Ashley McGinnes (00:07):
Hi there. My name is Ashley and I’m a producer over at Cramer, and I am really excited to welcome you guys to our new web series, Cramer On Demand. It’s six episodes featuring practical insights about virtual events that answers the number one question that our clients keep asking us, how do I keep my customers engaged when everything is going online? Today we’ll be speaking with Rich and Ann to help you understand this current landscape. Thanks for joining us. So Rich, a lot of our clients are canceling their live events. What are we saying about virtual events and the alternatives to them?
Rich Sturchio (01:10):
A virtual event is a great way to keep in touch with your clients and your employees now, and there are literally hundreds of technologies available. There’s tech that tries to emulate a real event, to simple video conference calls and then everything in between. We of course have our favorites that have worked well for us. But the important thing to remember is that it’s not just about making your event virtual. That’s relatively easy nowadays. It’s about making it good.
Ashley McGinnes (01:39):
How does someone make it?
Rich Sturchio (01:41):
Well, we look at the five elements of a virtual event, so strategy, content, platforms and technologies, execution, and of course, analytics and we approach the strategy just as we would at a live event. We keep in mind the goals, the attendee experience, the outcomes we want and how technology fits into that. But then from a content and execution perspective, we like to think of it as a network broadcast like a Good Morning America. It needs to be informative, but it also needs to be entertaining. We need people to want to watch.
Ashley McGinnes (02:15):
So Rich, are there any other platforms that people should take advantage of when deciding on a virtual event?
Rich Sturchio (02:20):
Yeah, don’t forget about social. We’ve been broadcasting a lot on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitch and the results we get, the number of viewers we get for like a Facebook Live is sometimes four or five times what we’d get on the official conference site. And now with the ability to make private groups in Facebook and LinkedIn and even YouTube, it’s a really great way to reach your audience and keep communicating with them, so don’t forget that. Have a strategy, know your audience, make it interesting, and be ready to use different technology for different objectives.
Ashley McGinnes (03:01):
Awesome. Thank you so much, Rich, for talking to us today. I’m chatting with one of our senior producers, Ann Lawrence. Hey, Ann, thanks for joining us today.
Ann Lawrence (03:14):
Ashley McGinnes (03:15):
What is the experience like producing a virtual event in comparison to a physical one?
Ann Lawrence (03:20):
Process is still the same. We still create timelines, status reports, as well as the show flow. The difference really is the venue is now the platform, and then just working through the capabilities of that platform with the client.
Ashley McGinnes (03:36):
So Ann, how do you handle rehearsals if they’re not on site?
Ann Lawrence (03:40):
Instead of speaking to the audience, the camera is the audience. We’re actually coaching these presenters to look directly at the camera instead of out to an audience.
Ashley McGinnes (03:50):
How long does it usually take to produce a virtual event, and is it shorter than producing a physical event?
Ann Lawrence (03:56):
I’m currently working on an event that has a six–week lead time, but my colleagues recently wrapped an event that had a 10–day lead time. I mean, it really depends on the size, the content, and also the platform that they’re deciding to use.
Ashley McGinnes (04:13):
Awesome. Thank you so much, Ann, for joining us. I appreciate it.
Ann Lawrence (04:16):
Ashley McGinnes (04:18):
So, there you have it. With the right strategy, technology and process, connecting with your audience is still very achievable and Cramer is definitely here to help. We will continue to have relevant information and resources on our website and digital channels, and are always here to help you find the right solution. And please, join us next time as we take a deeper dive into technology platform options and capabilities. Thanks for joining us.