Earlier this year, numerous events were suddenly canceled as COVID-19 was officially announced as a worldwide pandemic and social distancing immediately began to take place. Montana FFA's State Convention, the largest youth conference in the state, was among the first round events that was cancelled.
With numerous, highly-anticipated awards and the official selection of a new officer team awaiting to be announced, the current leadership at the time began looking for solutions to try and virtualize FFA Convention.
The Challenge: To transform the emotional energy found at traditional FFA conventions and transform it into an informative, entertaining, and engaging online experience.
After partnering with AgriStudios and launching a virtual convention experience, hundreds of members and guests across Montana and beyond attended and left very positive feedback about the experience. The 2019-2020 state officer team was very pleased as well.
"AgriStudios filmed and edited our Convention, but in reality, AgriStudios gave us the opportunity to have a convention. Without the hard work and dedication provided to us, we would never had the chance to reach our members and celebrate our accomplishments together. AgriStudios brought us together."
-2019-20 State Officer Team
Screenshots from the Virtual Experience
The Success Behind the Convention
Several key factors played a part in the overall success of launching Montana FFA's first virtual convention. Here's a few of the primary ones:
1. Using Innovate Technology and High Production Quality
People are not likely to stick around for the whole stream if you're just using a webcam and have terrible audio. At the same time, an arena-sized multi-million dollar broadcast setup would have been overkill for this particular event. Modern graphics, professional audio quality, and high definition cameras and lighting, however, might keep people around if the content itself is also engaging.
2. Choosing the Right Platforms for Promotion and Streaming
Different audiences tend to use different platforms for different reasons. In the case of Montana FFA, Facebook was a key tool to both market and execute the upcoming convention streams due to its wide user base and powerful video impressions. Followers were much more likely to scroll across and ongoing convention stream that autoplays than they were to scroll across a YouTube link. However, YouTube was still used due to it's much easier link-sharing and embedding abilities.
3. Creating a Reason for People to Attend
By basing the virtual convention streams around highly-anticipated announcements, people had a reason to tune in. Featuring giveaways based on live attendance is also a great way to get people into attending the virtual experience live.
4. Creating Redundancy in Case of Technical Failure Points
Technology is amazing, but it isn't always perfect. This is why AgriStudios has invested in a stream simulation and simelcasting server, which allows us to pre-record and distribute a stream as if live, to multiple platforms at the same time (Facebook and YouTube in this case). We did have an issue with Facebook stopping our stream feed, so we quickly responded by temporarily redirecting viewers to a YouTube link to the same stream while resolving the issue with Facebook. Future measures will be put in place to prevent this from happening again, but having this safety net in the first place is critical.
5. Excellent Teamwork with Montana FFA
As a supporter of the Montana FFA Organization, AgriStudios is proud to have had the opportunity to work with outstanding leaders in FFA and the future agronomists, engineers, crop technicians, livestock genetics experts, and other agricultural professionals of America. FFA is truly a unique, powerful, traditional, and innovative organization that any middle of high school student needs to check out!
To learn more about Montana FFA and catch a recording of the virtual convention experience, visit montanaffa.org.
Ready to build your virtual experience? Let's Get Started Today!