A Guide to Video Production for Successful Virtual Events
Precisely 54% of event marketers belonging to professional services companies hosted events to drive brand awareness in 2019. So, when the pandemic paid us a visit in 2020, it wasn’t a surprise that companies quickly moved to online events.
In 2020, 65% of B2B marketers reallocated some or most of their live event budgets to online events, such as webinars. And since the coronavirus doesn’t seem to stop, many companies will continue switching to virtual events to replace their trade show conferences, webinars, and more.
But what’s concerning is that even with the immense popularity, not every online event is generating a buzz. If anything, people seem to be getting tired of screens and virtuality. They are calling it “virtual fatigue” and event marketers are trying very hard to combat the problem.
According to pathophysiologist, virtual fatigue may be happening due to the lack of perceived reward after attending online events. Small slip-ups such as audio delays, compromised video quality, and a lack of personalization can create a negative impact and increase distrust among the viewers.
Clearly, one of the biggest problems with virtual events is proper execution. Since there’s no room for any personalizable elements such as eye contact and joint attention, it’s important for you to make sure that your online events happen without any technical malfunctions.
Now, if you’re thinking that that’s easier said than done, you’re not entirely wrong. Unless you’re a professional video production company that knows exactly what to do, you can’t put up successful virtual events that can generate high engagement. Not by yourself, at least.
So, here’s a detailed guide to help you understand the world of virtual events and what it takes to make each event a success.
What people get wrong about video production for online events
In the light of everything that’s transpired last year, people have been quick to realize that the future is digital. But as companies moved towards online events, they forgot that constantly staying in sight of the audience without paying attention to the details can prove to be unfavourable in the long run.
- Virtual events don’t require high-quality arrangements
Getting decent audience engagement is the biggest challenge facing online events today. 67.7% of event marketers find it more difficult to keep attendees engaged during sessions at virtual events. The problem is so grave that the average virtual attendee watches only 68% of a virtual session that is 20 minutes or longer.
Now, as creators, we can collectively blame virtual fatigue for the shrinking attention span. But if you’re a solution-driven company, you need to focus on the event’s quality.
People have traditionally accepted virtual events as a less expensive version of in-person events. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in high-quality event production. Virtual event attendees expect high-quality production in online events now that they’ve become a routine.
If you don’t offer that, they won’t shy away from clicking on that easily accessible [X] button.
- Virtual events are limited to webinars
54% of organizations are increasing the number of webinars they produce. That could’ve been good news if nearly every company wasn’t doing the same.
Virtual events need to be more exciting if not innovative. Instead of going to the same old webinar, consider hosting virtual meetups, AMAs (Ask Me Anything), podcasts, training & workshops, talk shows, and wellness sessions. They allow you to carry out the same function but sound more interesting than webinars.
The truth: Here’s what it takes to host successful virtual events
Companies are transitioning massive budgets that they used to spend on trade shows, conferences, and seminars to virtual events. And all of them are shouldered by a single form of content - videos. So, everything you do to put up a successful online event should revolve around improving your video production. Here’s how you can do that.
Planning before executing
There’s a lot that companies don’t consider when creating a virtual event. This includes tools & software you need for execution, marketing and promotional activities, technical obstacles, and deciding between pre-recorded and live events.
For instance, if you are leaning towards presentations, filming pre-recorded videos and editing in advance can prove to be useful during the event. Similarly, knowing your way around troubleshooting can spare you a ton of post-event embarrassment.
Additionally, many event pros also prefer creating a microsite, especially for the event, to increase convenience for both marketers and attendees. A microsite allows the viewers to find all the relevant information about the event at a single place while making it easier for the marketers to exclusively promote the event among the masses.
That said, repurposing event content is yet another aspect of virtual events that most companies don’t pay attention to. From promoting share-worthy moments to expanding your mailing list, you can use your event content to get the most out of your investment.
All it takes is a little bit of planning!
Arranging proper equipment for a better streaming experience
52.9% of event marketers believe it is more difficult to create unique and memorable experiences for attendees through virtual events in comparison to in-person events.
As an organizer, you’re not only responsible for planning and execution but also for making high-quality audio and visual equipment (such as cameras and lighting) available to the presenters.
Understandably, it can be tough for one company to do everything. So, it’s better to outsource to a professional video production company that can direct your events remotely like Tetra Films.
Our setup allows us to receive signals to our studio throughout the duration of the event, which helps us get on any platform you desire.
We also create camera and audio packages for all budgets as well as offer internet connection plans at appropriate data rates, so you can deliver a great virtual event experience irrespective of the size of your resources.
Using the right video streaming service
Usually, companies choose a streaming service that’s trending at that moment. (ex. Zoom throughout the pandemic).
But you shouldn’t settle pick your streaming service based on what others are choosing. Instead, you must go for something that best serves your purpose.
For example, Skype and Microsoft Teams are great for conducting corporate webinars that don’t require much technical knowledge. But if you’re looking to amp up the entertainment factor, Zoom and Twitch offer you the kind of casualness that you may need.
Similarly, YouTube works well for companies that are looking to be found by the global audience and widen their reach.
You can even opt for event-specific platforms that serve specific purposes. For instance, Cisco Webex allows you to host events that provide better networking opportunities to the attendees. Adobe Connect is another great platform that’s perfect for hosting eLearning events whereas Zoho Meeting allows you to pitch products and perform sales presentations for interested buyers.
So much can be done to prepare effectively with the right gear and then when the event is actually running, from live hosts to the streaming management in OBS or another software that allows you to create a great feed and product with intros, waiting rooms, transitions, etc etc.
Choosing the right event platform
You can’t call an event successful unless enough people have access to it. Choosing the right event platform is probably the most important aspect of virtual events after video production.
Just because everyone is using Zoom doesn’t mean it’s the best. For a better event experience, you ought to provide your attendees with some other options.
For example, it’s easier to manage live streaming events in OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) and the like as they allow you to plug in additional elements such as intros & transitions without disturbing the viewer experience.
Remember that you are catering to a diverse mix of audience members, so being within their reach is as crucial as being in their sight is.
Speaking of, choosing a platform that allows you to track audience engagement is probably the best decision you can make. 70% of organizers track attendee engagement and satisfaction as a KPI for event success.
Since virtual events are a great way to generate leads, make sure that you use yours to collect data and measure its effectiveness using analytical tools.
Managing the event from points A to Z
Event management involves everything from solving technical problems to delivering a seamless attendee experience within a short span. It’s so vital that you can’t even arrange a panel of experts without having excellent event management.
From training the crew and organizers to improving the internal flow of communication, scheduling preps and rehearsals, and ensuring that the support team is equipped to troubleshoot during the live event, there’s so much that the event management team is responsible for.
Event managers are also responsible for budgeting. A survey suggests that 83.7% of event organizers believe their event budgets will be impacted by COVID-19 in 2021. So, if you want to get the most out of your investment, don’t think twice before appointing an event management team.
When should you consider hiring a video production service?
A 2020 survey has revealed that 62.6% of event marketers prefer working with a production services company to help execute their virtual events. But you don’t have to follow in their footsteps. Since every company’s needs are different, assess yours before hiring a video production company.
Generally, companies work with a professional video production service when they,
- Don’t have in-house resources
- Are working on a strict deadline
- Can’t afford costly mistakes due to limited budget
- Are organizing an event that requires multiple technical elements
- Have VIP speakers or panellists who their audience perceives to be highly influential
If any of these apply to you, don’t hesitate to bring in the professionals at Tetra Films to handle your online event for you. We can save you a lot of money and deliver something that’s sure to amplify your brand’s reputation.