Going Virtual? Know the Glitches

“Am I on Camera? Did people hear me? There was a lot more to say, and I’ve probably already said too much,” said a baffled Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee for President in 2020 elections. His foray into virtual campaigning was supposed to be a new paradigm for US politics.

His virtual rally is still available online, though in truncated and highly edited form. In real-time, it appeared messier.

The former US Vice President acknowledged the issues and apologized to citizens for the disjointed effort. But imagine if these technical glitches took place during your sales pitch, product demo or virtual conference. Would you be able to salvage something of value from a garbled or glitch-ridden presentation, live stream or webinar?

Unfortunately, all your potential listeners-  CXO, team, investors et.al – don’t have time to give you a second chance to get it right. Holding a virtual event can be a daunting task. They can come with an extra layer of difficulty, but those things can be fixed.

Let’s discuss these technical glitches and share possible measures to overcome them.

  1. Complex Log-in Process: The clock is ticking, and your audience is still figuring out the login process. You’re going to lose them. Logging in to your virtual event should be smooth and friction-free. Start by confirming if your audience has the necessary tool (like Zoom, Duo, etc.) installed on their devices in the first place.
  2. Viewing Problems (latency, buffering, and juddering): If your audience is experiencing viewing problems, you’ve got to play the trick in 30 seconds before they switch off and never come back. Make sure you run tests to check the viability of your setup, again and again, in all the chosen geographies, before you go live.
  3. Sound Issues: To some extent audiences will accept a glitchy video frame rate – not glitchy sound. Your event will be doomed if the sound quality is less than perfect. To ensure a glitch-free event, repeatedly conduct sound tests until you’re sure. Help the relatively new part of your audience with their sound settings with clear instructions before you begin.
  4. Shoddy Camera-work. A locked-off camera at the back of the room is perhaps the worst camera shot you can choose. If you’re going to have a successful event, then you need a minimum of two cameras & a professional who has expertise in filming online events.
  5. Poor Graphics: Horrible visuals spell disaster because it’s difficult for the audience to stay connected when forced to look at an eyesore. Ensure your graphical content is well composed and easy on eyes.
  6. No place for amateur production: Your audience has been brought up on a diet of professionally produced, glitch-free TV programming, and the same is expected from you. If you can’t deliver on that, then cancel the event.
  7. Firewall or browser issues: Old versions of browsers or corporate firewalls can prevent your audience from downloading the apps or even from logging in to your event. Send a quick checklist to your audience to ensure they have the necessary compatibility in place, including fixes for common problems they may come across. 
  8. Internet bandwidth: This is a basic hygiene check. Lack of bandwidth results in lagging video and audio, and a poor experience for your audience. Ensure you have a good broadband connection and test it with a small test group before you go live with your main audience.
  9. Screen sharing: This is the most essential part, and yet too many people fall flat on their faces here. If there are multiple presenters, sharing control during the presentation is another issue. Some people see your screen; some others don’t. Slides get stuck – and what you’re talking about doesn’t match up with what people are seeing. One way to deal with this is to regularly confirm with the audience if they can see the right slide. And keep the live chat on, to help them report problems with sharing.
  10.  The software takes a break: The regular app or software breaks down or starts facing technical issues at your end. This issue can sometimes force you to postpone the event. Make sure you have a backup plan – and be ready to quickly send out invitation emails asking your audience to switch to another ID or software.

You can save yourself hours of research and headache by merely tapping into the expertise of virtual event management pros.

Is your organization ready to take the leap and put together a killer virtual event? Get it right the first time with Buzznation. Hit us up at contact@buzznationmarketing to talk about how we can make your virtual event a breeze.

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