#Thursday Tips… Sourcing the right production studio

Planning for a virtual event should be easy!  No optional activities, ground transfers, or deciding who gets the upgraded suites, and best of all…no meeting room capacity charts to follow. So, one would think designing a virtual event is a piece of cake! Well…let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Virtual events require even more planning hours than in person events. Planners have gone from rooming lists and air manifests to the added pressure of navigating and relying on the world of technology.  Or as we like to put it…producing a TV show.

Deciding where you will produce and stream your event is just as important as selecting the destination and accommodations for in person events.  First and foremost, plan a site inspection of the studio space and keep these key factors in mind:

Is the studio properly equipped? Not all events are the same, so find the studio that is able to accommodate your production needs. Is there a stage, green screen, proper lighting and audio/video equipment? Do they have enough technical staff to ensure your virtual event runs smoothly?

Are their technical staff experienced? We wouldn’t get on a plane with a pilot who hasn’t been fully trained, and nor should you select a production studio that doesn’t have the technical staff with experience in producing such events.

Is their space Covid friendly? Find out how they accommodate physical distancing.  Are there any capacity restrictions?  Determine how many from your team will need to be in studio in addition to the in-house technical staff.  Are there any municipal restrictions in place?

What is their availability? Production studios have been running at full capacity since Covid forced the cancellation of in person events.  How does the studio manage their bookings? You want to ensure they don’t over book, which in turn can affect the number of technicians assigned to your event.  Do they offer first right of refusal?

Tech Checks and Rehearsal Day: Ensure you schedule tech checks and rehearsal days when securing your production team. Confirm that the technical team assigned to your event are scheduled for the tech check and rehearsal days. In doing so, everyone on your team will know who’s on first…and who’s on second!

What is their emergency protocol? And we don’t mean if there is a hurricane! Do they have back up bridge lines should one of your remote speakers lose internet connection while you are in show and you need to switch to phone audio?  What if there is a last minute change in the agenda and you need to make changes while in show? Always make sure you ask the “What if’s”.

These are key elements that need to be considered when looking for a production company and studio to stream your event.  In addition to doing your research, hiring a trusted planner who has successfully managed a range of virtual events and worked with a variety of production studios will provide you with the confidence in knowing your event will be a success.


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