In a question posted by @RhianBerry she mentioned that she was in a conversation with someone and she wanted to poll users of LinkedIn. “Has the pandemic revolutionised the events industry?” she asks and while most agree, I think that there has to be a tipping point to really see if that is the case.
Is this change or move to virtual/hybrid events a long term change or is it just a reaction to billions of dollars of lost revenue in a multi-billion dollar industry? if guests can’t come to an event, then we bring it to them. But, once guests can move again, will that adaption continue on for the future or just become an afterthought like it once was?
let’s not talk about how prohibitive the costs are to run a full virtual event alongside your physical events, which is also why it’s been a problem in the past… Bettercast makes this a non-issue now by the way.. but I digress.
My opinion is that the tipping point of events always having a virtual component to them, will be when we start seeing a role like an “Event broadcaster” being advertised.
So what would an event broadcaster do?
This role would fit a person that has maybe content production experience, or even TV production experience, and their role would be to production manage the entire broadcast experience for an event.
They work with the audiovisual team capturing the video on each stage, they would work with the sponsors making sure that the images they provide for the lower thirds are correct, they would work with the vision switchers making sure that the production runs smooth and has all the cuts and edits that a live event should.
They would work with the presenter and live camera team walking the exhibition hall, interviewing and engaging with sponsors on the floor (yeah, you really should do this you know, if YouTubers can do this, you can)
Basically, they are running a digital production like you would expect a sports event or live tv show to run, but this is across multiple studios and goes for many hours at a time.
What would their days look like
In the lead up to the event, they would be working with the event schedule, exhibitors, sponsors, the AV team and the broadcasting platform to collate all the material that would be needed for the production.
They would work with the design department to make all the “lower thirds” and graphics that the vision switcher will use and be ensuring that each event/ presentation has the right data mapped for each presentation, speakers, sponsor logos, sponsor advertisements and so on.
On event days, they would be working with the AV team to broadcast, talking to the production managers to go to ads, make sure that the information presented in screen matches the actual information. They would be watching the real-time analytics of who is watching what content and making adjustments to the content to maintain viewership and engagement.
How can you justify the expense as an event manager?
let’s say you can be sure that your content that a live streaming or catchup viewer is watching is exciting and engaging. Just like a TV show, your panel is chatting away but instead of just a single camera pointed to a group of people, it’s now changing, switching and providing additional information and creating the same sort of production value a TV show has and just delivering it online. If a generation of users can easily cut cables and still view the same content as commercial TV, then events can produce content online like a tv show.
Now an event manager can guarantee that a sponsor’s ads will show to an audience right after/before, during a presentation, and you can give the analytics on that. You can guarantee that a sponsored talk with links to their product on the side of the video, that your tracking views and the volume of traffic that, that is getting.
With an Event Broadcaster on staff, you can offer more to sponsors and exhibitors which means more income from the fees as well, as they, can be sure that they will generate more in return from being a part of your show than before.
You can also be sure that the quality of production you output matches the quality of the event you deliver in real life. That it gets viewers, that it gets conversation around the presentation and it gets engagement.
I think you need to consider this seriously?
Imagine now you have hired an event broadcaster or you have transitioned one of your team into this role. Imagine now vaccines are rolled out and you’re starting to run events like the “good ol days” and you’re getting some attendance again.
Imagine now, you are putting a little more budget into the broadcast production.
Your event now becomes known for a high-quality broadcast that will not cannibalise your in-person attendance, it will only increase its reputation. If your virtual guests see a high-quality production, this year, they are really going to want to attend in person next year, why? because if the broadcast looks awesome then in person it must be AMAZING!