A few months ago – you know, when the craziness was at its highest – we wrote about virtual event mistakes. If you’re an avid reader of Endless, you might recall that one of those mistakes was foregoing rehearsals. And if you’re not an avid reader…well, what are you waiting for? But let’s return to the topic at hand. Back in the day – and no, we can’t believe it’s only been a handful of weeks either – we felt it was important to warn event profs against this. However, we didn’t dive quite as deep as we hoped for.
So here we are! Yes, today, we’ll be explaining exactly why virtual event rehearsals should be a non-negotiable. While some in the industry might believe that these are not necessary, we still advise against it. If there’s something 2020 has taught it’s that we can never be too prepared. And when it comes to the relatively uncharted waters of virtual (because there’s still a lot to learn and fine-tune), this is truer than ever. Let us then explore the pros of virtual event rehearsals!
Tone The Anxiety Down 300 Notches
Anxiety levels have been on the rise amongst event professionals. It’s common knowledge that our industry is one of the most stressful and taxing to be a part of. Add a global pandemic to that equation and you have the recipe for several meltdowns to start taking place. Not to mention the stress of having to learn how to plan and execute virtual experiences that engage and motivate attendees! So yes, we can all agree that there’s already plenty of anxiety creeping up on event profs.
A great way to increase those levels even more is to, you guessed it, forego rehearsals. Even though the industry has mass migrated to the realm of digital experiences, this format is still incredibly new. Where speakers had years and years of experience of in-person engagements, they’re barely scratching the surface of virtual. Hence, making sure they rehearse everything before the big day reduces the stress not only for them but for you and your production team as well. Remember that we’re all in this together when it comes to the newness of it all. Practice makes perfect and will ease the minds of everyone involved.
Holding People Accountable
The hot new trend in 2021 is accountability. Jump on the bandwagon and make sure you hold everyone accountable for their actions and commitments – your politicians, your family and friends, yourself! Let no one get away with not taking responsibility for their actions! Where it pertains to virtual event rehearsals, we’re talking about your speakers.
When events were solely held in-person, it was easy enough to track down your keynotes and presenters so you could rush them to the stage when it was time. With virtual, it gets a little trickier. And if you decide not to hold rehearsals, you give them a loophole to hold onto if they don’t log in on time or participate the way they should. By preparing in advance and offering the necessary directions, you have the power to hold presenters accountable for not showing up at the right time or following the instructions that were given to them during rehearsals.
Think Of The Production Team
If you’re planning a successful virtual event, then you probably hired a production team. You know, the crew of experts that run the show behind the scenes and essentially ensure that everything goes smoothly. Well, this lovely bunch also needs you to take virtual event rehearsals seriously.
Take it from us, a production company with years of expertise behind us. Even though we do this all the time, there are still unique variables for each event. Rehearsing before the event actually goes live gives the production team the chance to go over every single aspect, and further ensure that all elements and moving parts of the experience are executed flawlessly.
“I Have Great Internet!”…Not.
We can’t stress the importance of good Internet enough. And no, not just for life in general (even though life is indeed empty without quality memes), but for virtual events in specific. Choppy sound and blurry streams are so 2020! Why would you want to carry out the trend of low production value to the new year? Remember that attendees are becoming increasingly more demanding and will expect incredible digital experiences when logging into a virtual event.
So we know that a sure-fire way of getting attendees to run for the hills is a poor connection on the speaker side. But how can you make sure that the presenters have enough bandwidth to withstand the whole shebang? Rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing. It’s often during these much-needed virtual event rehearsals that our operations team finds that the speakers don’t have the quality Internet they claimed. Or we find ourselves troubleshooting things that would completely fly over our heads otherwise, such as blocked ports that don’t allow the speakers to live stream.
Don’t Horse Around With Setup/Location
Now that we’ve successfully convinced you about the importance of virtual event rehearsals, we want to throw a pro tip your way. One of our biggest pet peeves is when speakers show up to the rehearsal in a certain location using a specific setup, only to virtually arrive on the day of the show either in a completely new setting or with a brand new microphone/camera/lighting setup.
If the presenters don’t stay in the exact same position, using the exact same equipment they did during the rehearsal, it’s just like having to rehearse again. The only problem is that it’s happening live or minutes before the show begins! This can lead to a lot of stuff going south, starting the event late, and just a whole lot of headaches and stress to everyone involved – planner, speaker, production team members, and attendees.
So the takeaway here is: virtual event rehearsals? Love ’em. You simply must try them. They’ve never been more important than they are now! But when you do them, please do them the right way. Your mantra from now on shall be “you can never be too prepared”. If you have any questions about rehearsals or virtual events in general, feel free to reach out to our team!