Part one of this series discussed at a high level why presenters need to look towards building long-term hybrid presenting models and strategy. You should not be afraid of offering streaming content—it will help you reach new audiences, continue relationships with loyal supporters, and increase revenues that will make your organization more sustainable. But just as not every show is right for every audience, there’s also no “one size fits all” model for all presenters, so we offer a few considerations to help you develop your own, tailored hybrid model.
Quality Production Elements: Quality is key—a lesson that all programmers know well. Engaging virtually allows us to see and hear elements in a less forgiving way. You’ll need to evaluate what your production team needs to ensure content is produced at a quality that supports your brand and audience expectations. And, if streamed content is being produced in tandem with a live event, you’ll need to assess how new production elements, like cameras, avoid having a negative impact on the in-person experience. Do you have a local director that can direct a live multi-camera broadcast, or should you outsource this? Consider how many cameras you will need for your size venue, too.
Resources: Are you limited with your ability to produce, so need to rely on outsourcing content that allows you to share in the revenue but doesn’t require you to produce locally? One option is to collaborate with a local film and media college program to supply the necessary broadcast equipment and labor. Consult with your marketing team find out how easily they can support a dual marketing plan for in-person and virtual sales, or whether you will need to split focus between which shows are produced for in-person sales and which shows are presented virtually.
Technology: Can you invest in technology upgrades, such as fixed point PTZ cameras, which will allow for an elegant application of the technology, requiring little to no extra labor costs once installed? If so, consider if they will be controlled and directed by an internal or external source—and make sure you have adequate bandwidth to support a live event broadcast. Now’s also a great time to check if your ticketing system can integrate with an online platform, and whether that platform allows for integration of other revenue streams, too.
Experience: Consider what experience you want for your audience. Will they want to stream the same live show that can also be experienced in-venue, or would they prefer to engage virtually with unique content—such as a concert version of a musical or opera, or a dress rehearsal with artist-audience interaction? You’ll need to work with artists to design an experience that will engage and connect with the virtual audience, while also appealing to both performers and viewers.
Brand: You may now reach audiences on a national and international scale. We recommend finding ways to educate your audience and support your brand as a part of the experience—perhaps using pre-recorded video content that “sets the stage” for their experience across the world.