It’s festival season! One of the best times of the year where music, creative thinks and product reveals are all pushed together with some bubbly on the side.

Now I’m not going to explain on this post how to recreate Glastonbury from home… because that’s impossible and NOTHING will even come close, I’m looking at you… Eurovision Shine A Light! (Eek.)

Fear not though, brands are trying to bring some spark into your living room through creative ways, and I’m working with clients to elevate and present compelling and interesting live events.

Whether a presentation that needs a shake up, or live music remotely – here’s some top tips if you’re thinking of developing a live event from home…

1. Forget what you know about in-the-room presenting

It’s the new normal. Talking into your webcam is super different to presenting in a room. You can’t read reaction or eye contact so how do you solve this?

Well, you have to forget everything you know about in-the-room presenting. You need to treat video-presenting like you would if you were a television presenter.

There’s a tight time period of attention, you content should be media and visually compelling, and text light.

You wouldn’t see a breakfast news programme presenting 180 PowerPoint slides – so why would you audience find this interesting? The time you’ve got to impress and engage your audience is a lot less… so make sure everything you’re saying and showing is exciting.

I’ve been working with clients of designing-up their presentations using animations and more television-standard graphics such as name thirds, split screens and ‘film like’ effects.

2. Condense everything down

This is similar to tip number 1, but it’s super important. CONDENSE. You don’t have the luxury of locking your audience in a room and only giving them a coffee break… we all know those events.

So everything you say needs to be attention grabbing and relevant. Do away with too many formalities and cut to the chase right from the start. Keep your audience on the edge of their seat and surprise and delight.

3. Good audio, connection and light

“Sorry… we’re having trouble seeing you.” rolls eyes.

There’s nothing worse than a bad connection, flakey audio or badly lit shot. We’re all working from home so no one expects Pyramid Stage  standards of production… but let’s aim a little higher than an echoey bathroom.

Some simple tweaks such as getting other users in your household to disconnect from your WiFi, plugging in an additional microphone such as on headphones… or purchasing a low cost wired mic will make a huge difference to your audiences experience listening to you present.

AND, don’t forget about your backdrop. Dress your ‘set’ even if it is with that 400th pot plant you’ve ordered. As we’re at home, we expect to see that… but that’s no reason not to show off. Make sure that washing basket is out of shot, too!

4. Interactivity

“Let’s blue-sky this…” Yes, we could do. Or we could just let our audience get interactive in their own time.

Using accompanying content to your presentation and event can make the whole thing feel multi-room. Why not run some Twitter Polls during your presentation or use the Instagram question sticker to get the content for your Q&A.

If you’re feeling brave why not embrace a virtual whiteboard or post-it note website where all attendees can pin their thoughts and collate ideas… Just because you don’t have that flip-chart doesn’t mean you can’t think outside the box on gaining thoughts from your audience.

5. Provide value in these ‘uncertain’ times

Oh yes, I’ve used the phrase… Make sure your content is actually valuable right now and if it’s not, then maybe it’s worth parking until you can present in person.

If you’re trying to provide value make sure your presentation is accessible, you’re providing a takeaway handout of assets and has opportunity for follow up. You’re not in the room, so that quick question to a presenter as they grab a drink isn’t possible… You have to make sure attendees feel added value.

This is another great opportunity to utilise tech and live platforms. Why not get your presenters to go live in your closed ‘specialist’ Facebook Group after their presentation… It’ll grow your audience and following, plus provided loads of added value for your attendees.

Another great way to provided a takeaway is cut downs of the presentations – get an editor to split up the best bits and make a digestible daily highlights package you can share after your big event is over!

Are you planning a virtual event from home? Need some help or got some great ideas? Pop your thoughts in the comments below, or send me an email – I’d be happy to provide best practice and creative ideas…