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How to take virtual events to the next stage and make them pro

Three brilliant ways you can up your virtual event game, for conferences, gigs and talks that put ‘real-life’ to shame

a group of monitors and a sound mixer

Things took a futuristic turn when we were unexpectedly thrust into an almost entirely virtual world thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak. In a nutshell – the tech that the majority of us were used to tapping into from time to time suddenly became our only connection to the outside world. Now, we’re all so used to it that the novelty of the fancy-dress Zoom call has officially worn off, and people are looking for new ways to enhance their virtual event experience.

Those who were used to running large-scale conferences, music festivals and community-driven workshops have certainly been left grappling with the world of online – even those that were entirely unfamiliar with it. If that sounds like you, you may be keen to explore further where the world of online events can take you. Or perhaps you’ve simply realised that the virtual world is better than the real one, and plan on continuing to use it even after the pandemic is over.

Either way, here are three brilliant ways you can up your virtual event game, for conferences, gigs and talks that put ‘real-life’ to shame:

1. Take live music streaming to whole new heights

a group of monitors and a sound mixer

Thanks to companies like T.E.N Studios in London, music event organisers are able to take their live streaming sessions to impressive new levels of sophistication. This innovative London live streaming studio is fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology that makes for a professional streaming experience. Think: live streaming across multiple platforms, with stunning studio lighting, amazing cameras and beautiful acoustics making for a truly memorable experience.

If you don’t have access to a studio like this, there’s a lot of live streaming software out there that you can use at home to enhance your performance too. Like Lightstream, which uses cloud technology to let you live stream without interruption and offers a ton of cool features designed specifically for those who want to rank up their engagement via social media. 

2. Create your own pro home studio

Speaking of home studios, there are a vast amount of options out there for those who want to run high-spec virtual events from the comfort of their own dining room (or living room, or kitchen). From upgrading your camera and audio to mastering the art of professional lighting, a few home studio equipment purchases can take your event to TV-levels of professional.

Lighting: The number one rule for video call lighting is to make sure a light is shining onto your face from roughly where your camera is. The cheapest way to achieve this is to make sure you’re facing into direct daylight from a window, but if you want to go all-out pro you could invest in some professional LED panel lights to really nail that TV studio feel. Go for a couple of Elgato’s Key Lights or Key Light Airs, and you’ll soon see what a huge difference proper lighting makes.

a person wearing headphones and a headset sitting at a computer

Camera: Most laptop cameras are average at best. To upgrade yours, try hooking up an actual camera to your laptop and using it as an advanced web cam. You’ll need to use a HDMI-to-USB video capture interface to convert it, which you can buy from most tech shops.

Audio: For those hosting virtual conferences or talks, a good mic is essential. Getting a simple wired lavalier (lav) microphone will make a huge difference, or a wireless one would be even better, especially if you plan on standing while talking. We’d recommend the Rode Lavalier Go professional-grade mic, which can be used for a huge range of broadcasting applications.

3. Discover the weird and wonderful world of 3D virtual reality

You know how we said things taken a futuristic turn recently? Enter: 3D Virtual Reality (VR/3D), a world where avatars interact like real people and bustling networking events are possible, even in a socially-distanced world. VR/3D can be used for everything from training courses to product presentations to full-blown fairs and auditorium-style events.

a person standing in front of a sign

Companies like WALCON Virtual Events and Virtway Events have seriously shaken up the online realm for business professionals who rely on things like summits, talks, trade shows, team bonding days and conferences to operate. The concept works by adapting real-life scenarios to the world of online via the use of Sims-like venues and avatars. For example, you could host a jobs fair with thousands of attendees, where guests are able to explore a range of virtual stands, talks, and workshops via their avatars. Or you could host a summit with attendees joining from all over the world at the click of a button. 

VR/3D provides a great way to provide a rich, engaging experience online and we expect we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of it in the not so distant future – so why not be one of the first to reap its benefits?

It’s official – virtual events are no longer solely for the tech-savvy or those ‘in-the-know’. From avatars to home studios and game-changing live streaming sessions, this is one pandemic side-effect we can live with. 

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