Audiences today want more "bang for their buck" when it comes to presentations. With progression in technology tools and online demos, bullet points and data slides aren't cutting it anymore. And presenters everywhere are stepping up to the challenge.
The reality is that many people are now using new tools for presenting information. PowerPoint competitors are springing up all over the place in this YouTube world, and online solutions—like Sliderocket and Google Presentations—are starting to give PowerPoint a run for its money. Appealing animations, easy integration of video and Web-based streams are just some of the features available out of the box. These will get "oohs" and "ahs" out of the right audience.
But, from a conference host's perspective, as presentations become more sophisticated, so will the methods for recording and managing them. There are many solutions out there that work wonderfully with PowerPoint slides and static web pages. But what about all the demos?
When working with a vendor who is recording your conference presentation it is important to understand a few key issues:
1. Do they require that the presenter have special software installed in order to record their demo? If they do, then software licenses and compatibility may be an issue. Also, you would need to ask the presenter if they would be comfortable with loading a new piece of software onto their own laptop.
2. What kind of distribution methods are available? Can these presentations be published online? And if so, what kind of hosting fees can I expect. Streaming video and audio can be quite costly, especially if the vendor does not have their own video hosting platform.
3. Can the viewers interact with the content online? In this world of MySpace, Facebook and Wikipedia, Web savvy users want to be able to interact with your content. A 40-minute presentation may be very interesting, but wouldn't it be great to share it with others and form a conversation around it? See what kind of interactive community tools your vendor offers in conjunction with their Web publishing platform.
Remember that your conference content is an incredible asset. It builds community, brand awareness and phenomenal marketing opportunities. Make sure that it is captured correctly, because you only get one chance on site.
Seth Markowitz is the founder of crowdbox, a social networking and video publishing platform for conferences (www.crowdbox.com).