By Darian Germain
Customers continue to broaden their use of Microsoft Teams, particularly for the video-based, day-to-day collaboration applications that have become the essential backbone linking at-home and in-office employees so they remain engaged and productive.
For many large enterprises, however, Teams doesn’t offer the video quality, branding, or scalability they need for large-audience, high-profile events – such as company-wide communications, virtual marketing events and user and partner community forums.
In this first in a series of three blogs, we’ll talk about the importance of Video Production in creating premier live video events that leverage and complement your Microsoft Teams technology.
Anyone in video knows the familiar axiom: “Garbage in, garbage out,” meaning that whatever technology or transformation that your video content makes along its lifecycle, its best quality is set in stone in the very beginning while it’s being produced.
Regardless of how much video is created by employees in Teams meetings, when your organization is making an important video – whether its your C-Suite communicating change or strategy, your product team telling top customers about future direction, or your marketing team crafting virtual events to replace in-person trade shows, you’ll want to use an enterprise-grade webcasting platform and professional video producers.
Professional video producers, often from a live television background, offer deep experience and insights into how to make your company – and your executives – look the very best that they can on camera. Whether it is an in-house production team or hired third-party producers, like MediaPlatform’s Broadcast Services team, this is one area where going the amateur route will not live up to standards of your globally recognized brand. Here are just a few of the services these teams typically provide so your mission-critical video webcast goes off without a hitch:
1) Environment: Video professionals take an exhaustive audit of the shoot environment to ensure staging, lighting and equipment will produce the best possible video outcomes. Optimally, the shoot takes place in an acoustically controlled environment (like a studio) but even when the shoot takes place on location, or from the home office of the CEO, your sound/lighting and camera techs will run a litany of tests to ensure the stage is set for an optimal filming. The team will also pull in professional stylists, so your speakers look broadcast-ready.
2) Production Management: Video professionals work with your communications team to create a precise ‘run of show’ for every element of your video broadcast – from video pre-roll and event countdowns in the holding lobby, to presenter order, switching and timings, graphical elements (lower thirds, lobby/transition and exit screens, to introducing interactive elements like sentiment voting, polls/surveys and Q&A. Your video professionals will ensure every second of the webcast is documented – and they’ll stage several dry runs to ensure all the players are familiar with their roles and the content is coming together as planned.
3) Live Event Direction: Veterans of high-pressure live video broadcasts, Video Professionals bring field-proven instincts about how to keep speakers calm, how to plan – and correct – contingencies transparently, and how to direct every element of your live video production – from the camera crew to the team screening and elevating inbound inquiries from the live audience. While many organizations opt for the ‘safer’ pre-recorded video, these often lack energy and excitement and fail to engage audiences. Studies show that there is no more compelling online content than an actual live broadcast, so choose your video production team based on their live credentials.
4) Microsoft-Friendly: You’ll want to ensure that your video professional team has experience using a webcasting platform that works seamlessly with your Microsoft environment. For example, you’ll need the webcasting platform to use a Microsoft Teams meeting as a video source, but you’ll need to convert the Teams video into a high-quality, massively scalable video stream that can be viewed by many thousands of simultaneous viewers, whether employees, partners, or prospects. You’ll also want to add virtual event elements that convert a simple video into an exciting and engaging online experience, the topic of our next blog on the Viewer Experiences you can create from your Microsoft Teams environment.