Essential Video Content: Pre-Recorded Content
Virtual events. Has this phrase lost all meaning yet? With COVID comfortably sticking around, so are these online alternatives for your in-person conferences.
But how do you pull off a good virtual experience? How do you keep your audience’s attention while they are expected to do their job, be a parent and, you know, survive a pandemic?
The answer: pre-record everything that doesn't need to be live.
As we plan and produce virtual events with our sister company, LAI Live, we find that pre-recording as much content as possible — keynote speeches, executive addresses, lively panel discussions — helps you create a tightly-controlled, higher-produced, and lower-risk experiences for your attendee— err… viewers.
Whether you’re talking about a dozen or a hundred concurrent sessions, our team of virtual producers schedules all recording sessions to best direct the talent on delivering a well-framed, well-presented lecture for the small screen.
Partnering the McChrystal Group, we re-edited previously-recorded at-home lectures with themes, on-screen questions and a professional narrator.
With post-production, we’ll wrap the content in branded, event graphics, edit out gaffes, cut away to existing slides, or create new visuals altogether! And if you’re looking to seriously elevate a particular address, we’ll develop original animation to illustrate the speaker’s stories for truly lasting, evergreen content.
All of this content is also ready-made for polished, pre-vetted on-demand viewing immediately following the event.
Of course, something from your virtual event should truly be live, including speaker Q&A, networking sessions, and interactive breakouts. But for everything else, let’s pre-record.
8 Tips to Create Lively Pre-Recorded Content
There’s no question that pre-recorded video is the secret ingredient to adding variety and richness to virtual events, without the logistic constraints of running everything live.
With that said, there’s still one question LAI Video and our teammates at LAI Live have fielded more and more in recent weeks, and that is: how do you create pre-recorded content that captures the in-the-moment energy of a live session?
We put our heads together and created a list of 8 tips to help deliver livelier pre-recorded content that will integrate smoothly with the live portions of your virtual experience.
- Bookend your videos with live content. If your remote event is hosted by a live emcee, have them intro your pre-recorded participants, then host a live a Q&A session after the video plays. Prep your pre-recorded subjects to maintain continuity in the setting, camera position, and their outfits to keep things looking seamless.
- Continuity is key. Be sure to package pre-recorded content with the same quality continuity graphics and visuals you apply to your live program. The video quality of remotely recorded content may vary, but by maintaining parity in your event design elements will help integrate the pre-recorded content into the flow of your live experience.
- Script your segues. Simulate a hand off between your live emcee and your pre-recorded talent using a scripted segue. We can help you prep your talent during remote recording sessions to ensure the transitions will feel authentic and enhance the flow of your program.
- Edit with a light touch. Our editors can help you cut out gaffes and remove most "ums" and pauses without losing the look and feel of an uninterrupted livestream. Whether we use the presenter’s slides or a little editorial sleight of hand, we can cover up distractions and add the polish you want without creating the canned webinar experience you’re trying to avoid.
- Talk to your audience. Prep your participants to deliver their talk as they would for a live audience. Our producers can be online with them while they record to provide coaching and help them stay loose and extemporaneous. Anything that helps connect them back to the event, like referencing event themes, or even other sessions that will have already occurred, will tie pre-recorded content into the program. Consider prompting attendees to submit questions in advance and make sure presenters can answer them directly throughout their pre-recorded discussion.
- Go Beyond the Zoom Grid. If you need to pre-record a panel or session with multiple speakers, go the extra mile and capture individual recordings of each participant. Our producers can help presenters set up an extra device, like a smartphone, to record an individual recording of each participant. Our editors will cut it all together to replicate the production value of your live sessions.
- Don’t forget your visuals. Prep participants to acknowledge visual aids during their presentation. Our producers can help make sure their delivery comes across authentically during the remote recording session. Our editors can even incorporate visuals to better mimic screen-sharing if you want. Want to go a step further? Your presenter could even blame a missed slide cue on the folks running the board! Not that we would recommend it.
- Ixnay on the SFX. Finally, we suggest you save flashy special effects for another part of the meeting. Animated transitions, supplementary graphics the presenter doesn’t acknowledge, or over the top sound design (laugh track, anyone?) will make it obvious the session is a recording.
Crafting a dynamic virtual event is complicated. We can help you create the perfect balance between your live sessions and pre-recorded programming that will make your upcoming remote experience a success.