When drafting an agenda the following aspects should be taken into account:
- Time of your event
An event can last from 30 minutes to several hours. Take into account that it is harder to stay focussed for a long time during an online demo compared to an on-farm demo. Limit the time of your event or make sure that you provide sufficient interaction and breaks between different agenda items. For example, Unicef guidelines state that a webinar takes 60-90 minutes (https://www.unicef.org/knowledge-exchange/files/Webinar_production.pdf). We recommend to keep your virtual demos to less than an hour. Several shorter demo event will work better than one long one. (https://coast.noaa.gov/data/digitalcoast/pdf/facilitating-virtual-meetings.pdf)
- Include time for a demonstration
Each virtual demo event should have some kind of visual or testimony that refers to an on-farm practice. This can be a video (an old or new one), pictures, a testimony of a farmer, a ppt-presentation with research results, live streaming, simulations, virtual reality, … . We suggest to use a video or testimony rather than a Powerpoint presentation, because it links more to the real practice. Make sure you know how to share your computer audio with the audience if you want to show a video by using shared screens on the platform.
- Include time for interaction
It is very important to include in your agenda time for interaction between the participants and the demonstrators and amongst participants. Also think in advance about how you will facilitate and stimulate the interaction. Some platforms have the option to make break out rooms, in which participants are redirected automatically to virtual rooms with a smaller number of participants. This increases the ability for peer interaction.
The demonstration of your virtual event can have multiple formats, and it should be prepared in advance of the event. The most used formats will probably be videos and ppt-presentations. But also other formats are possible, for example, testimonials, live-streaming, simulations, (serious)games, virtual reality, ...
There are different ways to make a video. You could produce one by recording images and storylines yourself, but you can also make whiteboard videos, or animated videos in Microsoft Powerpoint. You can also easily convert a presentation into a video in Microsoft Powerpoint.
- This document provides you all you need to know for the development of a good video: which materials to use, the writing of a script, the publication of your video, ...
- Watch these tutorials and on how to produce a video
How to conduct interviews for videos?
How to create footage for videos?
How to edit clips?
How to make a good presentation?
Online presentations differ from live presentations because the participants get distracted easier and you speak to a camera rather than to a physical audience. Thus, it is important that you have a story that sticks with your participants. In achieving this, there are 3 golden rules to follow (https://thefloorisyours.be/en/onlinepresentations):
- Have a plan: a well thought-out structure that guides you through your story
- Engage until the end: make it exciting, reward you audience for their attention by giving them a concrete insight, look for wow-factors, after each step summarize what you did, ask questions regularly.
- Keep it as short as possible: focus on the essentials and refer to additional information or divide your presentation in shorter ones
Virtual reality as demonstration?
The PLAID virtual farm was produced, as a proof of concept, as part of the PLAID H2020 project. It was developed as a means to widen access to on farm demonstration, using digital technology. A simulated gaming platform was created, to represent a typical mixed farm in Europe. The platform can host 360 degree videos (omni-directional), of agricultural innovations, giving viewers access to information hosted at one site, reducing the need and time required to search for relevant information. The 360 degree videos can record experiences difficult to achieve at a live demonstration, for example, an unique angle of machinery or view of practical animal husbandry not easily obtained. The experience is often different from that obtained at a live event.
The virtual farm combines the use of gaming technology, already in use, with knowledge that can be useful to farmers, advisors and other stakeholders. The platform can be used on a standard desk top or laptop or using an android phone and cardboard headset to get an immersive experience.
The Virtual Farm was widely showcased across Europe and was warmly received. The proof of concept is being further developed, professionally, to produce a fully functional virtual experience that can be used to widen experiences, giving a wider audience the opportunity to experience innovations, when required.