Balancing Act: Reducing Risk Without Taking a Hit to Attendee Management

What if our keynote loses power? What if we have a system failure? What if there’s a network outage? The worry of potential tech challenges fuels the nightmares that keep event professionals up at night in the days leading up to a virtual event.

The good news is pre-recorded content can solve a lot of these concerns. Finding the perfect balance of live and pre-recorded content will reduce your risk while still allowing your attendee to sense a shared experience that will keep them engaged.

Here are three ways to ensure pre-recorded content adds value to your virtual event:

1 – Pre-recorded content doesn’t have to FEEL pre-recorded. Let your presenters know it’s OK to stumble or correct themselves. A perfectly perfect presentation will scream “pre-recorded” and your attendees will begin to disengage. Also, remember to ensure no one is pre-recording with a bright day outside when you know the event will be viewed in the evening. Little details like that can make a big difference to the attendee experience.

Industry Tip – Even if your presenter will be speaking live during your event, have them submit their presentation pre-recorded. This will be a lifesaver if your presenter has a technical glitch on the day of your event.

2 – A live chat feature with Q & A can bring a pre-recorded presentation to life. Have your keynote include a message that their colleague will be answering Q & A during their presentation to keep things on schedule. This ties in the live experience for your attendees who can have their questions answered in real time via a chat feature. This works best with content you know will generate questions that are simple to answer in text, and don’t require graphics or a verbal explanation.

3 – Always (always) have a live component to your virtual eventRegardless of if you’re coordinating a conference, award show, training session, or any other type of virtual event, you need at least one segment that’s coming out live. This could be your emcee making commentary to pull the content together or a host who handles the welcome to your attendees, housekeeping items, and closing messages. Or add a live panel discussion to your virtual event and ensure all panel members and your moderator are speaking live.

By now we’ve all attended virtual events where a few minutes in you realize everything has been pre-recorded. As an attendee, you immediately feel disconnected from the experience, as you realize it isn’t actually a shared experience. Your attendees will feel less present, less engaged, and the experience will lose its value.

Trust us on this one.

It’s possible to find the perfect balance of pre-recorded content that ensures your virtual event is flawless, and live content that’ll breathe life into your event and create a shared experience among your attendees.

Laura Warren, event production manager, joined Rare Affairs Event Management Inc. in 2014 and specializes in full service corporate event management. Her portfolio includes multi-day national conferences, award shows, and virtual leadership summits. She is also the director of marketing for the Fraser Valley Event Planning Association.

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