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Event organisers need to up their game if we are keeping it virtual

Although the industry seems to be slowly going back to some sort of ‘normal’, I’m sure that in some form or another virtual events will be here to stay – if not necessarily to replace exhibitions and conferences but to sit alongside.

I’m therefore hopeful that event organisers will take stock and evaluate what needs to be done to inject some much needed professionalism into how they are run.

Publishers in particular have recognised a potential new income stream – with ‘virtual’ exhibitions/conferences, Q&As and roundtables now part of their commercial offer. However, it seems there has been little consideration on how to ensure the online content is professional and engaging.

Badly lit hosts, cluttered backgrounds and no visible branding are particular frustrations of mine. Whereas it may be difficult to legislate for guest contributors’ surroundings (although I would suggest that their PR company should be managing this..) there is no excuse for the event organiser’s host not to be clearly lit, ideally against a branded backdrop. Whereas there is much investment in graphics and staging at ‘live’ events, this seems to be forgotten when we go online.

As more media outlets look to diversify into offering paid-for video content, they should also be prepared to invest in the editing skills this requires. When the cost of the content goes into the thousands, topping and tailing just simply won’t do.

COVID 19 has taught us all that there is much opportunity to create online content and that there is an audience for it. However, in our excitement let’s not forget the fundamentals of brand perception – and the importance of presenting ourselves in the best light.

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