Webinars have been one of the big marketing success stories of 2020. In a year complicated by difficulties surrounding our ability to get together in person, and the need to remain physically distant when we do, we’ve turned to virtual events in increasing numbers to establish, maintain and grow our connections with customers and prospects.
Almost two in three of us (64%) now attend 6 or more digital events a month — up from just 2 events a year ago, according to this year’s Redback Report, which examined the experience of attendees of digital events.
But too often, webinars feature tiny talking heads presenting from bland meeting rooms accompanied by endless slide decks packed to the brim with detailed information.
While it’s great to share expert knowledge with the audience, it’s also important to look and sound good while doing it.
A poor virtual event experience will reflect poorly on your brand — if your audience even remembers who hosted it.
According to this year’s Redback Report, some of the pet hates of digital event attendees were poor-quality or intermittent sound and disengaged or boring presenters.
Even more importantly, a visually appealing webinar and high-quality sound — combined with the passion of an enthusiastic presenter — will go a long way to helping your audience remain engaged with your content.
This is a key issue for virtual event attendees: respondents to this year’s Redback Report commented on how hard it is to retain all the information imparted during a digital event and to remain engaged throughout the event.
Studio broadcasts are a great way both to differentiate your content from that of your competitors and to keep your audience engaged because they allow you to customise how you stage your virtual event and present in the most visually appealing way.
At the same time, a studio broadcast offers professional lighting and sound and a high-speed broadcast connection, with alternative camera angles, the option of a green-screen branded or scene-setting background, optional autocue and the ability to insert pre-recorded video into your hosted event.
All of these combine to make your virtual event or webinar a more engaging, professional-quality experience.
With that in mind, here are six ways to add excitement to your virtual events with a studio broadcast.
1. Fireside chat Q&A
Interview Q&As are one of the most popular content formats, according to the Redback Report. Give your interviews an intimate character by staging them in comfy chairs on set, enabling your host to connect one-on-one in front of the camera.
Your host or studio producer can facilitate a live Q&A with the audience, enabling audiences to connect with your presenter.
Green screen technology allows you to conduct your interview against any background scene you like.
2. Panel discussion
Panel discussions at the studio desk — think The Gruen Transfer or The Project — enable you to canvas a broad range of opinions in a collective virtual discussion.
Panels bring all your presenters together and provide the opportunity for interpersonal dynamics to emerge between speakers, who can sit an appropriate physical distance from each other but be brought together thanks to the wonders of camera angles and editing.
Your studio producer can dial in remote presenters as required, and it’s easy to cut to pre-recorded video segments as well, creating variety for your viewers.
3. CEO address
With remote work dramatically increased due to COVID-19, how often does your CEO take the time to connect with your workforce?
Even if she regularly addresses staff via video-conferencing technology, it can get a little samey-samey.
A studio presentation enables you to tailor the background to the nature of the topic, from a black curtain to a green screen or branded backdrop and also gives your executive the option to read from an autocue for a word-perfect take for those important announcements.
4. Virtual keynote
If you cancelled or postponed your annual conference when the pandemic hit, you can still put expert speakers in front of your audience virtually.
Filming a virtual keynote in the studio gives your presenter the option of standing or sitting and presenting next to slides or in video interspersed with slides: the latter works particularly well if a large cross-section of your audience views your events on mobile devices.
You can also facilitate a direct Q&A with your expert — and our data indicates most people would love the option of corresponding one-on-one with your speaker over virtual chat formats after the event.
5. Studio hosted community town hall
Looking for a way to engage your community without being able to hold a face-to-face event?
Remote Town Halls work remarkably well as they offer even greater accessibility combined with control over how questions and comments from the audience are handled.
If you host a complex Town Hall featuring a number of speakers from a studio, your studio producer will facilitate the event, switching between presenters and playing pre-recorded videos, enabling you to focus on your message and content.
Your local support team will be able to help troubleshoot technical issues — including dialling in remote or regional speakers who may have internet connectivity issues — as well as supporting attendees who may have trouble connecting.
In some cases, audience sizes for online community Town Halls have been up to four times greater than face-to-face versions of the same event.
6. Gala events
Your end of year gala celebration doesn’t need to be cancelled. Broadcast direct from a studio with a professional presenter, green screen background, professional lighting, remote guest speakers and pre-recorded video segments and give your gala event some showbiz glitz and glamour.
Live-stream them on your social channels at a set time to extend your audience and build immediacy.
Just make sure your host is experienced at engaging an audience over virtual channels as there’s no live audience for them to feed off. And don’t forget to liaise with your studio producer over the background music!
There are many ways to use studio broadcasts to build engagement and create a professional look and feel for your virtual events.
Contact one of our sales representatives to learn more about how Redback can help you host your next virtual event from one of our studios around Australia and in New Zealand.