Treat Virtual Events Like In-person Events

Treat Virtual Events Like In-person Events
By: Adriana Oliva

Our agency is very fortunate to be in the right place, at the right time. And while we’ve been working remotely for 6 years and interfacing with Zoom, Google Hangouts and other forms of virtual communication, live streaming produced programming was uncharted territory for us. With many of our clients in the performing arts and cultural world now taking to virtual stages, we’ve had a rapid learning opportunity, while still implementing very similar elements of planning, marketing and production for an in-person event. 

We’ll keep it brief as many of you are whizzing through emails, webinars, meetings and all things #virtuallife. Check out these 10 recommendations and tips below, applicable to many types of produced, audience-driven virtual events, whether they are 100% LIVE or half LIVE / half pre-recorded, a concert or a conference. 

1. Create a plan. Assign role duties and set timelines and deadlines.  

2. Create a run-of-show. Make sure all key players are familiar with the order and game plan. Who is moderating, who is looking for comments, questions and answering. 

3. Assign someone the role of stage manager and time keeper if possible or needed.

4. Running your show with multiple people? Create a backstage WhatsApp group that can help prompt technical issues, provide feedback, help monitor comments, or look up resources. This has proven to be super helpful.

5. If your programming involves a schedule and multiple people, test, rehearse and repeat as necessary. Check for things like sound delays, audio balance, make sure guests know how-to, and can properly sign-in, or jump into live feeds, check and adjust lighting, and test screen shares. Anything you can plan for or test in advance is key.

6. If you’re using a mobile device, make sure it’s properly secured in place (we saw a musician’s phone fall mid-song on an IG LIVE recently.) 

7. Promote, promote, promote. Share your events and programs across all your outlets, ask friends, guests, performers, and anyone associated with your virtual production to spread the word. 

8. Zoom thoughts: a) If you’re planning on using breakout rooms, two notes: 1. Rehearse the timing with colleagues or friends. 2. Make sure to place moderators or facilitators in each room. b) Hosts should be ready to mute and unmute everyone, same for video. c) Let your audience know who is the moderator, and in what format they can submit questions, or be acknowledged for participation. Share guidelines for your event at the beginning, or just before breaking out. d) Use a branded background image.

9. If applicable, shoutout donors, partners, friends, and those engaging via the chats or comments.

10. Be ready to engage and have a successful event!


LIVE Streaming Projects We’re Working On

LIVE! From our Living Room (facebook)
NWS Talk Tuesdays (instagram)

Picnic the Libros En Casa (facebook)

Guitars Over Guns Goes LIVE! (facebook)