A lot of people who have not seen behind the scenes of a virtual event, will assume that they are operated by one or two technicians. This is usually not the case and depends on the complexity of the event. AV-CANADA has produced virtual events that have had more than 15 technicians working hard behind the scenes, to make it all come together. So, how do we determine how much labor is required?
Your Account Manager will first analyze your agenda, understand each session, and discuss with you what you are trying to achieve. This will help determine how much production needs to take place when the event is live. Production includes adding lower thirds (or some call them name cards), adding a logo to the background and adding an image behind the speakers and their PowerPoint presentations.
Most clients will have a produced main session with unproduced breakout rooms. Not unlike how live events work, the main session will take place in a ballroom with staging and lighting, but the breakout rooms will have minimal audio visual technology. Generally, a produced stream requires 3 to 4 technicians whereas an unproduced stream only requires 1 or 2.
If you want to save on labor, we recommend that you incorporate breaks between sessions. Ideally, the breaks should be between 20 to 30 minutes long. This will allow you to be able to reuse the equipment and labor from the previous session. This time will be used for getting the next presentations loaded, setting up the presenters, and setting up any special requirements such as polling, Q&A, and more.
Some events require a Green Room technician. They are responsible for checking with the presenters to ensure that they are properly set up, are comfortable with the controls and know of any housekeeping notes that the organizer may have for them. Events that have a lot of presenters in a small time period will require this position.
Events that are being broadcasted or streamed from a live studio will require even more technicians. Some of these positions may include Camera Operators, Audio Operators, Green Screen technicians, Stage Directors and more. The complexity of the real stage design in-studio plus the virtual event will determine how much more labor is needed and the positions needed.
It is always best to share as much information as possible about your event with your Account Manager, so that they can provide you with an accurate quotation that will suit all your needs. This also helps them anticipate any changes or challenges that may arise and as a result, you are set up for a smoother transition and successful event.