When life is live you just have to keep goingPublished: 2018-10-05 09:10
If you read my previous blog you will have picked up on some subtle undertones of holiday envy. Unfortunately, I don’t have that lynchpin to rely on any more as I have recently returned from a trip to Italy with my girlfriend. We had a brilliant time, but my sunset walks and lengthy historic tours were cut short about a week before the holiday when my partner dislocated her knee riding a horse. This change in group mobility threw all of those crafted plans away. Alas this forced me into having lots of very long lunches, scenic drives and sunlit dinners with excellent red wine. Naturally I don’t harbour any ill thoughts towards the horse that forced this outcome, I might even be a little thankful. I can recommend Tuscany it’s a truly beautiful place, particularly from behind a small fort made of Bruchetta with Brollo Wine bottle towers overlooking historic Florence.
Returning from Italy feeling refreshed, if not thinner, I have had a pretty busy time of things. One of the standout projects I am working on at the moment revolves around live webinars. I have put on, and even done, a fair amount of recorded interviews before. These are great because you can go back and take out a lot of your “ums” and “ers” when editing, not so in a live webinar however. The live nature has definitely added a level of complexity and more focused planning to how I would normally approach a project. Putting on a webinar is really exciting – as the organiser you get a lot of freedom to direct the content of the webinar. I love a space to be creative and being able to curate the guests, engage with them, bring out things that they are really passionate about and then produce that energy in a live format is both really exciting and a bit nerve wracking.
This may sound odd coming from somebody immersed in digital things every day, but when what you are doing is live, technology is never on your side. Ever. There are so many little things that can go wrong and sometimes it’s tough to keep track of all of them when you are in the “moment”. A classic example of this happened on my previous live webinar in September. All of the guests and hosts were all sitting and ready for the webinar to start with 5 minutes to go. All of a sudden skype crashes across all of the I.T systems in the building and a big fat warning bar appears across all our computer screens. This is not ideal – we “share” a desktop so the audience can watch the presentation live. A big red bar across the middle of the screen slightly detracts from the overall experience for our audiences. With the clock ticking down and 1 minute to go my saviour appeared in the form of an external partner we are doing the webinar with. We managed to transfer the presentation to his computer with less than a minute to go. A very sweaty few minutes but everything usually works out fine!
I have definitely learnt more than I thought I would on this project. You have to stay vigilant and assured. Your guests need to know that you have everything under control and nothing is going to happen to leave them exposed. You also have to be both a blend of flexibility and calmness. In my experience you can practice and practice, but something will inevitably go awry. As the organiser behind things you will focus on these far more than anyone else, for me it’s been a tough journey to let those little things not eclipse the whole experience. Always aim for 100% sure, but sometimes things happen! And finally, enjoy it. Being involved in live productions makes everything a bit more exciting., try and take some time to revel in that. It’s not something you get to do every day.