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Like many businesses, we had to pivot dramatically to adapt to Covid essentially shutting down two of our key specialist sectors – travel and hospitality.

While we knew our way around recording Insta-content on iPhones, broadcasting LIVE to 80 guests around the country wasn’t an internal content service. Until Covid. In 36 hours we managed to set up an amazing travelling tech combo and template to broadcast amazing live content that’s seen terrific engagement.

Here’s 6 tips for making a live virtual masterclass seamless:

1. Talent is everything.

Ideally, two people on screen to bounce off of eachother (and fill in when someone goes blank). Talent need to dial up the charisma – the screen dulls this so it definitely needs to dial up. Move arms and show enthusiasm.

2. Map out run order, timing, what you want to cover and REHEARSE.

In the rehearsal monitor chemistry, timings, and flow alongside picture and sound. Keep timing tight. There’s no set time amount it should be – only create content that is worth. If that’s 5 minutes, 15, or 45 that’s great. But don’t talk for 45 minutes when it really can be covered in 15.

3. Invest in one of the latest iPhone or iPads with 12x camera and 4K video.

A Gen 2 iPad won’t cut it (we tried). Sure, it’s exy but you can do Afterpay and if you’re a business, banks have quite a few interest free loans at the moment to help businesses who need to invest in things that will help them get back on their feet.

4. Get wireless mics.

You need the sound to be spot on. There’s been research that shows people will put up with a loss of picture longer than they will sound. See our gear guide below for the bits and pieces.

5. Engage with the audience.

Ask them questions and encourage them to wave, cheers, and write their comments in the chat box. Look at the camera like you’re talking directly to the audience – it helps to have a laptop with the audience web cams on it so you feel like you’re talking to someone.

6. Mute all upon entry.

It’s a setting in Zoom. Use it! Also enable waiting room so you can let the callers in when you’re ready.

See below for our gear guide.

Destination NSW Quarantini hour at Quay Restaurant with head sommelier Shanteh Wong and Mike Bennie, freelance wine and drinks writer, journalist and presenter. Photo Jane Dempster.

GEAR GUIDE

Our research uncovered Rode as the brand to get. We found music stores (Manny’s Music Alexandria, DJ City, and Mall Music Warringah very helpful). We needed a double set of mics but if you were doing a solo, you could stick with one set.

1. Apple iPad Pro – (we went straight for Apple as we’re most familiar with this but Samsung probably has one just as good).

2. Rode Wireless Go mics – clip and go wireless mics with a transmitter that sits on the host and a receiver which plugs into the iPad. You can use these without a lavalier mic as they have a mic on them, but it’s a bit bulky on the collar.

3. Rode Lavalier Go mics – we had two, one for each host that plugged into the Wireless Go transmitter.

4. Rode SC7 – you need this if you’re connecting the mics to an Apple product with an old-school headphone jack aka TRRS adaptor. For lighting connector, use the SC6-L.

5. The iPad Pro has a USB-C connector not lightning or headphone jack (of course it does!), so we bought this twin headphone jack to USB-C.

Tourism NSW virtual cocktail making session at Brix Distillers with bar and cocktail consultant Charlie Ainsbury and Amy Cooper making a Daiquiri and a Mojito. Photo Jane Dempster.

Tourism NSW virtual cocktail making session at Brix Distillers with bar and cocktail consultant Charlie Ainsbury and Amy Cooper making a Daiquiri and a Mojito. Photo Jane Dempster.

Tourism NSW virtual cocktail making session at Bulletin Place with bartender Elliot Pascoe and Amy Cooper. Photo Jane Dempster.