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Explore our insights about lecture-based learning and discover why our innovative virtual events services and content management solutions are powerful assets for any organization.

Interview with an Expert: Bill Mott – Event Technology, Freeman Company

Bill Mott has 11 years of experience in the virtual events space, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge.

1. How did you become involved with virtual events?

I was hired in 2007 by Freeman as a digital media specialist in a brand-new department that focused on content capture and posting the materials online. It was all very new and primitive by today’s standards. Live streaming, mobile devices, virtual events all hit the scene in the following years, and the content capture department became the “OnlineEvent” department and innovated business practices to meet these emerging technologies.

2. What are some of the most common questions you get about your virtual event and conference recording offerings?

  • Can you stream my meeting to Facebook Live?
  • How much should I charge for my content?
  • What are ways other groups are using sponsorships?
  • What’s the most cost-effective way to start a virtual program?

3. What are the common mistakes you see people making?

  • Trying to produce too much content, which unnecessarily inflates budget.
  • Not strategically producing sessions in a concise number of rooms, which unnecessarily inflates budget.
  • Not targeting all viewer types, such as physical attendees.

4. Can you share any stories or examples that help illustrate key points?

  • A customer was complaining to us regarding the lack of ROI from the onsite streaming/production costs. However, they were producing one session a day from many disparate meeting rooms per day. We explained the process for putting all streaming sessions in one high-production room. We boosted production and brought down costs. We promoted quality, not quantity.
  • Once a customer started targeting annual meeting attendees with paid content, their profits soared. Onsite production and platform costs were around $60K total. Their gross revenue exceeded $120K. The customer accomplished this by providing a premium tier of onsite registration which included access to all recorded content via their online video platform.

5. Is there anything new or revolutionary within virtual events that you’re seeing that people should be aware of?

BYOBandwidth. Devices that bridge multiple cellular LTE modems (i.e., LiveU) facilitate live streaming programs without the need to purchase costly internet drops from the event venue. Look for AV production companies to rent such devices as part of the AV spend, which will bring down bandwidth costs needed to stream.

6. What trends do you expect to see in the coming year(s)?

Just like live radio shows can bring in and broadcast random and unvetted callers for contribution to a terrestrial radio program, I see the same thing happening in virtual events. Webinar software, as well as personal computers/microphones/webcams, will become so stable and reliable, that it will become common and low-risk to allow unvetted webinar participants to contribute live audio and video to a virtual event.

7. How will these trends impact organizations?

Virtual event content in some industries will be more dynamic, unscripted, and entertaining. Flipped classrooms operating in the virtual space, in which students drive content, will become the norm. Ideas, innovation, and progress will accelerate.

8. What is the greatest value your clients receive from hosting virtual events and recording their conferences?

ROE – return on engagement. Yes, real dollars earned are nice. But it can be argued that increased brand awareness and engagement yields longer lasting positive impact for organizations.

9. What are your Top 3 Virtual Event Tips to share?

  • Don’t forget sponsors! Lots of sponsorship opportunities with live or VOD streaming content. You’ve brought valuable eyeballs to the table, sponsors will subsidize the acquisition of such eyeballs.
  • Make VOD content an event unto itself. Don’t just promote the live stream, heavily promote the release of VOD content too.
  • Stream snippets of sessions on Facebook Live as a teaser, then move the already engaged viewers over to your eCommerce platform when the Facebook preview is over.

Learn more about Freeman here.

Learn more about Bill Mott here.

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