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Skagit Valley College Athletics

Live virtual event

Most virtual events are in place of live-venue events - so viewer expectations are high, even if unrealistic. An additional challenge is that online viewer retention is low – view the analytics of any online event and you’ll see an enormous drop of after 30 seconds – and another after 3 minutes…


So, in planning and structuring a live-stream virtual event, it’s important to consider the following:


Your audience:

  • Isn’t captive

  • They’re at home and prone to distraction

  • Their attention span is proportionate to the size of the screen that they’re watching.


The energy of the presenters and guest speakers is often lower when presenting to a camera in an empty room, compared to presenting to a live audience. So presenter sequences need to be short, energized, and supported – e.g. with an assistant who can share donation information.

It’s important to maintain a consistent pace of short sequences that enliven and stay ahead of an audience.  As in a movie, start off with the car chase… or in our case, surprise and delight the audience – and stay one step ahead for the duration of the event. In view of this, I’ve expanded the suggested running order, creating far more, shorter, sequences.


I recommend sequences of around 1-2 minutes.  Where there is a guest speaker with more to say – it’s better to break up the content and divide it up throughout the event.



Think of the old MTV 10-second transitions. Short 10-second visual sequences that profile various sports help maintain energy, pace, and make transitions more interesting and lively.

Production elements
Production insert elements
Live / broadcast elements