different types of livestream implementations.  

Livestream – A broadcast of an event transmitted across the internet.

Webcast – A broadcast on the web.

Hybrid – A live event with onsite attendees streamed online to remote attendees.

Multisite – A connection of multiple live events operating in separate locations.

At MB4 Productions, we know it is our job to help share technology education. Our team is here to help, get in touch to discuss technology needs with us today! Prefer to go it alone now that the basic terminology is in place, read our other articles about how to make these technology solutions sing. MB4 LIVE

Top Benefits of Live Stream for Events

Learn the Top Three Key Reasons to Live Stream Events. 

Many clients approach MB4 Productions with the question “Why live stream an event?” As live stream technology continues to pick-up in adoption, many event organizers find themselves curious about the technology but initially intimidated. This article will shed light on the top three key benefits of live streaming for events.

1. Extend the Event Reach 

When an event offers a virtual option, it is a gateway to entry for those who could not attend the event due to cost, schedule conflict or other. A virtual option removes the need to travel or take time away from the family. Employers like it because their team can tune in from their desks and it saves them from shelling out lofty travel reimbursements. A virtual option is good for work teams in another way as well, as it opens the door for multiple staff to attend. Small business, small event, small venue, no problem. Putting content out online allows events to transcend space and time. Extend the olive branch of a virtual registration and it is likely attendance will increase online year over year. It may also increase onsite attendance as the education has the chance to reach a larger and more widespread audience.

2. Environmentally Friendly Option

Whether or not a business is currently eco-conscious, holding virtual meetings is better for the environment offering an eco-friendly option for attendees. By reducing travel and printing less paper, there is a lesser carbon footprint. Customers nowadays respect a lean green business, and it could result in a boost in street credibility and sales.

3. Enduring Education

Live stream content can be stored, recycled, and shared online far into the future extending the lifecycle of an event. Add the virtual packet to a page on the website and gate the content for an additional revenue stream. Even offering the live stream content free is useful when promoting future events through online ads, email campaigns or social media. According to Unruly, enjoyment of recorded video still increases purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139%. A snippet of a powerful or famous speaker can go a long way to boost event registration. The live stream record also provides an instant archive of the event for company history. 

An event live stream is a valuable way to take an event to the next level. Connect with our team to learn even more benefits or to further discuss how to best integrate this technology. Read other articles about webcasting best practices, audience response benefits, and audiovisual trends here

 

Tips to an Engaging Webinar

There Is a True Art to a Webinar That Fully Engages Attendees. 

Webinars can be quite dry, even boring. The human attention span continues to shrink as we are all pressed to our limits with television, social media, and email vying for our attention. It is important to take special care to select webinar vendors, features and components that will elevate webinar content and actively engage the target audience. Key elements to consider revolve around the camera angles, content, speaker interaction, and audience interaction.

1. Camera Angles

A common mistake made by many when it comes to webinars is the choice to employ a single camera. This set-up is certainly affordable and it will get the job done in a pinch. It does not provide the most interesting experience to the webinar viewer. A multi-camera setup is a better choice. This setup allows for different shot types and the dynamic switch from shot to shot. Variations provide the audience with a more exciting experience similar to what they may find when they watch television.

2. Content

Many think the content is the content, and audience engagement does not come to mind until later…wrong! Content is king. Think of the target audience as the content is being created. Ever heard the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words? The human mind is set to record memories in the form of pictures, so mimic this concept when the presentation is being built. Use graphs, images, icons, charts, and to demonstrate primary messages. Build brand recognition by including brand assets throughout the presentation template. Keep the copy on each slide short and to the point. Also, be sure to select a font type and color that will be easy for the webinar audience to read.

3. Speaker Interaction

The creation of an engaging webinar goes beyond the need for consumable content. The selection of savvy presenters and how they are presented will also be important considerations. Set aside time for speaker rehearsal. Encourage presenters to implement vocal inflection and use hand gestures to prevent monotony. Consider a program format that allows for multiple personalities, speakers or even an on-screen host. Webinars that go beyond a single-presenter format to provide Q&A interview with a guest expert or several panelists are considerably more memorable.

4. Audience Interaction

Most live events offer a chance for attendees to network, ask the presenters questions, submit questions to a moderator and submit survey feedback. Deploy these same interaction concepts to a webinar. Many web platforms offer a chat feature where attendees can connect or submit questions to a presenter, administrator or moderator. Allowing attendees to interact with others takes a webinar from bland to engaged. Letting attendees connect with similar minds around the world in real-time is powerful. Seek out a webinar platform that offers the ability to polls or quiz the audience. This feature can dramatically increase engagement as it is a call to action that can be used to keep attendees at the ready. These tools can benefit event planners as well, as they offer a way to measure content reception, aggregation and traction.

A little thought can go a long way when planning a webinar. Remember to plan with the audience in mind. Seek out speakers, recording setup and a webinar platform that will help the content shine. Contact us to discuss our custom webinar platform with the most up to date features and branding capabilities.