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.

Virtual event production illustration

Event platform

  • 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

Production staffing

  • 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

Speakers

  • 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.

Internet

  • 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

Prerecording sessions

  • 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.

Hold rehearsals

  • 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

Other considerations

  • 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?
virtual speaker management

Need more help with your virtual event production ? Contact Shiloh to get started today.

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