Eccam Live LEAP Recap - How to Host a Virtual Event on Altar Live

Eccam Live LEAP Recap - How to Host a Virtual Event on Altar Live

Even though this year’s LEAP Into Tools and Tactics was the third time Ecamm hosted their conference on the Altar Live platform, we here at Altar still learned a lot - both from the sessions themselves and the way they used the platform. 

We’ll leave a recap of the content to Ecamm’s own replay passes, but let’s take a look at how Ecamm used Altar to create a unique and engaging educational experience.

What is LEAP?

LEAP is Ecamm’s annual virtual summit for all things live streaming. While not a church, Ecamm has used Altar Live for the past few years to bring their virtual conferences to life.

This year’s event kicked off strong with a warm welcome from co-hosts Doc Rock and Katie Fawkes. By the first keynote, attendees had leaped head-first into connecting and enjoyed some classic fun in virtual rows. The sessions featured live presentations from speakers, with lively chat discussions. Doc later joined speakers on stage to read questions out loud from the chat for casual Q&A sessions. Over the three-day conference, there were both AFK lunch breaks to recharge and online networking sessions in Altar’s lobby space.

#1 - Format Your Questions

For both hosts and speakers, an active chat is both exciting and overwhelming. During Q&A sessions, Paul Duncan posted a friendly reminder to format all questions with a “Q:” in front of them. Throughout the event, this became known as the ‘q-colon”, and those who both enforced and forgot it were playfully called out - don’t let Paul catch you!

What we learned: Creating a special (yet simple) format for questions allows speakers to find and address them quickly. It also allows conversation to continue, and guests to weigh in on the question without disrupting the stream.

💡Pro tip: Leave time for Q&A - it creates a space for your chat to engage with the speakers directly without interrupting the presentation.

#2 Just roll with it

Even the most professional of streams can have unexpected twists and turns. From fire alarms to on-the-road technical difficulties (adjusting to someone else’s mouse setup is painful), the LEAP event wasn’t script-perfect, but their reactions were enough to make an improv troupe proud. When the unexpected occurred, they didn’t try to cover it up. Instead, they brought the audience into the situation in a fun and engaging manner. Instead of muting or just carrying on, Doc addressed the fire alarm and kept the conversation going, without creating an elephant in the room. And when speakers forgot a step or a bit of setup, they acknowledged it with humor and humility, and the chat was there to back them up.

What we learned: You can’t expect the unexpected - but you can use it as an opportunity to connect with your audience and bring them into your “real world”.

#3 Be Present

Not only did Ecamm have an amazing lineup of speakers, but they were familiar faces. When they weren’t on stage, many of the speakers were in the audience rows and the chat, encouraging the presenters and engaging in conversation. 

While they took shifts, the hosts and greeters didn’t change every session. Guests were able to recognize the team running the chat across sessions, making the chat a little less formal and more like, well, a chat!

What we learned: Having the faces on the stage be the same faces in the chat and the rows makes the event more personal and connected.

#4 Create a human-centric schedule

While it’s tempting to line up content back-to-back, creating a human-centric plan could create a more engaging environment. 

Ecamm’s sessions were scheduled in 45 min blocks, with 15 min of buffer time in between. Often, that buffer time was used to avoid cutting off a lively conversation, while still making sure everyone had time to switch to the next session.

Ecamm also built in AFK and casual co-working time into their schedule. Frequently throughout breaks, the hosts encouraged stepping away from the screen, grabbing a coffee, and resetting before coming back ready to learn.

What we learned: Virtual spaces are still built for real people. Crafting your event with human needs and behaviors in mind creates a more personal and authentic experience.

#5 Use Profile Pictures

This one’s simple, but it made a big difference. One of the amazing things about Eccam’s events is seeing everyone’s face (both headshots and avatars) fill up the rows and chat. For the speakers, adding a profile image connects the content on the stage back to the chat. For hosts and attendees, having a face associated with their message makes them easily identifiable between sessions - you can tell without even reading their nametag who they are, just like an in-person conference.

What we learned: Adding a profile image isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but it adds a memorable touch to your messages.

Want to read more? Check out our article on how Ecamm hosted a virtual Christmas party using Altar Live!

Who We Are

Altar Live is an online church platform designed for faith communities to livestream services and host interactive and engaging events.

Whether in your browser or mobile device, our simple, intuitive platform gathers your people together online in real-time. Here, they can worship together in watch parties, freely socialize at virtual tables together, and find private places to pray with each other.

Altar Live holds 3 major components: Events, Meetings, and Rooms.

With a church platform like Altar Live, anyone can easily create an engaging online church service that can bring people together regardless of location.

The Altar Live team is honored to be able to provide video conferencing software, consulting & training for churches, reach every person on the other side of the screen, and create a community online.

📞 Book a call with our online church engagement consultant who can help you increase engagement by over 50%