As the Twin Cities settled into the long siege that has become the reality of COVID-19. many long-standing fan conventions cancelled, some with understandably short notice. This left a significant vacuum for the fans who made this circuit an important part of their social and commercial calendar. Twin Cities Geek, a local website and non-profit dedicated to the geeks of all stripes, was in need of a way to create virtual panels, an important part of the convention experience.
After thinking about it, I realized we could give the now-ubiquitous Zoom conference a facelift and merge it with many of the elements of a television talk show or news broadcast. In effect, it was just a short skip and jump away from the CON-Link we had partnered with the non-profit CONvergence Events to create.
We added onscreen graphics, we we able to cut to roll-in video content, photos, and info graphics like you would find in a meeting or news program. This had the added bonus of making the participants more excited about what they were doing and offering the viewers a better content experience.
After we cleared a few development hurdles, we got these Virtual Fan panels down to a solid model that performed pretty well in terms of engagements and views on Facebook and YouTube. Even after the live event, people were still sharing and watching the fan panel.
The result is that it’s a great option for teams who don’t have a lot of production resources but want to provide their stakeholders with an interactive option that has more flash and polish than a basic zoom call. These can be put together with not much more than a week’s notice and require very little of your team’s resources to organize. We’ve even put together a handy quickstart guide to help folks who are not as adept at technology get the most out of their home cam systems.
Please reach out and I can help guide you through the choices and options for putting great virtual panels or discussions together.