The Story team were delighted to welcome Harry to the expanded Story Events team earlier this year, having worked with him on many successful events over the past five years. With the unpredicted, but now pressing need for hybrid and streamed events, the timing of his arrival was ideal!
Harry brings huge experience to the Story team in a range of broadcast and digital events, from simple all hands sessions in online only or hybrid environments, to full scale, multi-camera live broadcast presentations with hybrid technologies incorporating Q&A and telecommuting interviews.
Having an understanding of how cameras function is key to producing desirable pictures solely to be viewed on screen. Knowledge of specific lighting requirements for video, the effects of different focal lengths and best video formats pays huge dividends when managing digital events and retaining guest engagement online.
With his broadcast experience on productions such as the NFL and NTLive, Harry has a full understanding of the personnel and procedures required to produce a seamless visual online experience.
Here are Harry’s ‘magnificent seven’ digital and hybrid event success tips:
- Make sure that you produce high quality material pre-event, giving guests a prior chance to look at activities. Physical events provide that magical feeling of anticipation, staying away from home, visiting a beautiful venue, selecting the best outfit for the evening. Virtual events have low anticipation levels for audiences, so try adding a little bit of tease and excitement in the lead up to your event.
- Create lots of content and activities, rarely leaving people to chit-chat of their own accord. Digital time has the potential for lots of dead airtime. Much like a radio station, silence can kill the momentum of a digital event. Keep guests engaged by limiting time slots at virtual exhibition stands, stunning or interactive content between sessions.
- Breakout rooms are great tools for selective conversation topics, overall content variety and volume to engage a wide audience in special interest areas. But keep any group conversation size to about 10 people.
- A host with expertise in conducting conversation is vital. Self-moderators are often unable to both present and harvest questions or read body language clues from attendees. Group panels can quickly become boring to watch if they involve seeing ten people talk over each other.
- Consider connected interaction; sessions where attendees are working towards one goal. In a basic sense this could be a dance or other skill-based lesson. Depending on the attendee numbers, you could consider delivering everyone with the same materials for the session, e.g. a cocktail making session where the key ingredients are delivered before the event.
- The video and audio quality of any presentation should be super high to retain attention from guests. Consider multiple camera setups, creative lighting and innovative set locations. Mass sessions benefit from having an active video team. One limitation of digital conferencing is when you have the speaker in a large view, you can’t see other guests. Having a video team mix cameras alongside attendee cameras compensates for this.
- Budget for success. Without venue fees or catering to provide, digital events look very cost-effective on first glance. Keep in mind the need for job roles you may not be accustomed to with live events. A larger quantity of content producers, camera & grip crew, plus rehearsal time. You will need solid production communication, effective talent management and staff online ready to help any confused guests.
Harry and the wider Story team have got digital and virtual events covered, so please give the Story team a call on 0207 870 9303 or email us to discuss your next hybrid or digital event.