When attending a digital event, whether as a sponsor, a presenter, or an attendee, you may wonder whether you need any special equipment to facilitate your experience. Our platform partner, Hopin, has focused tremendous effort on the usability and intuitiveness of their platform, and as a guest, you can join the event from your laptop, desktop, or tablet or through the mobile app, or even both! In this sense, all that you ‘need’ is your laptop or phone to participate in the program. That said, we thought it might be helpful to review some of the commonly used equipment that may help to elevate your experience.
It perhaps goes without saying that a strong, stable, high-speed internet connection is the foundation of a smooth running digital event experience. For individuals that are presenting, either as a speaker, or in an exhibitor capacity, we strongly recommend having devices hard-wired to avoid transmission interruptions which occur more frequently with Wi-Fi.
Event manager surveys conducted over the past 18-months have indicated that a frequent issue experienced by attendees is poor or low-quality audio, resulting either from unstable internet connectivity or lower-quality microphones. Undertaking our own tests here at the healthXchange, we can attest to the tremendous difference between a laptop-integrated microphone and a dedicated USB-connected microphone – the difference is night and day.
The most popular microphone used by amateur podcasters and presenters is the Blue Yeti, which retails for around $100. If you’d prefer to spend less, there are many similar microphones available, an example being the Tonor TC-777 which has the benefit of an easily adjustable pop filter, resulting in clean, clear audio.
Reducing feedback and echo is essential, and dedicated headphones are the simplest way to ensure you can not only hear the action, but that you also reduce any feedback from microphones. We’ve also tested using Bluetooth headphones that have an incorporated microphone and can confirm that these, while not as clean as a stand-alone microphone, do provide a superior sound quality when compared with many integrated laptop microphones.
Whether participating in a video chat networking session, presenting as part of a keynote panel, or facilitating a breakout session as part of an exhibit, having a webcam is essential. Integrated laptop webcams, and even mobile phone cameras can do the job to a degree of satisfaction, but a dedicated webcam, such as the Logitech C920x provides a clearer, higher resolution video stream compared with many devices. At a modest investment of $100, for the frequent video presenter or facilitator, this plug-and-play device may be a worthwhile investment.
As our expert-lighting friend Mike has said, “Lighting is fun!” But in all seriousness, having a well-lit space for your video feed will immediately elevate the presentation of your presentation, whether as part of a formal session, or an informal networking session, ensuring a sharper, less muddied appearance. For us lighting amateurs, when natural light is not abundant, a ring light is going to be the easiest solution for illuminating the video. We’d suggest a 10-inch ring set 3-4 feet from you, preferably with a tripod stand so that you can easily adjust the light to your preferred setting.
Whilst this isn’t related to equipment per se, it is relevant to mention that when participating in a digital event, participants will view your background. Taking a few moments to review your background, and finding a neutral location, can help keep the focus of attendees on the speaker.