Relax, Refill, Refresh that browser: Recalibrate your Virtual Presence

by Mar 21, 2024CMMA Blog0 comments

Spring is here and that means your calendar is about to be booked solid with networking events, meetings, and to-do items. You’ve got a lot on your plate, so I’ve compiled a short list of the state of the hybrid and virtual event space. Everything you should be aware of as you begin planning your company or organization’s next event, meeting, or conference.  


One thing I want to put front of mind, because it is my personal soapbox and war drum, is if you are planning an event today, you need to accommodate accessibility. It is not a feature; it is an expectation. How you scale that is based on your budget and needs of course, but all events should have AI captioning in one way or another. The technology is cheap and available for any workflow. As a bonus, once the event is finished you have a nifty transcript generated from the captions that can be utilized for blog posts! Most businesses will list sustainability and accessibility as an option. Use what is available, your audience will thank you.


Questions? We’re here to help. I’ll jump off my soapbox now. 



Now onto the realities of 2024’s Events: 


1. In-person events are back. Hybrid and Virtual have not vanished.


People may be populating your office with new return-to-office policies but that doesn’t mean the content trends have shifted backwards. Hybrid and Virtual events are still in high demand. Teams of technicians have swelled to handle the flow of in-person events and the volume of virtual events.  


Hybrid and virtual events continually provide additional reach and flexibility to participants, whether that distance be in miles or accessibility. 


This is a hard transition. Hybrid events are more complicated than fully virtual or fully in-person. When done properly they create an incredible engagement experience for both audiences. As you approach your return to office and hybrid work schedules the extra polish on your QBR, new DEIB initiative or webinar can remove those “could have been an email” attitudes.   

2. Immersive Venues and Experiences


Many agencies that had a stake in the in-person event space may not vocalize it, but they definitely didn’t want to deal with the reality that large conferences of the past were gone. And in a way they are. They have evolved and continue to do so. 


The lighting and sound have gotten more creative and reliable, video walls are providing more impressive set dressings. Speakers that were not willing to travel to your event are willing to connect remotely to participate.  


If you do go for an in-person event with any dreams of remote attendees, you need to pay attention when selecting a venue to ensure internet speed and bandwidth are available to not only your team but the participants. Boy is it more expensive now. If you’ve ever connected to a meeting from hotel Wi-Fi, you understand. Video calls quickly become internet-based conference calls reminiscent of people sitting around a conference room shouting into a black box telephone in the center. 


For my friends who do Virtual events, the cost may be different due to the lack of venue costs but that doesn’t mean you should decrease your budget to its barest needs. Look into adding interactivity to your event, different concurrent learning paths, pre-produced videos highlighting staff or achievements, polling, breakout sessions for team building, etc. The possibilities are endless. When working in live the planning happens in pre-production before the event. That means meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. Rehearsals are not only for those running the sessions to rehearse but for your technical team to run through everything. Both with the speakers/assistants and without. The goal is always to be what we call “Frame perfect”: Every frame of video is exactly how it is expected. 

3. AI Experimentation


If you haven’t heard about ChatGPT yet I’d like to crawl under the rock you’ve been under because it must certainly have been very cozy there to have missed this. The AI techniques utilized for professional events are very different from the chatbots your 12-year-old has been chatting with.  


Generative AI like Firefly , Midjourney , and DALL-E are a first leap for graphic designers to get a general feel to work from. Think of it as a more accurate Pinterest board as you try to build a conference off the prompt “dream biggest” from the stressed executive with little idea for creative direction. 


This isn’t limited to the pre- and post-teams. AI eye tracking from Nvidia has fixed that pesky eyeline for people reading from a script without a teleprompter. Adobe Sage and many other platforms are streamlining edits of content to decrease turnaround times for quick edits to social media. ElevenLabs and Heygen AI enable you to upload content to be translated into various languages to supply to international audiences with ease.


Are any of these technologies perfect? No. But we inch ever closer. Jump in and try it out. 


4. Find New Ways to Drive Engagement


Just because an event is over doesn’t mean that the discussion ends. Take note of important points made that may deserve some extra time. Maybe there was a question that couldn’t be answered without diving into another large discussion. Snip the question and quick answer into social content and use that to promote a follow-up webinar. This keeps the content you generate more organic and (everyone’s new favorite corporate term) evergreen.  

5. Technology is King


As a technology professional, I am a bit biased here, but for good reason. Events that spare the time and the budget to scale their event for hybrid or virtual, benefit from greater engagement with their customers and members. We spend lots of time in preparation for an event going over workflows to sustain the highest probability of success. As live event professionals we’ve done thousands of meetings and events for various organizations, all with different priorities, sizes, and needs. When we make a recommendation for a rehearsal or a deadline for assets it’s because clients that have followed these guidelines have benefited from it. We do our research on the industry’s hottest innovations, trying out new software and hardware so we can help you produce an engaging event for all your viewers, either in person, virtual, or hybrid.

ptq.gif?a=5111419&k=14&r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.teampeople.tv%2Fworkforce solutions blog%2Frelax refill refresh that browser recalibrate your virtual presence&bu=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.teampeople

To view our Partner blog, click here