Following the global imposition of lockdowns to protect public health, virtual events, which were initially seen as a niche gimmick at first, became mainstream overnight.
Since then, millions of companies have launched virtual events to maintain their presence on the web. From industry leaders like Microsoft and Hootsuite, to lesser-known emerging brands like Influitive and Kaleido Insights, companies around the world have held their own versions of virtual corporate events and conferences which have allowed them to remain relevant and continue growing in the face of this century’s worst crisis.
If you want the same for your company, here are the most important tools you’ll need to pull off your own virtual event.
Apart from the actual computer you’ll need to stream online, your hardware needs will largely depend on your branding strategy, why you need a virtual event, and your available resources. While a laptop or smartphone with a built-in camera and mic can go a long way, you’ll need professional-level equipment if you want to project a more professional or high-end presence online.
For instance, CP Communications’ recently released CamSTREAM2B is a camera designed to give home streamers the ability to record broadcast-quality videos. Meanwhile, Audio-Technica’s AT2035 cardioid microphone has a clear frequency response ranging from 20Hz to 20,000Hz, making it ideal for recording and broadcasting high quality audio. It can also crisply handle up to 158dB of sound with the pad and 148dB without padding, making it comparable to AKG or Neumann mics, but sans the high price tag.
Furthermore, depending on the shooting location, you might also need to factor in a lighting installation, as well as how best to protect your event from unwanted noise. If your company can afford to invest in this type and level of audio-visual hardware and logistics, now is the time to do so. Otherwise, you can look to event rentals to supply what you lack in equipment and expertise.
See Also: Wireless Microphones
Like your hardware, the ideal streaming software or platform depends largely on your goals, audience, and resources. Nowadays, there are a number of free or affordable apps/subscriptions you can use to stream your special event. There’s Facebook Live, ON24, 6Connex, Livestream, Periscope, or YouTube — take your pick; these are just some of the many streaming platforms you can choose from. It’s important to choose not only the platform that’s most accessible to your target audience, but also one that can give you the video quality you need to have a successful event.
Additionally, if you want to stream in HD, you’ll need a bare minimum Internet speed of 10Mbps (for both download and upload) devoted solely for streaming purposes. This means that you’ll actually need faster Internet as you might need to use up bandwidth in other devices for social media updates, coordination, and pre-event preparations, which brings us to our next point.
Event Access Software
How many attendees are you looking at and how do you plan to invite them and collect payment for registration? There’s also the option to either have a dedicated event page on your company website or to just use your official social accounts to announce event mechanics, dates, schedules, segments, and speakers. If you have a dedicated app for customers, that might be the best way to organize registration, data collection, payments, and other pre-event logistics. While you have a bevy of options, the goal is to use event access software to make things as simple and as easy as you can for both you and your targeted viewers.
Now comes the really tricky part. If your team’s not used to doing virtual corporate events, you might need to adjust your strategy in terms of providing content. The key here is to understand that all of the visual output will culminate in a single screen. Speakers should look into the camera and speak directly to the audience. Supplementary visuals should not be distracting, and should provide support or more context to the topics at hand. “Physical events take notes from stage performances. Virtual events should take notes from TV Newsrooms,” explains The Content Marketing Revolution author Matthew Sweezey. Your content strategy is arguably the most important tool in your roster. Even if you can only offer low to medium-res visuals, imperfect audio, and basic event access software, how you handle the content itself will ultimately determine whether or not your audience will stay tuned.
Article exclusively submitted to magnumco.com
Authored by Rae Jolene