The Secrets to Perfectly Executed Simulive Content

The Secrets to Perfectly Mixing Live and Pre-Recorded Content

When planning your next marquee event or webinar, it’s important to consider how much of it needs to be live and whether to have some pre-recorded segments sprinkled in.

Mixing pre-recorded content into your otherwise live event allows you to let your segments shine. Segments are the bits of content that make up your entire show. As you think through your show – like which speakers are presenting or the information you’ll be featuring – you can decide which format works best for your individual segments.

Building an exceptional event uses a balance of both live and pre-recorded content to elevate your production, as you aren’t tied to just doing one format or the other. These types of mixed events, specifically, are incredibly valuable because they:

  • Add variety and dimension to the show
  • Provide breaks for live presenters and producers
  • Allow for flexibility in presenter schedules

While there’s no divine ratio as to how much live or pre-recorded content one should have in a singular event, there are some aspects to consider when creating the segments for your next big show.

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Live content: bring authenticity and spontaneity to your event

Besides the thrill of shooting segments on the first take, there are several beneficial features of live shots that are crucial to consider as you plan your event.

  • Connect authentically with the audience: Arguably the number one benefit of going live is having the opportunity for speakers to build an authentic connection with the audience. Whether the crowd is in-person, virtual, or a hybrid mix, live speakers create a much more genuine connection when they engage with the crowd in real time.
  • Bring the energy in an emcee: Similarly, having a live emcee keep the event’s flow going adds credibility to the brand and to the event itself. A good emcee can read the room, respond to questions in real time, and keep the show running smoothly – especially if there are hiccups that only a live person can respond to.
  • Save time and money: When a segment is filmed live, there’s no option to redo it. This means that having live content not only takes less time (there can only be one take!) but it costs less, too.
The Secrets to Perfectly Executed Simulive Content
Mixing pre-recorded content into your otherwise live event allows you to let your segments shine.

Pre-recorded content: safety in second (and third) takes

On the other hand, certain segments – and A-list speakers – are at their best when produced under a more controlled environment. 

  • Curate segments with multiple takes: Pre-recording segments give you the time to plan perfect takes. From the make-up and hair, to the script and cues, to the background and lighting, you can tweak everything until it looks and sounds just right. This takes pressure off the speaker(s) involved, which in turn results in higher-quality content. Pro tip: You can also shoot these types of segments in front of a live audience, ensuring it all feels a little less staged. 
  • Control unexpected issues: When you film something live, it comes with the chance of unexpected issues. Tech snafus (like A/V lags or speaker drop-offs) and everyday life (like phones beeping or dogs barking) are not only extremely stressful, but could disturb a live show; but if you’re pre-recording, you can simply fix the issue in the moment or make edits in post-production.
  • Get ahead on promo: After filming your pre-recorded segments ahead of the live show, your marketing and social media teams can get started on better promo materials. Comb through the content to pick out clips and quotes for pre-show buzz – and create content for post-show awareness, generating even more attention for your event.

Blend together the best of both worlds with mixed content

The beauty of creating your own event is that you don’t have to choose between strictly live or pre-recorded content. Producing an event that blends together the important live bits with pre-recorded elements offers the best of both worlds – all at your own discretion. 

  • Add variety and dimension to the show: Sometimes you need the rush of a spur-of-the-moment live segment, while other times you need the CEO’s keynote to be expertly polished. Adding a variety of segments keeps event content interesting and exciting.
  • Provide breaks for live presenters and producers: Having a “break” in your live show with a pre-recorded segment gives your emcee and presenters time for an actual break; it also gives your on-site production team the time to make wardrobe or set changes ahead of their next live segment.
  • Allow for flexibility in presenter schedules: When you have an event with both types of content, your recorded presenters aren’t committed to a specific day and time for their segment. Rather, the option to pre-record your speaker – or last-minute attending in person – is always available, so your presenters will be on their schedule and at their most comfortable.

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