With pre-recorded webinars, your speakers have the option to appear as flawless orators who rarely say “um” or “uh” while guiding your audience through dense content where there is no room for error. They can also eliminate the scramble to find a common schedule for busy presenters when you're working across multiple time zones. While they may rub against some of our best instincts as event organizers, pre-recorded or simulated-live webinars offer several clear benefits that may make recording your presentations in advance ideal for some of your virtual events.
Presenting in a virtual format takes some skill and preparation to do it well. Hiring a virtual event producer will ensure smooth transitions through your program, give you access to engagement tools, and give you the support of a knowledgeable partner.
Virtual events have become the norm in today’s digital world, but they come with a unique set of challenges that can make even the most experienced event planner break a sweat. From technical glitches to managing the flow of the event, there’s a lot that can go wrong. That’s where a technical virtual event producer comes in! A technical producer is the glue that holds your virtual event together. They are the ones responsible for ensuring that all of your technical elements are working seamlessly and bring the experience needed to quickly troubleshoot tech and talent issues. Let’s take a look at why it’s important to hire a technical producer for your virtual events.
Planning and Preparation
At The WebiNerd, we build in at least three sessions prior to the live event. First, we have a Planning Meeting where we meet with key stakeholders to establish the framework for the event and determine the technical needs. Sometimes this first session creates a little homework for our clients and we need to have a second Planning Meeting to dive deeper into the details. After the Planning Meeting we separately have a Technical Rehearsal with all speakers, back-end helpers and assistants. The Technical Rehearsal is sometimes called a Dry Run, but we don’t typically run through the full show. During the Tech Rehearsal, we want to ensure everyone is has their microphones, cameras and lighting tested with time to make corrections if needed. We also make sure the whole backend team is comfortable with their roles and transitions. Finally, on the day of the live show we ask everyone on the backend and the speakers to join at least 30 minutes before the start in a virtual green room so we can tech check and calm nerves.
Prepping for a virtual event allows for better organization and planning, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and on schedule. This is especially important for larger events with multiple speakers or sessions, as it can be easy to lose track of time and topics without proper preparation.
The WebiNerd team have been instrumental in the success of our online events. Not only do they eliminate the stress of potential technical issues during the event, but they ensure that your event prepared well in advance. Many of our events involve high-level speakers and we have always been impressed with their professionalism and willingness to help in any way possible. Particularly when working in the nonprofit sector where capacity can be limited by many factors, it is great to have the support of such a reliable team.
Cerridwen Heron, The Dallaire Institute
There are all kinds of technical issues that can negatively impact the attendee experience during a virtual event, but many can be prevented with advance planning and by hiring experienced technical producers who have seen it all. These issues can range from the speakers having poor video and audio quality to connectivity issues, which can cause listening fatigue, to frustration with navigating engagement and platform tools. An experienced producer can manage these technical issues while informing you of best practices during the planning steps.
A producer can also help by advising on the best equipment to use, software updates and known glitches with the software. Recently Zoom enhanced the chat feature in Zoom Meetings which changed the way most people had been accustomed to using the feature. Our team was able to identify this change and find a work around while we waited for Zoom to update the feature again to reapply those removed options. We also proactively reached out to all our clients who we knew depended on this feature even if we hadn’t worked with them recently.
Connectivity issues are another common problem that can arise during virtual events. Attendees may experience difficulty joining the event, or they may be disconnected during the event due to internet connectivity issues. A producer team can help by providing technical support to attendees who are experiencing connectivity issues. They can also ensure that the audience is equipped with backup options, such as a dial-in number or a replay time, to ensure that attendees can still participate in the event even if they experience internet connectivity issues. In some larger conference situations our production team will recommend our product CHiT Chat, which offers a support ticketing system with dedicated customer service for the audience.
Sticking to a Schedule
A technical producer is also responsible for managing the flow of your event. They’ll keep an eye on the clock to make sure everything is running on time, and they’ll ensure that presenters know when it’s time to wrap up their speeches. They’ll also help with transitions between different parts of your event, such as switching from a keynote speaker to a Q&A session. A technical producer will make sure that your event runs on time, so your audience stays on schedule and doesn’t miss a thing.
At The WebiNerd we will help you create a customized Run of Show that details everyone’s role and schedule out the entire event to the minute. If you want to try drafting your own run of show we have some free templates you can download at no charge.
Now that we’ve convinced you to consider hiring a producer book a free consultation to learn more about our services. We’re always happy to give advice even if you don’t end up working with us.