Have we thought enough about presenters in virtual events?
28 March 2022
I was recently asked to speak at a virtual event and it reminded me how speakers have been a bit of an afterthought in the way we plan and deliver virtual events. Considering the fact that they are our “talent”, the reason people attend and the difference between success and failure, it is surprising that we haven’t tried harder to make things easier for them.
Consider the difference between a speaker’s experience in a face-to-face show and a virtual show. When a speaker turns up at a live event, we have their powerpoint lined up for them, we give them a comfort monitor on stage where they can preview the next slide, give them a clicker with two buttons to advance and reverse the slides and we have sound engineers who ensure they can be heard perfectly when they are are on stage, while also ensuring there are no police academy “hot mic” moments (with a few famous exceptions Five ‘hot mic’ moments that got leaders in trouble)
In virtual, speakers are asked to log into up to five different systems: vMix or Zoom so the production team can capture their video and audio and send them back a mix of the other speakers. A WhatsApp group for communication with the event team. A login to the event platform which they must mute when they are speaking, sometimes a separate clicker app to advance their slides and a separate login if they also need to moderate questions. Five systems…ideally running on three different devices.
by Chris Elmitt