Worx Group’s Lessons in going Virtual
As the shift to virtual continues to gather momentum during Lockdown Level 3, corporate South Africa is starting to accelerate their drive into the digital world to engage with clients and staff alike. Pushing us Event Professionals into realms where some aren’t as naturally skilled as they are in a physical event world.
Essentially though, the excellent advantage we as Event Professionals have, is that the new challenges we’re finding solutions for are the same foundational questions we would solve for any event – physical or virtual.
- How do we bring brands to market in original, engaging ways?
- How do we make the experience easy and enjoyable, from start to finish?
- How do we continue to create that human connection?
Obviously in the digital world there are myriad different solutions, skillsets and equipment that are needed to deliver an event to the virtual world but in the end you’re building a broadcast, which like any production has it’s nuances and processes. Follow those and the event will unfold as you planned.
We know that a lot of these ‘new’ production elements seem complicated but many production elements you know how to solve for, translate into a virtual world – just in a different format.
So if you’re a pro in the physical world but still playing a bit of catch up in the virtual space – here’s a few tips to help.
Physical to Virtual Translation
|Website or Platform|
Studio (or lounge, study, bedroom, etc)
Keynote, Breakout, Workshop
Users or Viewers
Important production elements every Virtual Event should have:
When building a virtual experience, we believe these four production areas are key:
- Broadcast Production: How are you producing and sharing your content?
- Experience and delivery of Content: How will your attendees consume and engage with your digital content?
- Content Creation: What does your content look like? Engaging, attention grabbing content is critical in digital environments where you don’t have décor, stage sets, lighting etc to assist you with holding your audience’s attention.
- Live Production: What is the experience for anyone responsible for delivering content on set, at home, in a remote studio etc. They are also not used to doing it this way, it’s important to make sure they feel at ease in the process too.
Producing your programming Content
The first step in virtual event production is understanding your options when it comes to broadcasting your content.
Live Broadcast: Content that is produced and broadcast in real time.
Simulive Broadcast: Programming that is produced in advance and released at a designated time, most often designed to appear as a live broadcast.
Streaming Video: Programming released in real time from a broadcast. Viewed through a streaming platform or a broadcast network.
On Demand Video: Pre produced video content, available for viewing at any time (including playback version of your live content)
How to deliver your Content
There are a wide variety of off the shelf content delivery platforms and solutions that can be licensed and customised for your brand. The art is finding one that meets your goals, offers you the right look or level of customisation and most importantly integrates with the rest of your content stack.
The 3 key elements are:
Webinar or content delivery platform: These platforms operate very similarly to a website, featuring flat, 2-dimensional user interfaces. They generally have easy to use dashboards for your attendees to access the event features.
Interactive Environments: More like a video game than a website, 3-dimensional renderings make the user feel like they are stepping into a virtual event. Users can wonder through a virtual exhibition or find a seat in the main plenary room and watch the content in an environment that feels more like an actual venue.
Custom websites with embedded features: By building a custom website you open many creative options through the features you choose to include, giving you greater control over the user experience. The idea is to allow integration of different elements for different areas rather than committing to one entire delivery platform solution.
Remember it doesn’t matter if it’s virtual, hybrid, broadcast or in person – event production relies on people. You have to build an experience step by step and design it to capture people’s attention. So yes, some of it is scary and new but you’ve been executing live events for years, you’re more qualified than you think, all you need is a little bit of help.