[vcf-midatlantic] VCF East 2021 Pay Per View Recommendations

jsalzman at gmail.com jsalzman at gmail.com
Wed Sep 22 12:54:06 UTC 2021

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 11:30 PM RETRO Innovations via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> A few other things prompt my response, though I was hesitant to bring
> them up:

I think any kind of constructive criticism would be welcomed by the show

>   * The production quality of the 2020 show was not that good.  It was
>     perfect for a free live show, but if you PPV it, I think the quality
>     needs a marked improvement, and that's tough to do on such short
>     notice. I went back and rewatched some of it the other day (to find
>     the Mensch presentation), and the memory is fresh.  I mean no
>     disrespect, as it's a volunteer effort, etc. Still, if you charge,
>     the expectations rise.

I felt sort of the same way. While I believe the best was done under the
circumstances, based on experience, resources, and constraints for a first
ever endeavor of this kind for the event, it was done quite well. However,
there is room for improvement. The one thing I noticed that seemed out of
place was the bumper video between sessions. It seemed like it was selected
in haste, and looked rather "neo-retro" than actual retro/vintage. The
music and text activity just seemed out of place for the content it was
tying together.

I know we're only three weeks away, and another bumper video may have been
selected or created by now, but if not, perhaps someone within earshot of
this thread might want to flex their creative muscle and create a looping
bumper video that fits the period of the content. Or maybe even
representing the content, along with some period appropriate background
music. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it would greatly complement the
content if it better resembled the content.

  * Do physical attendees to the show get a free pass to the live
>     shows?  If not, that's concerning, because someone of us use the
>     live feeds to help with presence at the physical show.  But, doing
>     so makes for more work, and so I assume the answer to this is no.

I don't completely understand this. I don't see where a paid access stream
mechanism wouldn't allow for free access tokens to be issued. So therefore,
it shouldn't be a problem granting access for in person attendees, but with
an access charge of $0.

On the other hand, exhibitors and vendors would also classify as "physical
attendees." My concern is if an exhibitor uses direct access to streaming
content going on during show hours that they would be distracted from those
visiting their exhibit while watching a stream. We do recommend that
exhibitors provide full attention to their exhibit for the benefit of
attendees. However, I think our exhibitors are professional enough to not
be distracted like that.

  * It seems like a short runway to make this successful, given that the
>     show is less than 3 weeks. Again, people will be fine with a best
>     effort free live feed, but PPV folks will expect more.  Have all the
>     presenters been prepped for a live virtual feed so they can prep
>     their materials to look best for both in person and virtual
>     presentation?  Split screen?  Demo screens? I know if I were a
>     presenter, I would not want to show up, do my regular prez, find out
>     later it was part of a PPV feed, and then have the people who
>     watched my prez complain that they could not see the materials
>     because they were not optimized for the virtual feed.

There is plenty of PPV content out there that's little more than someone
flipping front/back cameras on their phones, yet people subscribe to it
like they're buying their favorite candy. I think content trumps production
quality with this venue.

They used OBS last year for live streaming and I see no reason why they
wouldn't, or couldn't, do that again this year. OBS has all sorts of
capabilities to split and flip screens, but I don't think it's critical. I
also don't see why, as a future option, any presenter couldn't learn to
choreograph their own presentation to that level if they desired.

  * Relatedly, are the big presenters OK with monetizing a virtual
>     version of their presentations?  Probably they are not, but I think
>     they should be asked and have agreed before the show begins.  I know
>     Michael is touchy about his materials and their use (personal
>     experience here).

This is a non-issue. Every exhibitor is presenting their content to
physical attendees anyway. All we're doing with PPV is adding virtual
attendees that will ALSO be paying. Any compensation that has been
negotiated with "big presenters" was negotiated on the understanding that
we won't have an exact count of attendees, so adding more attendees of any
type shouldn't make any difference.

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