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Live vs Pre Recorded – Take 2

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Some Lessons Learned

Since writing the last article on this we have learned a few new things. Achieving that professional gloss that we are all craving is a little more complicated than it would initially seem. Have you noticed that even your newscasters have been using better green screens, or are seemingly going into the studio? Their make-up and hair is better and that their feeds are much more stable? DIY is great for crafts and baking, but not information delivery or entertainment. That is, if you are looking for a professional high quality product.

So you want to pre record your event sessions and you don’t have much budget?

  • You can record through zoom or other video conferencing systems. The quality is not going to be great, but very passable. Pro-tip – make sure you record each speaker separately so you can build a Live look. You will need an A/V team to help you.
  • Rehearse your speakers! I cannot emphasize this enough. You need them to be fluid and relaxed.
  • Ask your speakers not to read statements but to talk naturally.
  • Lighting, camera position and background remain important. For love of all that’s good, we DO NOT want to look up your nose. This is also where production quality can totally disappear if you don’t get it right.
  • Audio is important. Ask your speakers to use a headset or send them a microphone. We like this one – LINK
  • You will need a video editor, a professional, not your cousin with TikTok, to put together your sessions. They can build them using a template to look live, just like we have gotten used to seeing. The advantage here is you can design how you want it to look; three speakers across the screen, stacked in a triangle or one big and two smaller, etc.

You want to pre record your event sessions and money is not an issue?

  • Send a camera person with a small lighting kit and audio recording system to your speakers. Let them, in a socially distanced way, record your speakers. This can be in your speakers home, a common room or in a studio depending on the desired look, budget and comfort level.
  • If your speaker is comfortable with it, also send a hair and make-up person.
  • You will still need to rehearse your speakers as you will still want them to be relaxed and natural.
  • A video editor will need to assemble the footage for you into a webinar or streaming look.

Where you host your videos is important too. There are many options here but all are contingent on the servers. How many people do you anticipate watching at the same time? If your company’s website is robust and can handle it, then great! Create a webpage for your event and off you go. If not, then consider streaming your videos through something like Vimeo or Stream yard out to your social media outlets. Private Facebook groups seem to work very well. If you are looking to incorporate these video sessions into a larger experience then look into one of the many virtual meeting platforms out there. We like All in the Loop and Pathable, but there are many, many more.

In a poll during an EventMD/Skift webinar on Virtual Meetings a couple of weeks ago, after showing a pre recorded presentation, asked the audience if they knew it was pre recorded and how they felt about it. 49% said it was as good as or better than live and 39% did not know the difference. This was an audience of 10k+ event professionals. 

Your audience and participants want a good show and excellent, engaging content. Whether it is live or not does not seem to matter to them. Throw in a little interaction and some networking and your audience will love you and keep coming back.

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