A hybrid event combines a physical, face-to-face event with a “digital extension” that broadens the reach of the event (online). One of the challenges of producing a successful hybrid event is ensuring that the virtual (online) audience is heard and, finding ways to connect the face-to-face and virtual audiences.
Virtual emcees can address this challenge. They’ll appear on-site at the face-to-face event, but serve as an advocate for the online audience. They’ll convey the “on-site buzz” to the virtual audience and connect on-site attendees to the online attendees (and vice versa).
How to Find the Right Emcee
Broadcasting from an event is different than your traditional television broadcast. To be an emcee in the virtual arena, you have to talk the talk, walk the walk, and lead the conversation. From technical conversations to personal experiences, virtual emcees are a new caliber of hosting professionals. With that being said, do not think that the virtual emcees are more experienced than television broadcasters; there is just a different level of need because virtual emcees are always on. Your virtual emcees should:
- Be quick on their feet.
- Have the right amount of knowledge about your business.
- Create compelling on-the-fly conversations.
- Have the ability to be “always on.”
How to Ensure the Virtual Audience is Heard
Virtual emcees need to ensure that the virtual audience has a voice. It is easy to forget them because of the physical excitement, but virtual emcees take time to understand who the audience is before the event launches. Theyl know exactly what content interests the virtual attendees. Research will not only help with on-the-fly interviews, but will also help guide the conversations towards relevant and exciting topics.
There are many ways to hear the audience, including chats, Twitter, message postings, or direct Q&A through the virtual webcasting platform. To respond to a question from the virtual audience,virtual emcees address the camera and speak as if they were looking directly at the person who submitted the question.
Doing so adds realism to the experience because virtual attendees will feel like part of the physical event, rather than a spectator. Virtual emcees remind the audience of the physical statistics and virtual statistics, and encourage the virtual audience to participate.
Building the Bridge
Physical, virtual, and hybrid events share a common goal – connecting the audience to a memorable event.
Am I right?
The purpose of the event is to drive exuberance and energy to your attendees, not boredom. So why not have an emcee that can drive enthusiasm, conversation, and intelligence? As you enter the virtual emceeing world, the most important elements are connecting the physical audience to the physical event, the physical event to the virtual audience, and the virtual audience to the physical audience.
It is literally a full-circle job that requires an always-on attitude. Building the bridge from the virtual extension to the physical event does not lie solely on the event owner. The virtual emcee connects all of the dots, fills in the gaps, and ensures that both audiences are receiving the best possible information and visual exposure to what is happening live on the scene. So put on your emcee smile and get ready to expand your reach.
Let me know your opinions
Do you have opinions or advice to offer up-and-coming virtual emcees – or maybe you are a virtual emcee with experience? Post a comment and I will be sure to answer. Let’s continue the conversation – network with me on LinkedIn at http://bit.ly/MattGoodwin
Post contributed by Matt Goodwin