June 24, 2021 | By Warwick Merry
As we spend more time getting more comfortable with online and hybrid events, there is a lot of focus on event tech. For larger events, it makes sense to get the AV team involved. And when you have registrations in the thousands, you can afford some great tech that not only makes you look and sound good, but someone else can look after it.
But what about for the tens to hundreds of meetings that may be an internal team meeting or an event on a more modest budget? Here are some ideas to help make you look and sound awesome but without putting a hole in your budget.
A Second camera
Many of us will present to camera but wish we had something to record notes on. If we were live we would use a flip chart, but it doesn’t look that flash with your laptop in one area and the flipchart miles away. This is where using your phone on a tripod as a second camera is GOLD! The free app Epoccam works with most setups (Zoom, MS Teams, Hoppin, GotoMeeting etc) as a separate camera driver. So you can do your work straight to camera and then swap cameras when you want to write on the flipchart or white board. Just make sure you have addressed glare and sound issues.
An alternative to a second camera is the document camera. Again, you can use Epoccam, but this time, not only do you keep your face on camera, but you can share a document camera for note taking at the same time. Maybe you don’t need a flip chat but simply plain paper and coloured pens?
When people ask about microphones, they forget that you need to mic a room and not just a person. Often one of the best microphones is the one that comes with your phone. Granted having a dangling cable doesn’t always look the best, but they are designed to work in a light breeze so have fairly good noise cancelling. Sometimes tucking the cable under your shirt and having a small extension cable on the microphone makes it sound fabulous.
It is always good to be well lit. But you don’t have to have movie studio lights. Often a bright lamp or spotlight from the garage will do the trick. Simply put some baking paper in front of it to disperse the light. Baking paper is essentially fireproof as well so it can tolerate any heat that may come from an older style lamp.
Show to camera
Sometimes instead of high-tech imagery and blending of video, it can be straight forward to just hold an object in front of the webcam. From diagrams to models and fun objects to excite the team. A low-tech approach will often get the message across in a fun and relatable way.
What other cost saving hacks do you use?