June 20, 2024

The 3 Essential Things Planners Need to Do for a Successful Event


Recent years have brought a seismic shift in the event industry, fundamentally changing everything event and meeting planners need to worry about. Planners now don’t just focus on content, speakers, venues, chairs, food, and beverages; many are now adding a virtual component to their events, making them hybrid.

This addition introduces a new set of challenges for planners, such as ensuring a stable internet connection, managing more production labor, deciding whether the venue's Image Magnification should be the same source for online attendees, and engaging viewers at home. These are just some of the questions we deal with daily from both current and potential clients here at Ten Events.

Ensuring Smooth Tech Operations

Just like with anything in life, the more you prepare beforehand, the smoother it will be. Here are a three things planners should confirm with vendors before event day.

1. Internet Connection

At the core of every webcast is a strong and stable internet connection. Without reliable internet, it will be very hard for your attendees to view your event. Site visits and speed tests are crucial parts of the pre-event process. Ensure your virtual platform team has a dedicated internet line to avoid interruptions caused by too many devices from attendees being on the same network.

When it comes to planning, always think of “What if?”. What if the venue’s internet goes down? Make sure your production partner has redundant internet. At Ten Events, we bring a cradle point, which hooks up to our secondary setup. Part of our site testing is ensuring we get a good quality signal out of the venue, just in case we need it. For example, at one event, the entire network went down for 40,000 viewers. Because we had redundancy, there was no impact on the event, and the show went on without interruption.

2. Camera Options

After ensuring the bandwidth is strong enough for your event, the next thing to consider is what type of cameras to use. There are various ways to capture your event:

  • Classic Camcorders: Cameras like the Panasonic AG-UX 180 require an operator to follow your talent and adjust shots. A good budget friendly option here is to have three cameras but only two cam operators. With one of the cameras you would set up a wide locked down shot.
  • Mirrorless DSLR Cameras: Lightweight and great for getting footage of attendees watching the event. Cameras like the Sony A7 line can capture an attendee’s whole experience from arrival to the end of the day and help create a highlight reel.
  • PTZ Cameras: These Pan Tilt and Zoom cameras can all be operated by a single person using a joystick, saving on labor. Newer PTZs like PTZ Optics Move 4k can track the subject on stage.
  • Webcams: For presenters speaking from home, using an external webcam is crucial for quality. Many built-in laptop cameras are not the best quality. Cameras like the OBSBOT Tail Air can be controlled by your production company using Far End Camera Control, ensuring the talent stays centered in the shot.

3. Conducting a Dry Run

Conducting a dry run is an essential part of your pre-event process. Getting everyone together to act as if it were the real thing helps you identify and address any potential problems.

If your event is hosted in a venue, there are many things your talent needs to know, such as who to see to get mic’d, where to walk on and off the stage, and what they want to see in their downstage monitors. These are some of the production elements that can be covered in a rehearsal. It is also a great time for your tech team to see your content, block out the show, and dial in things like EQ for each presenter. At Ten Events, we use this time to work on the dynamic screen part of your event, determining the best times to emphasize slides over video.

For fully remote productions, the dry run is crucial. We always suggest the presenter joins from the room they will be presenting from to troubleshoot any internet problems. For instance, once we realized the internet was too poor for a broadcast during a walkthrough, the presenter ended up renting a hotel room, and the broadcast went off without a hitch. Doing the dry run really helps iron out such issues.

Besides internet issues, we can also check if they need to raise their webcam up (books are great for getting the camera to eye level). Producers also look for proper lighting and background during the dry rehearsal to ensure you don’t look too dark on screen, potentially changing your positioning.

Preparing for Success

The key to a successful hybrid event lies in thorough preparation, robust technology, and effective communication. By addressing potential challenges proactively, you can ensure a seamless and engaging experience for both in-person and virtual attendees. Remember, the more you prepare before the event, the smoother it will be. With these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the complexities of hybrid events and deliver outstanding results.