Technical Run of Show: Detailed Rundowns for Flawless Virtual Event Execution
Smoothly running virtual events requires meticulous planning and execution by your production team. Crafting comprehensive run of show (ROS) documents outlining the technical details for each session provides everyone the blueprint needed to deliver flawless events.
In this guide, we’ll explore strategies for:
Building master technical checklists
Master checklists ensure no details are missed. We’ll look at critical elements like testing, backups, and contingency plans to include.
Creating detailed session roadmaps
Breaking down each session’s timing, transitions, cues, and assignments provides clarity. We’ll review planning best practices.
Assigning clear staff roles and responsibilities
Everyone needs defined duties within sessions and behind the scenes. We’ll examine effective role delegation approaches.
Coordinating stage participants
Preparing presenters, panelists, hosts, and guests for their virtual stage responsibilities is key. We’ll detail communications and briefing pointers.
Confirming critical event elements
Signing off that all core assets are ready avoids surprises. We’ll look at verifying slides, videos, graphics, and more.
Establishing contingency protocols
Despite best efforts, you need backup plans for potential issues. We’ll outline strategies for anticipating and communicating workarounds.
Let’s explore how meticulous run of show documentation allows your team to execute high-energy virtual events with military precision.
Build Master Technical Checklists
Master checklists covering critical event-wide elements beyond individual sessions provide peace of mind that key tasks won’t slip through the cracks. Be sure to:
Set Testing Milestones
Outline a schedule for initial dry runs, dress rehearsals, and pre-event test sessions for systematically verifying end-to-end functionality, presentations, and contingencies.
Review Network Bandwidth
Confirm event web and video platforms have sufficient bandwidth for anticipated concurrent attendees and feature usage. Load test across access points.
Secure Dedicated Staff Connections
Provide presenters and producers wired internet connections rather than WiFi whenever possible for maximum stability.
Establish Backup Systems
Document failover procedures, redundant internet sources, backup presenter devices, and overflow server capacity in case of primary system failures.
Build On-Site Equipment Kits
Checklists help assemble identical redundant equipment and supply kits to deploy to each presenter or production location.
Organize Staff Run-of-Show Binders
Compile individual binders for each staffer containing master documentation, session duties, contingencies, contact lists etc. Accessible reference throughout the event.
Finalize Contingency Protocols
Script declarations and instructions for likely scenarios like presentation delays, video drops, audio issues etc so reactions are smooth, quick, and consistent.
All-encompassing pre-event checks and contingency preparation results in confident teams ready to handle every curveball.
Create Detailed Session Roadmaps
Thoroughly scripting each session provides teams the granular plan needed to flawlessly orchestrate engaging experiences. For each session, outline:
Session Purpose and Goals
Summarize the session theme, key messages, and outcomes to guide all details back to core objectives.
Detailed Timing Breakdown
Provide a granular minute-by-minute timeline of segments, speaker changes, graphic cues, and other logistics for precision flow.
Staff and Volunteer Assignments
Define specific session roles like host, producer, director, technician, and supporting volunteer duties so each individual knows their part.
Provide clear instructions, suggested talking points, content limitations, and guidance for guest speakers and presenters tailored to each session.
Script cues, slide change prompts, fade in/outs of video feeds, and other transition choreography required between segments and speakers.
Outline backup options and adjustments for potential variable like speaker no-shows, tech fails, or external news events. Adapt smoothly.
On-Site Equipment and Setup
List any unique local equipment, room setup, or supply requirements so on-site teams can prepare accordingly.
Granular session roadmaps transform high-level agendas into clear tactical plans for live production teams.
Assign Clear Staff Roles and Responsibilities
All staff and volunteers supporting sessions both on-site and virtually need clearly defined duties and expectations. Useful strategies include:
Create Hierarchical Production Team Charts
Build out documentation that visually maps the organizational structure of executive producers, producers, directors, coordinators, technicians and volunteers. Define unique responsibilities at each tier and lines of communication for rapid escalation when needed.
Schedule Kickoff Meetings and Rehearsals
Gather full session production teams and speakers prior to going live to verbally review roadmaps, discuss contingencies, clarify roles, do walkthroughs, and confirm all players are in sync.
Appoint Redundant Leadership Roles
Assign backups like deputy directors who can assume responsibilities if leads become unavailable. Cross-train staff on alternate duties as well.
Coordinate Across Distance
If teams are distributed across venues, create centralized playbooks everyone can access with role clarity, contact lists, floorplans, equipment inventories, and session notes to align distant crews.
Prepare Detailed Run-of-Show Binders
Provide each staff member physical or digital binders containing personalized checklists for their specific assignments across every session. Easy to follow.
Confirm Volunteers are Supported
Pair volunteers with experienced team members, limit the scope of duties, and provide training, scheduled breaks, and access to manager support so they can succeed in roles.
