Virtual events require a different type of planning and support compared to traditional, in-person ones. Producing such an event requires the right combination of audiovisual (AV) equipment, event technology and experienced personnel. Production components can include everything from online content hubs to cameras, microphones, interactive components and more.

Let’s take a look at the importance of AV production in the success of virtual meetings and events, as well as planning considerations for businesses looking to host their own.

Why event production quality matters for virtual events
The bar is being set higher for virtual events and attendees are paying more attention to production quality. People who had never joined a virtual event prior to the COVID-19 pandemic have spent the past year tuning into webinars, online meetings and hybrid conferences.

They’ve seen firsthand how poor planning and a lack of preparation have led to dull and even uncomfortable experiences. But they’ve also seen how engaging activities, dynamic visuals and high-quality production components can quickly make virtual events more effective and interesting.

Of course, the importance of the content itself can’t be understated. But high-quality AV can help improve audience engagement and satisfaction. Seamless AV removes any distractions and hiccups that could hinder the audience’s ability to watch, learn and participate.

The event’s production quality defines the presentation of content and ideas — and great ideas deserve to be presented well. Carefully chosen virtual speakers deserve the proverbial spotlight. That means a working microphone and glitch-free streaming to viewers.

7 AV production needs for virtual events
Let’s explore a high-level overview of potential AV needs, from lighting and sound to streaming, recording, presentations and more:

1. Online event hubs
You’ll need to create an online hub for your virtual event. This will provide your guests with all the itinerary details and access information they need to view and participate in each session.

2. Cameras
In most instances, virtual event guests will want to see the hosts and presenters they’re listening to. Whether your speakers use webcams built into their laptops or you take a more sophisticated approach with a several-camera setup or pre-recorded cinematic clips, you will need the right equipment to capture the footage.

3. Microphones and other sound equipment
Audio equipment needs can range from presenter microphones to background music and more. You may also need tools to control volume levels and mute other participants when they’re not speaking. If anyone plans on embedding video content in their presentation, you’ll need to make sure that the associated audio gets through to your attendees.

4. Recording and editing tools
You may wish to record each live session and make it available as video on demand (VOD) content. Or, you might want to repurpose the audio into a post-event podcast. Either way, you will need the right technology to capture the event in real-time and edit it into a professional resource later on.

5. Lighting equipment
It’s important to make sure all presenters are well-lit, no matter where they’re located. Whether you are using a studio setting or everyone is based at their own desks, you’ll want to make sure to have bright, uniform lighting.

6. Broadcasting solutions
Your options for actually presenting the event content are practically limitless. You might prefer an interactive format like a video-conference or webinar. Or, you could do a one-way presentation via a webcast that turns into VOD content. You will also need to decide whether the content you’ll be broadcasting to your audience will be live, simulated live (simulive) or pre-recorded. Either way, you will need reliable solutions for making this content accessible to virtual attendees.

7. Interactive event elements
Adding polls, Q&A sessions, live chat features and gamified activities can encourage audience participation and make your event more dynamic. But you will need the right technology and personnel to help you set up and manage these types of elements.

When to outsource to an AV production partner
Outsourcing our virtual event AV production to a third party isn’t always necessary. Sometimes event organizers can manage with in-house resources, especially for small-scale, one-off events.

However, it can be beneficial to outsource to an AV production team if:
  • Your business wants to host large-scale or frequent virtual meetings and events.
  • You’re planning to bring together several presenters and audiences from different locations.
  • Your event itinerary will include concurrent sessions, breakout rooms and other options.
  • You don’t have the resources in-house to accommodate desired technical components such as music, interactive or collaborative activities, pre-recorded videos or seamless transitions.
  • Your staff doesn’t have the time or expertise to coordinate complex logistics.

Partnering with a production company can help ensure your virtual events are as professional, engaging and successful as possible. Connect with us at JTB USA Meetings & Events to learn more about bringing your virtual event vision to life and taking your AV production to new heights.