5 tips to make sure your production values are on point

Just because you’ve got a webcam doesn’t mean you’ve got a virtual event, says director of Performing Artistes.

For the short term at least, digital has become the primary means of event production. But that doesn't mean anyone should be forgetting production values, says JJ Jackson, director of talent agency Performing Artistes.

"If you were putting on a physical event, much thought would be given to the set, staging and lighting, while it would be a given that the audio and video quality would be high.

"It’s just the same in the virtual world and the good news is much can be achieved by following a few basic production tips."

1. Setting 

"Hopefully we’ve all now learned to check what’s behind us before we jump on a video call," says Jackson. "Clean and tidy is the order of the day, but for organisers trying to get across a unified theme, think about investing in some cardboard backdrops which your contributors can erect behind them to ensure a consistent visual message. 

"In the case of paid-for events, this can also give sponsors exposure in much the same way they would at a physical event."

2. Lighting

"More really is more when it comes to lighting. The light source needs to be in front of the presenter and evenly distributed. On a test call (yes, you do need a test call!) try out different settings, and do it at the same time of day as the presentation. 

"Ideally source a portable lamp to have in front of you; Anglepoise style is brilliant. If you’re a professional speaker, or someone likely to do lots of online presentations, consider investing in some professional lights from a photographic supplier, or if you’re on a budget, the type of daylight lamp used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is remarkably effective. 

"Also, be warned strip lights can strobe on webcams, so just using stand alone lights with the strips off might be best."

3. Webcams vary greatly in quality 

"Do make sure it is clean (seriously, a wipe with a dry clean cloth can do wonders), while professional/regular speakers should seriously consider upgrading to a professional quality one," says Jackson.

"The same goes for mics, which in the case of a lapel, could free you up to move around a bit."

4. Positioning 

"If you would normally move about the stage, why not virtually? Experiment offline to see how far you can move around while staying in the shot. But DO make sure the camera is at the same height as your head, and DON’T be looking down at the camera.

"As a general rule, your eye line needs to be about three-quarters of the way up the screen."

5. Sightline 

"We’ve all been taught to maintain eye contact, but with a webcam, that means looking directly at the camera, not at the screen of people you’re looking at. It takes a bit of getting used to but makes all the difference.

"And remember, content will always be king, but production values are queen…"


For more features and breaking news sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in

Hospitality industry welcomes VAT reduction in chancellor's summer statement

Hospitality industry welcomes VAT reduction in chancellor's summer statement

MICE sector continues to wait for further clarification on financial support and a date for restarting live events.

How have event apprenticeships been affected by coronavirus?

How have event apprenticeships been affected by coronavirus?

A group of apprentices share their experiences of learning about the industry during lockdown.

RSVP podcast Ep6: Jessica Rabbit, fraudsters and sleeping in army trucks

RSVP podcast Ep6: Jessica Rabbit, fraudsters and sleeping in army trucks

This week's special guest is Julia Charles, managing director of Julia Charles Event Management.

LIVE UPDATES: Melbourne begins new lockdown measures

LIVE UPDATES: Melbourne begins new lockdown measures

Find out which countries are on partial or national lockdown, what travel restrictions are in place and what size gatherings are allowed.

'Working on the inaugural Invictus Games was amazing'

'Working on the inaugural Invictus Games was amazing'

A-List 2020: Rachel Douglass is a senior event manager at Yellow Fish.

Venues #LightItInRed to show support for events industry

Venues #LightItInRed to show support for events industry

Campaign to draw attention to struggling events businesses and employees lights iconic buildings red.

Dear C&IT: Graphs and data are useful but they can’t measure feelings

Dear C&IT: Graphs and data are useful but they can’t measure feelings

Metrics are great but don't forget to create a memorable experience, says Phil Staines from FIRST.

'We place a huge emphasis on talent development'

'We place a huge emphasis on talent development'

A-List 2020: Michael Gietzen is group managing director at Identity.

How automotive events are changing gear

How automotive events are changing gear

Car manufacturers are more savvy with event budgets and they want to reach more diverse audiences.

Entering a new world of data-driven events

Entering a new world of data-driven events

The current shift to digital has created huge amounts of data we can learn from, says Marble LDN's Rachel Butler.