Review Assignments in Daily Briefings
Dedicate time in pre-session briefings each day to re-verify everyone understands their daily activities and contingency protocols. Keep teams calibrated.
Defining interlocking roles and responsibilities provides clarity so well-prepared teams can seamlessly coordinate and adapt during live sessions.
Coordinate Stage Participants
Preparing your virtual presenters, panelists, hosts, and guests for success on the digital stage is imperative. Tactics include:
Send Prep Materials in Advance
Provide speakers presentation decks, technical instructions, talking points, guidance, and logistics ahead of time so they can prepare.
Arrange Individual Practice Runs
Have speakers join dry run rehearsals from their remote locations to test equipment, presentations, and flows. Refine technical setup as needed.
Give speakers, hosts, and guests granular run-of-show documents so they understand the program’s timing, transitions, and contingencies.
Verify Identity Screens
Confirm names, titles, headshots, and graphics displaying speaker names/faces match how they should be identified. Fix errors.
Guide Presentation Length
Provide suggested time limits for speaker segments and guidance for condensing content to help them size presentations to fit slots.
Walk speakers through what will happen during potential scenarios like video loss, delays, or Q&A overages so they react properly if issues occur.
Check-In Before Going Live
Connect with speakers right before they present to provide any last minute reminders and confirm readiness. Final confirmation everything is in place.
Advance preparation and communication results in polished virtual presentations and unflappable speaker responses when live.
Confirm Critical Event Elements
Avoid surprises during the live event by meticulously verifying all critical assets ahead of time. Be sure to:
Triple Check Slide Decks
Require final slide decks well in advance to allow ample review by staff, edits by speakers, and upload to presentation software. Version control avoids confusion.
Review Speaker Videos
Have presenters provide any videos weeks ahead to allow time for download, transcoding, testing, and insertion into presentations by tech teams.
Confirm Session Handouts
Gather attendee handouts, worksheets, and takeaways to check format consistency and load into virtual platform document folders ahead of sessions.
Prepare Polls and Assessments
Load any prepared audience polls, surveys, quizzes, and related interactive session content into presentation tools early to test and troubleshoot.
Validate Graphics and B-Roll
Scrutinize all graphics like lower thirds, logos, titles, and b-roll videos for accuracy, branding alignment, and professional quality.
Carefully review all emails, virtual signage, ads, social posts, and notifications for grammar, branding, and clarity. Eliminate errors.
Finalize Equipment Kits
Re-verify equipment and peripherals like microphones, cables, adapters, batteries, and backup supplies are ready for deployment to all production locations.
Leaving nothing to chance results in teams confidently executing high-quality events knowing elements are prepped and verified.
Establish Contingency Protocols
Despite meticulous planning, you need to anticipate and prepare for potential technical issues. Useful strategies include:
Script Declaration Messages
Draft clear explanations event hosts can provide to audiences for likely scenarios like presentation delays, video loss, or audio problems. Calms concerns.
Prepare Engaging Holding Content
Have overlay graphics, videos, polls, and other pre-built content ready to engage audiences during unexpected delays or downtime.
Document Escalation Procedures
Provide detailed steps for technical staff, producers, and speakers on which experts to quickly contact for rapid issue resolution based on problem types.
Test Redundant Internet Lines
Validate backup internet sources provide sufficient connectivity by conducting dry runs using only backups. Also test presenters’ personal hotspots as a last resort.
Train for Adaptability
If live rehearsals go perfectly, intentionally introduce failures like video loss. Ensure teams practice smoothly adapting using plan B options.
Build On-Site Equipment Redundancy
Stage identical reserve computer workstations, webcams, microphones, cables, and other equipment on-site for rapid swaps if primary gear fails.
Equip central directors with ability to push emergency notices to all producer and technician devices if unplanned changes are required on the fly.
With thorough contingency preparation, teams can quickly adjust and power through unexpected issues without missing a beat or disrupting audiences.
Executing flawless online events requires extensive planning and attention to detail from your production team covering all technical elements.
By creating master checklists, granular session roadmaps, clear staff assignments, speaker coordination, asset confirmation, and contingency protocols in your run of show – your team will have the comprehensive blueprint needed to adapt and deliver an incredible event.
While comprehensive technical preparations takes time upfront, the peace of mind and smooth execution it enables is well worth the investment for event professionals.
So start storyboarding, detailing, delegating, and testing now to ensure your next virtual event production is seamless from the audience perspective while your team has all the tools needed to anticipate and manage behind the scenes. Flawless execution awaits!
- 1 Technical Run of Show: Detailed Rundowns for Flawless Virtual Event Execution
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Build Master Technical Checklists
- 1.3 Create Detailed Session Roadmaps
- 1.4 Assign Clear Staff Roles and Responsibilities
- 1.5 Coordinate Stage Participants
- 1.6 Confirm Critical Event Elements
- 1.7 Establish Contingency Protocols
- 1.8 Conclusion