Beginners Guide: Virtual Event Best Practices

Let’s jump in…

Use a quality camera
iPhones have premium optics for live streaming but an Android smartphone (with a quality camera) or exclusive video camera with wireless capabilities can also do the trick. Grainy camera quality or low resolution will ruin your virtual event. People WILL log off!

Use good lighting
Purchase a few low-cost lighting fixtures from Amazon or Walmart. Typically, you can find what you need for under $50.

If you don’t invest in additional lighting, you MUST record in a well-lit room. Sometimes, removing a lampshade or recording your footage in the morning before 3 p.m. are sufficient ways to ensure solid lighting. If it’s not storytime, no one wants to tune in to a dark, shadowy figure.

If the budget allows for outsourcing, hire someone to record the virtual event for you. Hiring a professional videographer will alleviate the worries about lighting, angles and other equipment. The videographer will handle all of this for you. You’ll have to determine on your own whether outsourcing a videographer for a 30-minute QA live stream will be the best use of your time and resources. You can achieve suitable results with a ring light and tripod so hiring a professional to cover a multi-day or outdoor event may be the better investment.

Be mindful of your environment

What’s your event setting?

  • Outdoors?
  • Event Center?
  • Gymnasium?
  • Air BNB?
  • Home?

Whatever you choose, something about the environment will be out of your control.

Shooting in a park? A family with young children, a dog and loud music may be playing near your ‘set’. You can’t predict when cars will honk their horns or drive up the street. You can’t control your neighbors arguing or choosing to mow their grass when you hit record.

Bottom line, consider the location before you finalize the recording destination.

Talk to your audience
Welcome newbies and thank them for joining. For return visitors, it’s good form to shout these individuals out. They’re your repeat customers, your die-hards and they love it when you show some love! Call their names as you see them join the live or pop up on your screen, ‘@’ them in the comments or post a link to their site/product(s).

Post information on the screen (and in the comments)
Post your product links, registration forms, Google review link, and any other prevalent information on-screen throughout the live stream.

You should also put the same information in the comment section a few times throughout (it’s a pain to scroll through a whole stream for the ONE comment you’re looking for) the broadcast. Adding links on-screen and in the comment section gives your audience two points of reference to take action with you. It also gives those who tune in later for the #replay a way to follow up on what they missed.

Host a Q&A session
People can’t engage with you online as they would in person. Q&A sessions are an easy way to interact with your audience. It offers connection on a deeper level and gives space for your supporters to feel heard. Plus, it’s a way for you to gain insight into their needs (that means learning more ways you can serve them).

Use Tech Support
Tech support isn’t a must-have but it makes virtual life much easier! It allows you to delegate the back-end work needed to execute your virtual event. A team member can start/stop the broadcast, add text to the screen, answer private messages, troubleshoot errors, or repeat the nuggets you’re dropping in the comment section, so you don’t have to.

Brand your content
Add a little glitter, glam and unique flair to the recording. You can do a little of this on Facebook natively but more customization (logo, brand colors, graphics, etc) is available on streaming platforms such as Restream, Switcher Studio or StreamYard. Branding your content adds uniformity and a unique identifier of what’s yours vs someone else’s. Sometimes bypassing a familiar headache is worth the investment of growing your team.

Turn notifications ON
Finally, encourage followers to turn their notifications ON! Most of your followers want to hear from you, your biz, and the updates you have to share. A simple way to ensure they stay up-to-date is to remind them to turn their app notifications on.

Whew…that’s all for now. Let us know if you try any of these best practices and if you found them helpful.

Happy recording!

-SHS

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