HTS Highlights: Your Production Guide to Going Online

Knowing how to move and execute an online or virtual event is becoming the new frontier, it’s unknown and is constantly changing within a small period of time. Sean Denny, director of event, and production designer at LUXE productions has had plenty of experience with virtual production. Leading the charge in finding the most innovative way and techniques to keep viewers engaged, involved, and wanting more. 

Sean started the talk by defining the difference between a virtual event and a hybrid event. A virtual event being that “no one is gathered together” versus a hybrid event which involved a live crowd that is then being live streamed to others. 

An important aspect that was pointed out by Sean about virtual events is that they “offer the least amount of options and least production value”. Were all used to putting a silly virtual background in our zoom meeting, but that level of production is no longer sustainable. 

Hybrid events have shown in the past to be the most powerful type of online event because of the fact it allows for a much higher production value. The downfall of this is that it can take weeks or months to plan out and get ready. 

Deciding which of these two are better requires businesses to look at multiple factors. Those being current regulations, will local or international guests be attending? Is the content time sensitive? What is your budget? These four factors are how a business can strategically decide what type of event to host. 

But what is next? Everyone is sick of zoom calls and it has quickly become the standard way to communicate since COVID-19 has impacted our society. That was only six months ago, the trend is already dying out and is becoming a “boring” tool when trying to engage an audience in an online event. 

Jamie Grossman, president of Luxe Productions gave his thoughts on what new trends will start to be implemented in the coming months. The first being augmented reality, utilizing the ability to build any kind of environment in order to engage the audience for longer. There’s also downfalls to using high quality technology to increase engagement and has to be used correctly to be successful. “It doesn’t matter how expensive the equipment used to capture an event or presentation is, if the content is not interesting it is not going to capture your audience” says Denny, which ties into the trend Jamie stated which is these events need to be time sensitive. Watching a computer screen rather than being there at the event is entirely different, the attention span of the viewer is significantly smaller. The solution to this Jamie says is “45 minutes tops” for a singular event to run. 

The space is going to be one that does not have top dogs for years and years and rather quickly changing trends every 4-6 months. It’s going to be exciting to see what kind of innovations and techniques are used for online events whether hybrid or virtual. 

Click here for access to watch the video.

By William Norris