We have truly embraced our uncertainties by witnessing a landmark shift to virtual events: Khyati Kava
In an interview with Everything Experiential, Khyati shared her experience of hosting digital events, its challenges and more.
It is a tough job to engage audience attention and entertain them especially when everything transfers to the online mode. But a live artist’s passion helps them to do so easily.
Live Host and Anchor, Khyati Kava has been interested and involved in all things related to the stage- whether it be anchoring, dancing, or theatre. So, when she encountered an opportunity to anchor events at her college she grabbed it immediately. At the time, it was a part-time gig for silly things like pocket money. The part-time gig unsurprisingly turned into a full-time profession. And she has never looked back since.
In an interview with Everything Experiential, she shared her experience of hosting digital events, its challenges and more.
How are live artists adjusting to the lockdown and Covid times?
Like every citizen of the world, trying to survive. It began with fear and then insecurity grew and had left most of us feeling flummoxed. Financial hit was huge as no income was possible for 3-4 months straight & with every industry struggling, hiring artists was the last thought.
But artists' passion and resilience to maintain their own sanity & sanity of people they are connected to, remained unfettered. This gave birth to a whole new space for live artists to share information & entertain, online. So many new concepts and live shows & digital content is created by artists in these difficult times.
COVID-19 has affected our lives the way we used to live, but it will not change our basic human needs, we still want to stay connected, we still want to celebrate and we still want to be creative.
With everything happening online, the live events industry went through a big transformation as well. How did you adapt to this change?
It’s a big change for all of us who are a part of this industry. We’ve had to change and evolve through this pandemic & in hindsight its a push for all of us to be more conscious and mindful and try newer things.
I for one went from being digitally shy to digitally savvy. I creatively collaborated with many of my fellow artists. All the energy saved from traveling and being on stage physically, I channelled it towards more creative endeavours and came up with different concepts and started hosting digital shows like Konversation with Khyati on instagram, a fun cooking show – Keeping it Light with The Hungry Sisters and artyKAL which talks about the future of art and sustainable living (its really close to my heart) on Facebook and YouTube.
As Einstein once said, ‘The true source of knowledge is experience’. And this experience has helped me in hosting virtual events for many different agencies and organisations.
Tell us about some of your recent events.
I had the opportunity to host virtual events of different formats which used different technologies. AgencyCon Summit & Awards 2020 was a full day of discussions, entertainment and awards all done for a virtual audience that stayed with us through the day on ZOOM and Facebook.
Much recently I hosted a launch event for Britannia, which was exclusive for their partners, where I recorded a voice-over for their IVR call as well. Moving from corporates to social sector where I hosted the Internationat e-mushaiyra to support the literary heritage where Internationally acclaimed poets from around the world joined in and performed.
Infact, I hosted many prestigious events for exchange4media online as I had done offline. Most recent one was e4m Content Jam 2020. It's an exciting new arena to play in.
Has the online transition made your job easy? Tell us some of the positives of hosting events online?
I wouldn’t say easy but it’s a lot more convenient. I am in the safety of my own house and can work in the comfort of it. There are so many positives of hosting online for instance the flow of content can be managed very well and also during the event, each speakers online entry and exit is secured by the tech manager.
Audience is instantly engaged and responds to call to action by the host. I have personally seen engagement to be higher in online events then in physical events. With new technology the role of an emcee is also evolving and new dimensions have opened up.
On a lighter note, I get breaks between sessions where I can eat hot home cooked meals, sometimes wear pajamas below a formal jacket for comfort, no heels, and most of all I am never late as there is no traffic jam to reach my online event. (laughs)
Tell us some of the challenges that you have faced while hosting a virtual event.
Some of the biggest challenges are the ones that are mostly not in our control. For example, sudden drop in the bandwidth of the internet. Application crashing down or power fluctuations. But slowly & steadily all of these problems are vanishing.
Another challenge is to take care of all the technical requirements which were previously fulfilled by sound and light technicians. Now you have to make sure the sound is right, learn the rules of lighting and what works best on camera.
More than anything else miss the energy of my audience, I try to combat that by keeping engagement high during my virtual events.
How is the rest of 2020 looking & what are you looking forward to?
Witnessing our landmark shift to virtual events from live events in a matter of months, we have truly embraced our uncertainties. However, all the enthusiasm and vibe associated with my hosting, hasn't changed. With virtual hosting, now I can equally ace the digital space. I am looking forward to hone and enhance my skills as a speaker no matter the medium. Creating impact and making a difference through my skills.
Be it corporate conference or panel discussions or award ceremony, celebrity interviews, cooking or game shows, I'd love to enhance the energy and aura of the event and provide a profound support leveraging my decade plus experience in hosting across the globe!
In the rest of 2020, let's bring about a compelling change that would only set the standards higher.
Let's all reboot in a positive way for a positive future!
Do you think online connection is disconnecting us emotionally?
That is the balance we need to find, and that has been my endeavour through my commercial work and all my initiatives to be as authentic and real as possible. Only then your online connection will have value and enrich your experience.
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