When the world went virtual during the pandemic, the Meeting Expectations team leveled up its multimedia, streaming, and video capabilities to deliver webinars, keynotes, innovative attendee engagement activities, and whole conferences. So, we were ready to go when our client, Landis+Gyr (L+G), asked us last year to execute its first general session in a live setting since pre-pandemic.
Our multimedia director, Joey Sirmons, worked closely with members of the L+G team to visualize and produce the session. A general session is a critical component of any conference since it sets the tone and gets attendees excited about the event. L+G also planned to equip attendees with vital details about product roadmaps and direction, making the success of this session even more important.
This year, the L+G community eagerly convened in Orlando, ready to learn and reconnect in person once again. Previously, L+G Exchange was a virtual event featuring an array of pre-recorded sessions produced by Meeting Expectations, but this year it was back to the classic face-to-face format. Because the general session acts as the conference opener, Joey nimbly fine-tuned the presentation, guiding audio/visual technicians until the last few seconds before the doors flung open for attendees to find their seats.
A few minutes later, the lights went dark, and a hush fell over the crowd as the conference sizzle reel lit up the room. Cue attendee excitement.
No experience goes without learning a few lessons, so here’s what we suggest to create a general session that makes your attendees lean in.
- When we produce sessions, we prioritize the attendee experience. What will they see from their actual point of view in the session room? Is the audio adequate?
- Meet up with your on-site audio/visual crew as early as possible to view all assets and functionality on the screens. If your production includes videos, play them to experience how they appear and sound.
- Test. Test it again. Clear the cache, and then test it again (and maybe even again).
- Test in situ. That’s right, test it again, but this time with all the gear and people who will be part of the show or pressing buttons – the situation.
- Confirm the most minute details: who’s pushing what buttons – and when? We promise they won’t seem minor when the team mouths stressed-out words to each other about pressing the controls with a live audience in tow.
- Attendee engagement is crucial, so if you plan to employ live polling elements, explore how they function in real-time. Some A/V setups don’t connect to Wi-Fi, and live polling means capturing data at the moment. Skipping this step could mean your audience interaction falls flat.
- Have some fun with your production, too! For this segment, the co-hosts chose each other’s walk-on music to surprise the other. Elton John’s Tiny Dancer is always a hit choice.
General sessions drive interest in what’s coming next – whether that means upcoming intriguing sessions on your agenda or next year’s conference date and place. We can make your general session the true highlight of your event. Get in touch to learn how.