Depending on where you live, you have likely been in lockdown or quarantine for several weeks or months already. Also likely, is that you have seen a massive influx of live streams and social media posting from the industry around the globe. As social distancing has forced us to find new ways to connect and communicate, the hospitality industry has flocked to Instagram, Zoom, Facebook, HouseParty and other video streaming platforms during the new normal. Business Insider reports that Instagram Lives have increased a whopping 70% in use in the U.S. alone over the last month. However, as content creators ourselves at Thirsty, we know that not all content is created the same. So we spoke to some of the most active streamers & uploaders to give you some tips on how to up your Live or Series game whether it is cocktail tutorials, interviews, workouts virtual happy hours, or other original show ideas.
Tips from Some of the Most Active Virtual “Show Hosts” Around the Industry
Go for it! If you want to get creative, now is the time. Survey what content is already out there and being produced, and find ways to generate new and exciting programming or segments. We all know how to make an old fashioned, but what spin can you put on it to keep consumers and viewers engaged? Take the time to incubate your idea, test out some media platforms to see what works best for you, and then put yourself out there. There is a lot of vulnerability with putting yourself on camera, but think of it as the same vulnerability of putting yourself behind the bar for hundreds of strangers in a night during a shift. And don’t be afraid to adapt and change what you’re doing based on how people respond to it!
Focus on community.
Like the virus, this isn’t about you, or any individual. This is about US and how WE get through it. Keep the focus on the group and not any particular individual.
Understand the technology.
A roomful of people all trying to speak at once is chaotic IRL; much moreso virtually. Designate one person to “run the room” being responsible for who’s speaking and when, and monitoring when the room is open for anyone to talk.
Real World Rules Around Respect And Consent.
We’ve now spent a few years educating ourselves on the nature of enthusiastic consent and preventing sexual harassment in bars. These same rules apply virtually. Any kind of speech that would be inappropriate in a bar–racism, religious intolerance, sexual or gender harassment–should not be tolerated online.
Kindness and Compassion In And Beyond The Virtual Space.
The connections you form in virtual space count as much (or more) than the ones you make IRL. This past weekend we hosted an actual wedding, officiated by our co-host, Daniella Veras, a licensed minister, for a couple who’s wedding was canceled due to stay-at-home regulations. A registry was created, gifts were bought, a formal ceremony was conducted, and a virtual reception lasted until from midnight the sunrise. People you interact with virtually are real people with real feelings and real lives. Conduct yourselves in a way that you would be happy to continue once stay-at-home restrictions have been lifted.
I will be completely honest that I do not consider myself a “true” expert on social media or hosting, but I have been doing quite a lot of live interviews lately to promote PR Cocktail Week and my bars in Puerto Rico. My best recommendation is to properly prepare yourself ahead of time and think about what you want to do and say with your time. Write down a list of key talking points to all of the guides you need to do it the right way and don’t over stress about it, this is the right time to start with your first lives because everyone is in their houses
Be inclusive and personal, try to make it feel like a 1:1 experience for the viewer.
Get a dang tripod and a ring light already, your future self will thank you.
We like to imagine we have our own little talk show and our friends are the guests! The chemistry is important and works best if you either know each other or make a point to touch base and get on the same page before you go live.
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