That it’s not just a zoom call.
Sure, Zoom is potentially part of the mix, but the Zoom environment that you’ve been using for your work meetings is generally not going to work when you start having a multitude of presenters, and if you have more than a couple of people as your audience.
Think of it like a Morning Show – where there is an emcee in the middle throwing to different stories (presenters/topics). Now think about the amount of tech you see in the average television studio.
Someone needs to be crafting and controlling what your audience sees on the screen.
That you have no control over a lot of the tech your presenters are using.
In the old, pre-COVID days, when presenters rocked up to the AV desk with their presentation on a memory stick, there was minimal risk that something would go wrong. There was only one set of computers/projectors/microphones being used, and there was a techie in the room, able to fix it if it didn’t work the way you wanted it to. The worst thing that could happen was that the AV desk could lose power when someone unplugged it to charge their mobile phone (yes, that has happened).
Now every single one of your presenters has a different set up – different computers and cameras and microphones and internet access. And there is no techie sitting beside them fixing it for them.
That not all of your presenters will be comfortable with this
Presenting in front of your computer is a different experience to presenting live – maybe better in some ways, but worse in others.
If the day-to=day role of your presenter is not one where they sit in front of a computer a lot – like, say, a surgeon, or a site manager – they may not be familiar with how all of this works, and having to present in this way, with no one beside them making sure it all works, can be really stressful.
That you *need* to rehearse
I can’t stress this enough. You must run through this with every single presenter before the day of your event. This is time consuming. And repetitive. But without it, it all falls apart.
That time zones are an issue
Sure, we can all use scheduling apps to book these appointments for rehearsals in with everyone around the world, but someone is still going to get it wrong. Daylight savings switches over on different days in different countries, for one thing – so if you happen to be setting these up around the turn of the season, beware!
That screen fatigue is real
You need to adapt your program to take account of it. People will not maintain focus on your content for hours and hours at a time.
That you need to vary the shot
I read somewhere (I can’t remember where, sorry – no source – but it resonated with me, and it sounds right in my experience) that you need to change what is on screen (the angle, whether it’s wide or close up, graphics, etc) every seven to ten seconds to maintain interest! That is a lot of switching!
That interactivity is crucial.
There are lots of ways to keep people engaged using apps with polls or quizzes, having live Q&A text boxes or chat. But again, understand that someone needs to be managing that – it doesn’t just happen. There needs to be thought and planning put into how this is going to work.