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Live or Pre-Recorded Virtual Event Sessions: Which Should You Choose?

When planning a Virtual Event, it is always difficult to determine the best ways to approach each session’s content. With smaller-sized events, it is best to try and keep the intimate experiences participants get from face-to-face interaction, and with larger events, such as global conferences, it is vital to maintain high engagement from the audience. Doing this is far from easy, but fortunately, Virtual Events provide immense flexibility and near limitless reach opportunities.
When businesses organise a Virtual Event, such as a corporate event, awards night, or annual AGM, one of the first questions to ask is whether to stream their event with a live broadcast or to utilise pre-recorded content. Typically, the larger the event, the better it is to use a combination of both, giving a more interesting and varied experience for attendees.
The Benefits of Using Live Content
One way in which live sessions can be beneficial for your Virtual Event is cost. Without needing to record high quality content prior to your event, little or no editing is required for successful delivery. Since there is a vast number of cheap (often completely free) platforms that enable anyone to stream video content to an unlimited number of people online, you can go a long way with live sessions for your events.
Another reason for streaming event sessions live is because they provide opportunities for a superior level of engagement. With speakers able to interact with the audience real-time, such as through a discussion or Q&A session, event attendees will be able to feel like active participants themselves, rather than just a small face in a large crowd. Not only is this an advantage for attendees, but speakers often prefer this as well, feeling as close to a real-life, face-to-face event as possible.
A much more specific benefit to using live content for Virtual Events is up-to-date data and statistics. For important research projects, for example, it is vital that any data shown to all those attending is up to date. With pre-recorded sessions, content is often filmed far in advance; therefore, it is often difficult or costly to change elements last minute, such as graphs on PowerPoint slides. With this example, utilising a Live Stream has the benefit of being a little bit more flexible, allowing for the most recent information to be presented with minimal impact on the planning of the Virtual Event.
The Benefits of Using Pre-Recorded Content
As you all will have seen, pre-recorded content is often of much higher quality than live Virtual Event sessions. This is for two main reasons. Firstly, successful pre-recorded content is typically filmed and edited by professional filmmakers. Because of this, transitions are smooth and lighting is perfect, meaning the video can be much more aesthetically pleasing overall. Unlike Live Events, issues of presenter’s or host’s connection troubles are also minimised. Additionally, by pre-recording content well in advance of the event stream starting, the typical downsides of performing Live Events, such as awkward pauses, loss of thought, and other speaker errors, can be removed – we are all human after all…
For those less confident in public speaking and not highly experienced using technology, being part of a pre-recording session can put much less pressure for speakers. Performing live is no easy feat; therefore, being able to speak in front of a camera with the knowledge that you can have as many attempts (within reason) as you require, can help massively. I’m sure you’ve all been on a virtual meeting or event and seen the speaker struggle to operate the platform, or even been in that situation yourself. Because of this, pre-recorded content eliminates this problem. Professionals will likely have filmed and finished editing the content, and the entire stream will have been set up beforehand, ensuring the smooth running of the event.
An additional benefit to utilising pre-recorded content for your Virtual Event is that the majority of the work is done beforehand. With the event’s stream filmed, edited, and published, little post-production work is required. All left that is recommended to be done is to engage with participants of the event, such as through social media or online surveys, in order to gain feedback on the event’s success.
The Decision
With all events being unique, deciding whether to use live or pre-recorded content depends on the event’s specific characteristics. With many smaller and shorter events, utilising just one of these options is perfectly adequate. Live content is very engaging and interactive for all participating, and pre-recorded content tends to deliver the highest quality of content which eliminates any chances of human error.
Longer Virtual Events with multiple sessions and session types, from keynote speeches to Q&A sessions, often benefit from using a combination of such content. It is vital to keep all involved engaged with the content and with each other throughout, and is important for the most valuable elements to be of highest quality to generate the most impact.
If you require a production company for your event or would like any information regarding Virtual Events and the options available to you, contact Giggabox today
hello@giggabox.co.uk | 01280 735050 | www.giggabox.co.uk
Post written by Philip Barnes – Marketing Assistant at Giggabox

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