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Virtual Speakers & Attendees in Hybrid Events

by Gary Lagestee, on Sep 30, 2021

AV Insights & Advice - Episode 16

virtual-speakers-for-hybrid-events

Remote Presenters and Hybrid Events

Hi, my name is Gary, and I'm here today for AV insights and advice. We're going to talk about remote presenters again, which we've done other pieces on, but specifically regarding remote presenters and the environment of a hybrid event.

Our forecast shows that hybrid events are going to be around for a while through this fall season, for sure, and most likely through the majority of next year. So when you're thinking about a hybrid event, you have your live presenters, which are on stage, and you have your live audience and your virtual audience. But when you're a presenter on stage you have that excitement because you're in a live environment. There's sound and lights and people there, and it automatically gives those presenters that energy and that boost.

Now, we're going to be bringing in remote presenters to a live audience, as well as to a virtual audience. You want to try and capture that same engagement and excitement with their remote presenters, as you do with their live presenters, so that when your audience is viewing that there's not a huge disconnect between those presentations. 

Next, we're going to talk about tech checks. The tech check responsibility does fall on the presenter as well as a production company. We want to ask all presenters out there just to take that seriously and carve out those 15, 20 minutes to do a technical check with their production company ahead of either live streaming or prerecording remotely. The reason that's important is we do a few quick things. We check your camera to make sure it's quality. We check your audio as well. If we have to send out a kit, we can definitely do that and make sure you get the technology you need.
We also want to make sure that your environment's good and your lighting is good so that when you do that presentation, you nail it and you look and sound amazing. We all know that when you're presenting remotely, you could run into distractions. Distractions are an everyday part of life. Our recommendation is that you roll with it. identify the elephant as a distraction if you want to make a joke out of it. That shows that the presentation is real. And if you're in a live environment, there's going to be distractions, as there always are. Most presenters will just go along with that and the audience understands that. So instead of, you know, stopping and redoing it several times, just roll through it and that'll be the best approach. 

Also, always remember to look into the camera and try not to look side to side or other places or look down. There's a common temptation to look down when you're presenting. So practice it, rehearse it and look into the camera, because as a remote presenter, you're engaging with your audience through the camera. So don't forget that and your presentation will go off without a hitch.
Lastly, don't forget to bring the excitement and the emotion as best as you possibly can. To do that, rehearse in front of your friends, rehearse in front of your family members. Do that presentation over and over again and ask for feedback. The feedback is always great. So ask your friends, your family, or colleagues at work, "Hey, how did I sound? If I were virtual, would you have connected with me?" Don't be afraid to do that presentation in your office in front of your colleagues, at least a few times. And then when that time comes for you to go live or to prerecord, that's likely going to go in front of hundreds, maybe thousands of people. You're going to nail it. And the last tip is have fun with it and you'll be just fine. 

Attendee Engagement in a Virtual Event

We talked about remote presenters and now we want to transition just for a minute to talk about attendees. One of the most important things with virtual events is to actually block out some time on your calendar and limit the distractions. If you really want to get the ROI at a virtual event, check your environment and make sure you're planning to watch or participate in the virtual event, either in your office or home office or somewhere where you can limit the distractions. Block out your calendar and have that focus time for that virtual event.

The next piece is the platform. There's a lot of platforms out there and they're all a little bit different. We recommend that you try to get on the platform for the virtual about your attending in advance, if possible, and just understand the offerings and the capabilities that will be part of the event. Of course, you'll have general sessions and breakout rooms. There will always be some different features within those. Ask yourself, "Do you have one on one meetings? Is your schedule set up in advance?"

We're seeing more and more events with topical discussions or roundtables, which have been very valuable. So if that's offered understand the topics, an particularly which ones interest you so you can be sure to add that to your calendar. 

Next, is to be an active participant. I feel this is probably the most important piece for a virtual event. When you're an active participant, it encourages other people to be an active participant, enhancing the overall experience. Be the first one to ask a question, be the first one to jump in the chat and bring up some some conversation around a topic that's being discussed and just play an active role in the virtual environment. You're going to get out of it what you put into it.

So have fun, engage with other people, participate in all the things that are offered, and it'll be a great virtual event for you. Thank you for joining us today, and you can find more great content like this on our website or @clarityexperiences on all the major social channels.
Topics:AV ServicesVideo Series Blog

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