Virtual Production making

AV vs. Production: Know the Difference and Take Your Events to the Next Level

girl creating an event's content

With more virtual and hybrid events happening than ever before, online audiences are raising the bar for what they expect out of their digital experience. But how do event organizers stay on top of the latest trends and technology to optimize audio-visual components, user-optimization, and audience engagement? 

Do they need professional help, or can they go it alone? Here’s a breakdown of how AV production companies and virtual / hybrid event production companies differ, and more importantly, how they can help event planners deliver the ultimate flawless experience for their very enthusiastic, very demanding virtual audience.

What is a Virtual Event?

Virtual events include a range of online experiences- webinars, conferences, meetings, trade shows, training seminars, and more. And with all the advanced features available on virtual event platforms, the possibilities for creating a unique user experience are endless.  

The core components of virtual events will vary for each experience based on the event planner’s needs and goals, but include one or more of the following:

  • Event Website and/or Platform
  • Registration
  • Live and Pre-Recorded Presentation Content
  • Broadcast Production
  • Audience Engagement
  • Entertainment & Gamification
  • Sponsor / Expo Stands
  • Surveys and Feedback
  • Why Virtual Events

The benefits of virtual events are vast, offering an easily accessible platform for connecting and strengthening relationships when meeting in-person may not be feasible- both personally, with friends and family, and professionally, with customers, teams, and stakeholders.

Virtual events allow organizers to reach a much larger audience from all over the world, opening attendance to populations that might not be able to attend in-person due to financial limitations, disabilities, schedule conflicts, etc.

Online events also allow for quicker turnaround, as they can be planned and implemented more quickly than live events, depending on size and scope. Virtual meetings can also massively reduce the environmental footprint of live events.

Need help making your virtual or hybrid event the best possible? We at Van Wagner have the tools and knowhow to set you up for success. Learn how we can help you make the perfect event today!

Related Link: Top Questions to Ask When Planning a Hybrid Event

What’s an AV Company?

Audio visual company provides video and sound for your event but does not include content production, talent acquisition, venue selection, or expertise in a myriad of event necessities.
The lighting engineer adjusts the lights on the stage.

An AV company manages all multimedia components of an event- including vision, lighting, webcast, and live sound to ensure that everything functions as it should. AV crews provide and manage a range of systems and equipment- from basic equipment rental and set-up to more advanced audio recording technology and high-resolution LED walls and projectors. 

Virtual AV technicians will also have the expertise and creativity to build and deliver video conferencing, digital streaming, and live broadcast services used for virtual events.

Benefits of Using an AV Company

As stated, viewers’ expectations are higher than ever. AV production services can not only significantly enhance the participants’ experience, but they can also streamline behind-the-scenes operations to improve the production experience. 

The hands-on support AV teams provide to staff, attendees, and presenters during an event is invaluable in of itself. But AV teams also offer training and services to prevent technical mishaps occurring in the first place, such as network and system configuration, pre-event technology rehearsals, and audio/visual training. AV companies also provide post-production edits of live recordings so event organizers can extend the life of the content beyond the duration of the event. 

What’s a Production Company?

Virtual event content production

An event production company designs, produces, and manages events of all sizes from start to finish. Event production companies provide comprehensive, customized support encompassing everything from program development, content design, production management, audio-visual logistics, event technology,and more.

Virtual Event production incorporates the technical elements of digital event platforms used for virtual and hybrid events. Virtual event production entails a comprehensive approach, including the experts, services, equipment, and technical solutions needed for pre-event, day-of, and post-event production. 

Benefits of a Using a Production Company

Producing a virtual or hybrid event requires a broad range of talent, knowledge, and skills. Production companies can tackle all aspects of event planning, from platform selection and management, team coordination and training, live broadcasting, and everything in between. Specifically, event production teams provide

  • A dedicated team to support all live production needs from start to finish 
  • Customized production strategy for optimal program delivery 
  • Selection and management of virtual event platform, and live broadcasting
  • Professional AV support for both live venue and/or virtual technology needs
  • Creative support with event design visuals, and branding 
  • On-site, hands-on assistance w/ load-in and room builds
  • Front-line support with timing, prompter, graphics, and all other aspects of show flow  
  • Fully produced virtual event sessions with live and recorded content

Related Link: 10 Ways to Differentiate Your Hybrid Event & Keep Virtual Event Engagement

Whichever You Choose – Tips for Your Event

There is no “best” or one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing an event format and approach. The best fit will always be contingent on an organization’s goals, budget, and resources. However, there are a few tips that are essential for making the event production process a flawless success.

Hire An Expert Like Van Wagner 

Whether it’s an AV service provider or full event production company, brands that want to wow their audiences need to lean heavily on the experts. Finding experienced partners to dial in all the logistical and technological details of a virtual event will separate the average experience from the extraordinary. Period.

Be Realistic About What You Need

When in doubt, more is better, and backup is essential. Event production experts will know how to accurately determine needs across all areas. However, the two best strategies to run with: 1) quality first, and 2) too many is better than not enough.

Timing and Presentations

Event post pandemic event

Timing is crucial, and there is not a minute to waste. Prioritize rehearsing a show run from start to finish, down to when each presenter should go live and what content should be up. Make sure to test run all equipment and AV systems and coordinate set-up and break-down times to avoid disrupting event traffic. 

Related Link: 7 Mind-Blowing Virtual & Hybrid Events and Why They’re Successful

Make a List (And check it Twice!)

Compile all checklists, contact info, passwords, program details, etc. in a cloud-based master list so all team members can easily access it. Pay extra attention to organizing presenters’ schedules and digital files so nothing goes missing that could derail their session. 

The sights and sounds of a virtual event should be as bold and exciting as the viewer’s user-experience, ensure it is smooth and engaging. The extensive logistical processes and level of expertise required to get there requires a team of experienced professionals. Fortunately, virtual production companies and AV specialists are primed and ready to rise to the occasion, whatever the size, scope or technical needs of that occasion may be.

When you choose to work with Van Wagner for your next event, you get the piece of mind of knowing you have professionals you can trust working in it. Contact Van Wagner to start planning your next event. 

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