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Are Zoom virtual events engaging?

25th February 2021 in Virtual Events

What a question!   Let’s start by addressing what Zoom is and why it has taken the world by storm in the past 12 months…

Firstly, Zoom just works!  It might not have all the bells and whistles that other video conferencing platforms have to offer but its big advantage is the high level of compatibility with desktop, tablet and mobile devices, all with native apps that work with your webcam and microphone to connect you with others across the world.    Keeping things simple and frustration-free has been a big winner for Zoom and keeps customers using it as their “go to tool” for online meetings and personal catch ups.

Zoom Call
It’s also pretty secure.  Again, it’s not necessarily the best out there,  but it’s certainly good enough to be signed off for use by many big organisations and many in the financial sector where security is paramount.

Cost is another big advantage with the ability to use the system for free for small meetings up to 40 minutes and then a variety of “per month” subscription options, depending on what the needs are for the size of meetings and events.  Users can scale up and down their subscriptions as needed so they always feel they are getting value for money.

So this is all great and full credit has to go out to Zoom for taking a whopping 35-42% of the market share in the UK and US alone.  But..and here’s the BUT…it is just another automated video conferencing tool.   I hope Zoom are not offended when I say, in its native form, it’s really quite boring!   If you’re looking for functionality, it ticks many boxes but if you’re looking to create an online virtual event that really engages with your audience,  you’re going to need some help!

How can we help?

Let’s start with defining the problem with a simple example.

You’re organising an event and you want to use Zoom to get the maximum reach and accessibility within your organisation.   Your colleagues are all working from home so their method of collaboration with other team members is to use Zoom.  Everyone is sitting on Zoom, meeting after meeting and “Zoom-fatigue” sets in.   Along comes your event (another Zoom meeting) and it just blends in with all the others.  Surprised your key messages haven’t landed with most of your audience?  A recent survey suggests that only around a quarter of your audience will actively engage with the event, another quarter will watch but not join in,  and that leaves the remaining half the audience…so what are they doing?  The survey suggests, other things!

It’s important to remember that time is precious and highly valued.   An hour long event with 300 attendees is 300 work hours – a huge expense and investment!  So what you do in that hour really matters.  Back when we could all see each other and attend events in person, you wouldn’t dream of standing up in front of a large audience without a well rehearsed and slick presentation so it shouldn’t be any different in the virtual world.

So here is where we can help.  We’ve spent the last 15+ years perfecting the art of delivering exceptional event production for our clients to create memorable experiences and making sure messages land.  We’re the guys and girls dressed in black at the back of the room, making sure events run like clockwork.  We give presenters the support they need to focus on what they need to do…present!

In the virtual world, there is no difference.  We might be on the other side of the country (or even the world), but our job is to make you, your presenters and your content look great and press all the right buttons to produce a slick and professional show.

What do we do?

Presenters join via our presenter Zoom portal and arrive in a green room to  prepare for the presentation ahead, along with all other presenters.   Using the power of our dedicated Zoom Studio, we will transfer individuals to the “side of stage” position just before they are due live and then seamlessly bring them to the virtual stage to present.  At every point, our production team are there to support, help and provide guidance.  We look after all content so presenters don’t need to worry about screen sharing or doing anything other than presenting.

We use technology that is very similar to that used for television broadcasts.  This gives us a lot of control over what appears on screen and we can add branding, graphics and creative flare to create an online event that looks and sounds great.    As we hold all of the content, there is no messy presenter screen sharing with all the problems this can bring and instead, videos, PowerPoint, graphics, polling, questions and other content is seamlessly mixed with the live presenters.

We control who is on screen at any time and use graphic frames and name straps to provide a far more polished look in comparison to the native Zoom rectangular random approach.    We also control the audio of all presenters so there is no distracting background noise from someone who has forgotten they are not on mute.   We’re constantly monitoring the live event and if something crops up such as family members appearing in the background (we’ve all seen that BBC News broadcast), we’re able to alert the presenter in their ear and cut away to alternative content if required.

Virtual Studio

Finally, you know your content and we know the tech!  We’ll work with you to design and  produce an event that delivers a great and memorable experience for your audience.  We’ll advise on how the available technology and software can be used to make your audience feel part of the event and want to engage for the whole duration.   Yes, there is some functionality within Zoom itself but let’s not let that limit the potential as there are many other online tools that can be utilised to connect with your audience.

Can we help with your next Zoom virtual event?

Yes!  Of course I’m going to say that…we’ve got a great support package after all.  We’re always more than happy to discuss up and coming events, look at your objectives, and see what value we can add to the event.   We can tailor our support to your needs and work within a range of budgets from high to low.

Get in contact to discuss your next  event!

Can we help with other platforms?

Absolutely!  We recognise that there are lots of great virtual platforms on the market, each suited to different types of events and audiences.  Our broadcast systems are set up to integrate with almost any platform available so we will work with you to establish which is best for you and your audience.  Check out this article for more information on how we can help.