From audio checks to Zoom rehearsals, this list will guide you through the A/V considerations that go into producing a flawless virtual event.
Production separates the winners from the losers in virtual events. Well-planned production amplifies the perceived value of content and boosts audience engagement. Likewise a lack of attention to production details leaves even the best content challenging to attend to.
Get a handle on the ins and outs of virtual event production and ensure your team is ready to deliver a winning event with this checklist for planners.
- Meet with your platform vendor to scope platform requirements
- Confirm the types of content your platform supports ie: live stream, pre-record video, slides, animations, captions etc.
- Note platform requirements for Internet bandwidth, software, and hardware for speakers and staff
- Identify any incremental software, equipment, and staffing you’ll need for production beyond what your event platform agreement includes
- Request a guide to in-platform process for production staff and speakers from your vendor
- Share the event platform guide with all your staff
- Consult our guide if you need help choosing a virtual event platform
- Designate a project manager to oversee the production tasks and timeline
- Identify a technical director to source equipment and manage the technical setup
- Decide who will “call” the show on event day
- Identify video and audio engineers to oversee live stream camera shots and sound quality
- Identify a video playback engineer to run any pre recorded video
- Identify a graphics operator to oversee presentations, lower thirds and other graphics
- Identify a producer to manage speakers
- If you have multiple simultaneous sessions include extra staff for each
- Identify technical support staff
- Hire 3rd party staff and expertise as needed
Emphasize production details and quality to elevate a virtual experience and save attendees from Zoom fatigue.
Audio visual and other equipment
- Select microphones, lighting, and cameras for remote speakers
- Decide how many cameras/ different shots are needed for live stream
- Confirm what equipment you may have in-house or that outside production staff will provide (cameras, switchers, lighting etc)
- Rent any balance of equipment needed for live broadcast
- Order branded backdrops as needed for broadcast studio or home environments
- Secure speakers buy in for how presentations will be delivered – live or recorded
- Send speakers their production timeline
- Confirm speakers’ location(s) for recording or live broadcast
- Gather information about all speakers’ computers and/or cell phone models to ensure compatibility with supporting A/V equipment you send out
- Secure speaker permissions to record and rebroadcast their content
- Schedule calls to assist speakers with equipment & environment set up
- Schedule event platform orientation for any live speakers
- Provide written instructions for using the event platform as a speaker
- Hold rehearsals
- Learn more about virtual speaker management
Good audio matters more to attendees than HD video or flashy visuals. If you can only upgrade one element of a virtual speaker’s home A/V setup make it a great microphone.
- Check Internet bandwidth from every streaming location to ensure it meets minimum requirements for video streaming at the desired quality
- Recommend a hard-line Internet connection for all live stream speakers
- Purchase incremental bandwidth through a local cable company if needed
- Establish a timeline for speaker setup, recording, video review, editing and finishing
- Choose and purchase recording software
- Choose backdrops for prerecord speakers – virtual, natural in-home/office or other
- Record content with the highest quality video and audio a speaker can output
- Have speakers submit a test video for review prior to recording
- Review tests for expected production quality and have speakers make any need adjustments
- Hire a video editor to trim and finish raw videos
- Review final videos for content and quality
An Internet upload speed of at least 5 Mbps is required for a reliable HD live stream. 10 Mbps is recommended.
Live streaming sessions
- Choose one or more platforms you will live stream to.
- Choose any live stream locations and secure spaces as needed
- Establish a backup plan for each speaker in case of Internet failure
- Conduct a speaker equipment check for audio, video quality prior to streaming
- Conduct an environment check for lighting, framing the speaker on camera and background
Graphics, branding, & other content
- Share the event branding guide & font files with production team
- Define how program opening, closing & transitions will be handled: emcee, animations, intro/exit slides or other
- Decide where branding will appear and what form will it take in the program
- Decide when and where to use lower thirds & other overlay graphics
- Schedule resources to create any video shorts, slides, and other transition graphics
Rehearse! Virtual event success rests – more than ever – in the event team’s ability to execute technically on event day.
- Map out each step of the event in a detailed minute by minute prior to rehearsals
- Share the minute by minute with everyone involved in your program
- Designate a person to manage rehearsals – generally the event producer
- Hold technical rehearsals with production team and support staff in-platform
- Test any prerecorded videos in-platform
- Train and rehearse panel groups and moderators
- Train and rehearse all other speakers and emcee
- Full rehearsal of all live content
- Plan enough time for a second full rehearsal in case adjustments are needed
- Do you need to record the event for on-demand playback?
- Does your audience need captions?
- Do you need multiple languages?
- Do you need transcripts to repurpose post-event as marketing content?
- Do you need attendee polling or in-session Q&A?