It appears that virtual events could be our new “normal” for a while, and event planners, artists, and consumers are latching on to the idea of the online event experience. We’ve been learning platforms and keeping up with trends; here are some suggestions for artists based on our experience so far.

Internet Speeds

To host online events, you should have at least 200MB download / 10MB upload internet speeds (you can test this here). Please, please use a wired ethernet connection when streaming the event, it is generally faster and much more reliable.

Microphone, Mixer, and Webcams

Even if you don’t have access to a top of the line microphone, mixer, and camera – you can get some very affordable options to make your event look and sound so much better. Using your laptop microphone and camera may work for a free event to your followers, but if you want to charge people for an experience you really should step up the quality. If you absolutely must use the built-in microphone on your computer, make sure the program you’re using isn’t automatically adjusting the microphone volume to avoid a choppy sound.

Here are a couple easy to use and inexpensive USB microphones that could enhance your virtual events! (No mixer required.)

Platforms

The event host will choose a streaming platform for their event such as Zoom, Twitch, Facebook, or Youtube; each of which require different settings and have varied functionality. Fortunately, you can often use free programs like OBS or Streamlabs OBS to customize your settings and have more control over your event regardless of the platform chosen by the event host. Even if you have a very basic understanding of these programs, you can set it up to include your image, audio, and add filters to your microphone (gain, gate, etc.) to make the event sound and look better! Make sure to run some private test streams on your own to get your settings right, and then give yourself plenty of time with the host organization to soundcheck before the event – we recommend doing this a day in advance to allow time to tweak settings or troubleshoot.

Visual Presentation Basics

We know these events are often taking place in your house, just try to make sure you background is clear of clutter. If you have solid curtains to sit in front of, do that. Try to eliminate outside lighting directly behind you so your camera doesn’t blur out. Make sure you have some front lighting so the audience can see you well. And of course, if you have access to stage lights, video walls, haze, etc. – use it!

Pre-recorded Vs. Live

There are pros and cons to both pre-recorded and live virtual events. Pre-recorded helps you keep the quality up and better avoid an array of potential technical problems, while live gives you a more in-person feel and can be more interactive. We like both options, and think you can do either really well. Either way, make sure you personalize your performance with campus swag, inside jokes for the campus, organization quirks, shoutouts, etc. The host organization can provide you with a list of topics to cover.

If you go the recorded route, make sure to add a live component at the end of the performance – it makes it so much more personal and has helped make these virtual events a big hit across the country. 

If you go the live route – please make sure you are following the technical tips above and have internet that can handle the live load. The better your bandwidth, the better you look and sound!

Meet & Greet

Either way you go, meet and greets are a must! You can do these privately via Zoom. They have been extremely rewarding parts of our shows so far. Participants love getting to chat with the artist for a brief moment, taking “photos,” and saying thank you for the performance! 

Have questions or other tips and tricks to host successful virtual events? Reach out to Jake or Jolene, we’d love to hear from you!

Jake Ostrow

Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jake works as a middle buyer, helping organizations with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. Jake has worked for several colleges booking their entertainment. His knowledge of music is exceeded only by his love for music. He would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.600.8100   |   [email protected]

Jake Ostrow

Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jake works as a middle buyer, helping organizations with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. Jake has worked for several colleges booking their entertainment. His knowledge of music is exceeded only by his love for music. He would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.600.8100   |   [email protected]