Virtual Events In The Real World
Known for its innovative technical AV solutions, WorldStage has teamed with several brand experience agencies recently to design and deliver many of the most successful virtual meetings and experiences in the events industry. While each brand and event is unique in their content and message, we find that best-in-class digital events commonly focus on three key elements that have been the foundation for their success.
Operating under COVID-19 restrictions numerous clients have turned to WorldStage to deliver high-quality virtual events without the use of expensive toys employed by the broadcast networks. Fortunately, the same core skills, expertise and technology that WorldStage is known for in the live staging arena are required in today’s virtual event space. The same experience WorldStage has garnered delivering dynamic keynote presentations on a massive LED wall to an audience of 10,000 live attendees is a critical component of a broadcast-quality digital event that captures the attention of remote viewers facing a multitude of distractions.
For each event WorldStage assembles a team of technical experts in its central production facility where they can collaborate live while following all social distancing protocols. Using the latest production technology these teams take presenters’ home feeds, which come in varying quality levels, enhance the look and put them on screen in a format that resembles a network broadcast.
For example, the recent virtual graduation of students from a highly regarded corporate diversity mentorship program required numerous live feeds to celebrate the milestone. The program featured an emcee, congratulatory addresses from brand executives and a surprise live message of hope and inspiration from a world-renowned music artist…all presenting live from their homes. A video roll-in gave a taste of the mentoring experience, and graduates shared their thoughts in a live chat with the emcee. As the names of the graduates were read their photos and personal mantras appeared on the screen; congratulations from colleagues and friends followed. In a final virtual group moment, all the graduates were asked to take a bow, which was displayed as a multi-image screen seen by thousands of webcast viewers. The end result: a live virtual event with all of the components and high-end production values of a live staged event.
WorldStage Vice President of Broadcast Services Drew DeCorleto notes that the project evolved and changed as the virtual graduation’s content was planned. “We were excited that our client wanted to push the envelope and create something unique and innovative. They wanted to partner with a single vendor and develop a solution together. And we succeeded together.”
A key challenge for many virtual events is the dependence on each presenter’s in-home equipment and technical environment that may result in low-quality video feeds with poor audio clarity and lighting – conditions guaranteed to lead to viewer fatigue, eyestrain and, ultimately, abandonment. WorldStage is recognized throughout the industry for superior production quality, and clients have come to expect that same uncompromising commitment to excellence in the virtual world.
After planning meetings with several clients WorldStage understood that VIP presenters needed a technical solution that would overcome the limitations of their laptops, tablets and phones. So WorldStage designed a unique VIP Remote Presenter Kit with professional level components housed in a single Pelican case that ships cost effectively to a presenter’s home. All of the components are pre-configured, tested and cleaned by WorldStage staff so that presenter assembly is safe, quick and easy. To ensure success by even the most technically challenged, WorldStage also created a series of short video tutorials guiding presenters through set up. And, as the final step to ensure excellence, WorldStage offers live video calls with each presenter to guide them through the technology and rehearse their participation until they are confident, allowing them to focus on their presentations and not the technical elements.
During the live presentation each feed is managed by WorldStage’s central production team who color correct, resize images and add lower-thirds and graphics to deliver a broadcast-quality experience to viewers.
This solution proved invaluable to an agency client looking for something innovative for an internal pharmaceutical sales training event. “Our client enlisted us to elevate their digital event far beyond a simple Zoom presentation,” says Ben DeFusco, Account Executive at WorldStage. “By supplying easy-to-use VIP Remote Presenter Kits that fed into a central production facility we were able to deliver a broadcast-quality production with redundant feeds and a rock-solid system. Presenters loved the experience and appreciated WorldStage making them feel like celebrities at every step in the process.”
Even with the most advanced technologies the “secret sauce” at WorldStage continues to be exceptional people who consistently deliver exceptional results. WorldStage has long attracted and developed the most highly skilled technical staff in the industry thanks to a culture focused on innovation and customer satisfaction. Often described as the place where Willy Wonka meets event technology, WorldStage continues even in this challenging climate to invest in the tools of tomorrow’s most innovative experiences so that its staff can deliver unparalleled results.
“To consistently deliver truly superior digital events is a testament to the leadership of WorldStage and the absolute commitment we have to the success of our people and clients,” says DeCorleto. “Being able to work with the best in the business every day to deliver dynamic and successful experiences for our clients is something few people ever have the opportunity to enjoy. I’m not only grateful, I’m inspired by this collection of gifted professionals who make WorldStage a truly great company to work for and work with.”