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SOLVING FOR TECH
 
VIRTUAL EVENTS GROUP
 
VEG’ers are not just sitting around twiddling their digits. The pandemic has not ended events. Instead, and very quickly, it has evolved them. Here is this week’s news in the world of events, brought to you by the VEG.
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 22 | 3:00pm
 
The VEG Holiday Party: It’s a Shindig!
 
Music, fun and games as we recall the best and worst of 2020’s year of virtual events. Register now to attend our Holiday Party on Shindig’s fun-filled event platform.
 
RSVP to attend.
 
 
2020’s Lessons Learned?
 
Don’t go it alone. Ben Hindman, CEO of Splash makes the case for crafting the perfect event by integrating best of breed solutions. His map of the events world gives us a framework for thinking about an event as Registration, Streaming, Presentation, Engagement and Multi-Format presentations.
 
 
 
Compiled by Alfred Poor and Robin Raskin
 
Gift Guide For the VEG’er in Your Life
 
 
Let There Be Light
One of the truisms about living in the Zoom world is that many people have atrocious lighting. Dark shadows and backlit rooms can be fixed with a small, bright, battery-powered fill light. And they don’t have to cost you a month’s broadband bill, either.

Alfred Poor likes Harbor Freight’s inexpensive pocket LED. A magnet and a hook on the back make it easy to mount just about anywhere. At $3.99, buy two!

Robin (who needs every bit of lighting help she can get) went a bit more upscale because she’s afraid of battery-fail. She chose the Lume Cube Mini with USB and battery. It’s got a nice diffuser and a scroll wheel to give you control of the brightness and warmth of the light.

But before she knew it, her ever frugal husband chose the Neewer Tabletop Video light. It plugs into a USB charger (at least 20W, 2 outlets, like this) to provide steady and convenient daylight-balanced tabletop lighting. The daylight color balance is good for a situation where you already have a lot of light from your windows, but if you are in the cellar with existing incandescent, perhaps look for an LED light with adjustable color balance. Neewer also makes some lovely ring LEDs worthy of the beauty blogging scene.
 
 
Lights, Action… Camera?
If you loathe the webcam in your laptop or you are retrofitting your desktop, the Logitech C920 ($79) is the current darling, but also in great demand. A lower priced alternative is AUSDOM AF640. ($39) Both are 1080p cameras, but the Ausdom has a slightly slower frame rate. Both have built-in mics that feature some noise reduction. The Ausdom has a slightly wider field of view than the Logitech, so you can either move it closer for a similar effect, or be able to include more than just the typical head-and-shoulders framing.
 
 
Avoid Nasal Inspections
The ideal location for a webcam is at eye level or slightly above. Many people use their laptops for video conferencing which leaves them with a Vinny Barbarino camera shot (“Up your nose with a rubber hose!”). You can put your notebook on a stack of books to raise it up, but this puts your keyboard up so high that it can be hard to reach. One altitude alternative is Boyata Laptop Holder. It comes in silver or gray and can raise your computer screen by as much as 10 inches. This also leaves the keyboard angled toward you so that it is easier to use ($31.99).
 
 
Is This Thing On?
The Blue Yeti Nano Mic looks great and sounds even better. 24-bit sound, nice compact design and plug and play. For a smaller mic that clips onto your laptop and still sounds great, consider the "_blank">Samson Go Mic, which retails for around $50. And whatever external mic you use, when you start that virtual session, make sure the right mic is selected, because it’s common to default to your laptop’s built-in tinny mic.
 
 
TikTokers and Young Creators
Target sells the Studio Creator from Canal Toys for $25. It includes an 8 inch ring LED, a tripod, a phone holder and small green screen.

Additional Reading: The Atlantic takes a look at the booming business of looking good on Zoom calls.
 
 
The Next Virtual Event Looks More Like Dating than Meeting
As we tire of Zoom meetings, we’re starting to experiment with professional meet-up software that uses your profile and its algorithms to match you with folks you’re likely to want to meet. Think dating for the business world. I look at some of the new products springing up in this recent Techonomy column.
 
 
When This Reality is Not Enough
From designing living rooms to make-up try ons, shoppers are getting comfortable with playing in augmented reality. It’s only natural that AR would meet the meeting as well. NexTechAR, a production company, is building AR into their events and often into product demos for exhibitors. Since they integrate with major video platforms, a simple QR code can launch into the AR experience.
 
 
Roblox for Your Next Event
Roblox, the social community based on building things, announced the launch of the long awaited (by everyone but me) Ernest Cline’s Ready, Player Two (sequel to the popular first version) as a Roblox event. Mystery games, scavenger hunts, prizes and more await. Expect more and more events to take place in popular immersive worlds.
 
 
Accessible Virtual Events
Sign language, closed captioning and more. Here’s how you need to address accessibility in the virtual events world.
 
 
SantaCon
That pub crawling convention of inebriated Santas has been cancelled due to COVID, but virtual experiences are coming fast and furious. And since it’s always had a charitable cause, you should follow https://santacon.nyc/
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks for letting us crawl down your virtual chimney this year. Here’s to a season filled with gratitude (both real and virtual)
 
 
 
Feel the need to stay up on the virtual events scene but have a few other to-dos on your list?
 
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CONTACT
 
Send any tips and thoughts you have about virtual events. contact Robin Raskin,
Founder, Solving For Tech
201.564.7900 | 917.215.3160
[email protected] | @robinr