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Why your virtual event doesn’t have to be live.

A lot of our phone calls over the last few weeks have been centered around virtual events and the difference between them being live or recorded, so I thought I would discuss that in a little more detail for you.

Broadcasting live is certainly what everyone thinks they have to do… and rightfully so. I think this is because most of our customers don’t understand that a recorded video can be broadcasted to look live.  Let me explain.

If you record a video, you can still play it back as if it were live. It can look and seem as if it is happening right now. Your viewers won’t be able to tell the difference.

I can record a video today from our studio and broadcast it live tomorrow. The audience will have no idea that it was actually recorded days ago. It will have all the same characteristics of a live event. It will even have the “Live” logo at the top of the screen.

This has been a hard concept for our customer base to understand. They want to think that they have to be live in order to have a successful broadcast.

Most people think that if you record a video, you have to upload it in its entirety to a webpage or hosting platform like YouTube. Then, the audience is sent a link to go and watch it when they have the time.

This is not what our customer base is looking for when they say they want to host a “virtual event”. They want it to look and feel LIVE!

Take a look at this video. Do you think this video was LIVE or was it RECORDED and then played back LIVE?

I think going truly “live” just has one benefit. And that benefit is to be able to interact with the viewers in real-time during the broadcast. However, the prep work that is involved with recording and broadcasting live often times ends up outweighing this benefit. Here are some of the things that have to happen for a live recording and broadcast:

  • You absolutely need people that know how to talk in front of a camera confidently, and without mistakes.
  • That person has to be really good at delivering your message through a camera, in a room with 5 other people and a lot of bright lighting in their face. This can be very different from the event you are used to hosting in a ballroom.
  • You have to be concise. You have a dedicated time to deliver your message, so the person on camera has to be able to keep the program flowing.
  • You need to know how to read from a teleprompter.
  • You have to have all the content you need, proofread, finalized, and ready to go at the exact time and date of your broadcast. You can’t do it again, there are no second takes, you can’t re-do something. Once you are live, there is no turning back.

On the flip side if you chose to pre-record, you have the biggest advantage of being able to do multiple takes and try different things to yield a perfect virtual event that meets your goals and expectations. This alleviates a lot  of stress.

But what about the donating and fundraising? How can we do that live if the event is being pre-recorded?

When we broadcast the recorded video the night of the event, we can cut back and forth between the fundraising screen AND the recording. So that part can actually be live!  People who are watching the live stream will be able to see who is bidding and how much.

Click here to see our interview with GiveSmart, the company that we really like for online giving.

We know this isn’t the easiest concept to grasp and that there needs to be some continued conversation about this with your team. Once we walk you through the entire process, you will begin to understand that maybe you can  reap the benefits of a pre-recorded event while still accomplishing the goals you’ve set for your virtual event! 

If you have the right team to support you, you can give your viewers the live event experience you desire, without the stress of actually going live! So give this some consideration, and give us a call to continue the discussion!