It is important for the event industry to be at the forefront of event design, technology and presentation. It is also important for industry events to show the way for the rest of industry. This includes conferences, seminars and award presentations.
Associations and other industry players should be early adopters of technology and be prepared to go out on a limb to try out new concepts.
Last week Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) presented their state and national awards via a webcast. So how did it go?
First up full credit to MEA and the ICC Sydney team for pulling this together. One of the biggest challenges for our industry has been the lack of certainly about what we can and cannot do and when we can do it.
The overall presentation was pretty slick with very few glitches and I give it an 8 out of 10. To quote Jimmy Carr from 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown “How could they have done better?”
The audience – as TV shows that usually play to a live audience are finding, working to just a camera is a totally different dynamic. Shelley Horton is an experienced journalist and TV presenter who was originally booked for the MEA conference. She did a great job overall, however she could have benefited from having a live audience. From the photos I’ve seen of the ICC Sydney Studio I’m guessing that 10 to 15 people could be accommodated in the studio with appropriate physical distancing. This could have included some sponsors, staff and a few selected guests. This would at least have given the MC a small group to bounce off and some audience reaction in the audio feed. Once again I understand that the guidelines about this sort of thing are still vague.
AV support – the slides were well produced and the technical production from the studio excellent.
Sponsors – Normally the category sponsors get to say a few words. I know it would have been more work but a 30 sec video from each sponsor would have been a great value add and acknowledgement. Yes there was one from DNSW or TA (I can’t remember which).
State and National winners – presenting the state winners as finalists then announcing the national winner worked especially well with the finalists on screen, especially those who were able to be in a remote studio providing a quality feed in.
Group wave – the group view of people from up to eight different locations also worked well apart from small delays as guests were switched in.
Zoom fail – however the audio and vision from finalists and guests using Zoom was typical Zoom quality.
The guidelines to improve a Zoom meeting are very simple – don’t use your screen as your key light, use a microphone and headphones. Plug your laptop into your internet instead of using wi-fi.
There seems to be a general acceptance of a new Zoom sub-standard permeating broadcasting – I’m appalled at how regular guests on shows such as The Drum continually come in on poorly setup Zoom connections.
Intro and DJ – I don’t know how the pre-show red carpet thing went because I was making dinner and had in mind that the start time was 6PM. I’m more a fan of live entertainment so I didn’t bother with the post event DJ.
Social media – I tried following on social media as well but saw very few posts – normally when the event is at a dinner people are very active on social media. However I loved the finalists in the #meabestdressed. The red carpet in the bush, the Crocosaurus and the drummer all hit the mark.