Industry Content & Media

This Event Emcee Is a Student of Digital Engagement

Author: Curtis Wagner       

As more event organizers aim to reach more at-home viewers, one master of ceremonies recognizes that she must also be a master of live-streaming.

Choosing the right host for an event is no longer simply about who can inspire the attendees in the room. In the era of live-streaming, an emcee must connect with thousands of unseen faces behind laptops and smartphones, too. As a professional emcee for clients such as MGM Resorts, the American Dental Association, and Experient, Judi Holler, founder of HOLLA! Productions, has focused her energy on learning more about the ins and outs of digital engagement. Thanks to a scholarship from Meetings + Conventions Calgary, Holler recently earned the Digital Event Strategist certification. “Now, more than ever, I’m not just addressing a live audience,” Holler told PMCA. “There is also the virtual audience. So understanding live-streaming, on-demand learning, how the hybrid event works, and the best way to leverage social media platforms were all part of keeping me fresh and unique as an emcee.”

1) How are you using digital and hybrid events at your organization?
Each event I’m hired to emcee has a virtual component. So nine times out of 10, I’m not only addressing a live audience, I’m speaking to thousands online. I also do Facebook Live for clients as an extension of my emcee services on a trade-show floor interviewing speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors. When doing that I need to keep it fun, fast-paced, and interactive to keep the attention of the virtual audience. I’m always thinking about one question: How can we create a little “fomo” here? My goal is always to make the online viewer wish they were in the room. We want them to attend the live event next year.

2) What advice do you have about doing live interviews at events?
Remember, when your event is done, it’s not done. Smart planners are capturing content and using soundbites year-round to keep the conversation going.

3) Can you share some engagement tips for enhancing the experience for remote attendees?
— Put the right people on camera — both talent-wise and interview-wise. Sometimes, the responsibility is given to an intern or a staff member to save on budget, but when you get the right energy on camera, that really translates. Energy is contagious.

— Keep it fun. Don’t be afraid to take a few risks. If you want your virtual audience to tune in, give them something fun to watch. Think about what keeps your own attention and let that inspire you.

— Set a show schedule for your Facebook Live content, and market it, so people can mark their calendars and tune in.

— Ask lots of questions, engage the audience, and have someone monitor the feed so it’s alive and active.

— Keep it short and sweet. We lose people when it goes too long. Interviews should be two to three minutes.

4) What most excites you about the power of digital events?
I love how connected we are. We have the ability to reach people anywhere and at any time. If you can’t make an event in person due to life or schedule changes that year, you can still buy a virtual ticket to stay connected. I also love how social media is enhancing the user experience. We are able to gain access to people, places, and ideas in ways that were not humanly possible just five years ago. I can only imagine where we’ll be in 10 years. Maybe your next annual event will be in a space ship.

Interested in boarding that space ship? Click here to learn more about earning your DES so you can organize an event anywhere in the universe.

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