Producing Virtual Events
Guest Feature: Kristyna Nedele
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As a rare Colorado native, Kristyna Nedele brings over twelve years of live event logistics and Lifestyle planning. She has a strong specialty in Contract Administration and Event Management. This week, we learn first-hand how she shifts from the world of live to the world of virtual events and learns how to make the most of the industry's current state.
I will never forget my “ah-ha” moment. You know, the moment when it hits you that you are meant to work in events. I was standing on stage, watching eleven thousand people dance to Big Gigantic in the snow. That’s when I knew I was meant to create unforgettable memories for people.
From then on, I wore several different hats, from planning events for city officials to driving the climb van at Red Rocks. I knew that I wanted to keep bringing life and happiness to people, no matter the job title.
My birthday is at the beginning of March, and that’s when rumors began to fly about the ‘Stay at Home’ orders. Four days later, our lives changed. No one thought six months later we would still be in a pandemic and no longer planning events. The simple familiarity of strapping on a radio and calling for a “radio check” or hearing “THIS IS AN ALL CALL” is gone.
Lifestyle Engineered Events was started in 2017 by our President, Scotty Nichols, with a simple ideal – to live the life you love. Lifestyle truly cares about crafting the best teams to produce the most incredible events. We specialize in delivering strategic and memorable live experiences, and we’re designed to cater to all events of any scope and scale. Our wide range of in-house services and capabilities allow us to be leaders in the industry while still being agile enough to adapt to any of our clients’ needs.
This quick and adaptive spirit is what made it possible for us to shift when the pandemic hit. We were told things would be back to “normal” by Fall. Thinking, “No problem, it will just be a couple of months of radio silence” (pun intended). But unfortunately, every day that something happened, or changed, which pushed dates back, was another day where our stomachs sank. 182 days have passed, and we are faced with the harsh reality that live events will not happen in a format that we are used to. Thousands of people will not be bopping their heads, shoulder to shoulder any time soon. We knew we must figure out a way to create happiness and memories for fans still.
Over the last several months, Scotty and I have been working together with our subcontractors researching COVID Protocols. One of which included best practices for shipping gear out to artists to ensure they remain safe. We have done a lot of research to find the best platform to share and seamlessly connect people while providing presenters or facilitators have the right tools to capture their presentation or show while keeping their audience engaged.
Here are just a few of the essential things that we found that need to be considered when throwing an event during these times:
Each state, city, and county has different protocols regarding COVID-19; being aware of their rules and guidelines is vital.
The safety of clients, talent, and staff is the number one priority. We show them the precautions our team is taking to make them feel comfortable. IE: Properly disinfecting and sealing gear being shipped, including instructions to set up any equipment.
Research each city you are interested in activating for their events permit process and its parameters and timelines.
Establish a plan for onsite shoots for live streams that ensure the health and safety of others.
Create a credential plan that meets event operational needs and public safety, health, and security protocols.
Develop plans & review in conjunction with the client, policy, procedure, and duty of care responsibilities while providing documentation for all event staff and guests.
Within the events industry, we all become family. Each one of us brings a different talent, knowledge, skills, and ideas to the table. Lifestyle used 20+ years of experience and connections to start the conversation on how to adapt while continuing to build the partnership with contractors and clients.
Every day we scroll to catch up on the news, friends, and family. That got us thinking, how can we use this as a tool to stay connected?!
Finding a platform that is able to connect to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok simultaneously was our goal. Several of our projects currently are able to bring featured artists and guest talent together remotely for virtual performances or “live stream events”. Throughout the stream, artists can sing multiple fan-favorite songs and can be joined by special guests that provide information about the cause or client. To further engage with viewers, we are able to display fan comments by pulling them from socials and posting them on-air to the stream via a live studio platform.
By identifying the needs of all parties involved, from clients to artists, we ensure that the show looks amazing and all deliverables are being met. We learned there are many roadblocks and challenges in this new world of events, but being able to be transparent and open to learning will help us as events evolve.
Events will continue to change over the next year but we are hoping to connect with fans LIVE again soon, most likely through drive-in shows at a safe social distance. Until then, we will keep utilizing everyday tools and stay connected.