Technology for Events

Technology for Events

Episode 09

Meet our guest: Adam Rife
Adam is an Event Production Manager at Markey’s Rental and Staging. He communicates with clients to design and execute events, bringing his technical expertise to make sure everything goes as planned. Markey’s helps their clients create defining experiences through in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. As a trusted partner, they work with their clients to refine concepts, provide industry-leading equipment, and manage technology, ultimately creating smooth, successful events. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Repurposing space and equipment

Markey’s expanded their warehouse and training space last year and were able to transition the training spaces to virtual studios. They have also repurposed some of their equipment traditionally used for live events for use in the virtual space. A great lesson here (and one that we’re hearing again and again from our guests) is don’t be afraid to make a change! Just because you aren’t using your resources as planned, doesn’t mean that they can’t serve another purpose for you right now.

If you’re thinking of hiring Markey’s to run one of your events, Adam says that touring their space is really helping in understanding everything that goes into executing the virtual aspect. 

What Clients are Doing
Some clients have postponed their events until 2021, some have gone totally virtual, and some are taking a hybrid approach. More recently, some have kept their live event plans in place, incorporating stringent guidelines in order to gather safely. In short, Markey’s has seen it all, and they doing all they can to accommodate client needs across the board. 
How Virtual Differs from Live
Beyond the obvious, there are many things that make producing a virtual event different from a live event — on both the tech side and the content side.

Speaking for a virtual event can have a very different feel than speaking for a live event. For some presenters, it can be difficult. It is essential that the presentation is planned and practiced prior to recording.  Any mistakes have a tendency to be amplified in a virtual setting, as there are less environmental distractions for the viewer. Additionally, virtual events are often available for playback long after the event is over — since the event “lives on” planning and execution is really critical. 

Tech Management

The way the tech team communicates with clients and event participants in a virtual setting is also different than live. Markey’s has even created new staff positions to better facilitate virtual events. Adam reminds us that there is so much happening behind the scenes — even more than what has to be done for a live show. As a viewer, virtual events may seem easy to execute, but they’re not. Adam likens it to a television broadcast, which helps put it into perspective.

With each event, Markey’s is striving to handle the virtual format with even greater ease. When working with technology, there’s always the potential that your equipment (or some other aspect) will let you down. But the Markey’s pros are seasoned vets that are able to handle any issues that arise and put processes in place to keep them from recurring. 

Additionally, putting a virtual event together still takes time. Although you remove factors such as venue reservations, catering, etc., the content and technical execution still take time to plan. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to feel confident in your event in all aspects. Hiring someone (like Markey’s) to help you plan and produce your event is worth every penny. Your content will never live up to its potential if technology gets in the way.

Virtual Fatigue

We’ve talked about it before, but Adam also confirms that people are growing weary of tuning in to virtual events. So how do you combat that and make your event one that people want to participate in? Adam has seen people have success bringing in special guests, virtually of course. This has worked with celebrities and also presenters from other parts of the world. Additionally, virtual events may offer the opportunity to see someone presenting from home, an environment that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible to a viewer. By focusing on these things that are out of the ordinary, you can generate excitement for your event.

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