Technical Run of Show: Detailed Rundowns for Flawless Virtual Event Execution
Technical Run of Show: Detailed Rundowns for Flawless Virtual Event Execution
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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.

Speaker Guidance

Provide clear instructions, suggested talking points, content limitations, and guidance for guest speakers and presenters tailored to each session.

Transition Instructions

Script cues, slide change prompts, fade in/outs of video feeds, and other transition choreography required between segments and speakers.

Contingency Plans

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.

Share Run-of-Show Documents

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.

Explain Contingencies

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.

Proofread Messaging

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.

Communicate Workarounds

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!


Q: What is a run of show (ROS) for virtual events?

A: A run of show (ROS) for virtual events is a detailed document that outlines the technical and logistical aspects of the event, including session timings, speaker cues, technical requirements, contingency plans, and staff responsibilities. It serves as a blueprint for the production team to ensure smooth execution of the event.

Q: Why is a run of show important for virtual events?

A: A run of show is important for virtual events because it helps ensure that all aspects of the event are well-planned and executed. It provides clarity to the production team, speakers, and participants about their roles and responsibilities, helps anticipate and mitigate potential issues, and ensures that the event runs smoothly from start to finish.

Q: What should be included in a run of show for virtual events?

A: A run of show for virtual events should include:

  • Session timings and agenda
  • Speaker introductions and bios
  • Technical setup requirements
  • Contingency plans for technical issues
  • Staff roles and responsibilities
  • Instructions for transitions between sessions
  • Audience engagement activities
  • Contact information for key personnel

Q: How can I create a run of show for my virtual event?

A: To create a run of show for your virtual event, start by outlining the agenda and session timings. Then, identify the technical requirements for each session, assign roles and responsibilities to staff members, and create contingency plans for potential issues. Communicate the run of show to all relevant stakeholders and conduct rehearsals to ensure everyone is prepared for the event.

Q: What are some tips for managing a virtual event using a run of show?

A: Some tips for managing a virtual event using a run of show include:

  • Reviewing the run of show with all staff members and speakers before the event
  • Assigning a dedicated person to oversee the execution of the run of show during the event
  • Conducting regular check-ins to ensure everything is running according to plan
  • Being flexible and prepared to adapt to changes or unexpected issues
  • Collecting feedback after the event to identify areas for improvement in future run of shows.


By Dani Davis

A true visionary in the realms of tech writing, digital storytelling, and e-commerce, Daniel Davis (known as Dani) has carved out an exceptional career spanning over 15 years. Born and raised in San Francisco, Dani's innate affinity for technology and creative expression propelled them to explore the intricacies of computer science while honing their storytelling abilities. Their unique blend of technical expertise and narrative prowess laid the foundation for their multifaceted success. Dani's journey has been marked by groundbreaking achievements, including authoring bestselling books that demystify complex technological concepts through captivating narratives. As the founder of the influential online platform "TechTales," Dani has created a hub for educational content, podcasts, and video essays that cater to tech enthusiasts worldwide. Moreover, as the head writer of, a leading resource for e-commerce and digital marketing, Dani has established themselves as a preeminent authority in the field of online business and entrepreneurship. Their consulting work, speaking engagements, and advocacy efforts have inspired countless individuals, solidifying their legacy as a true pioneer in the digital age.

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