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Hybrid Meetings: Wardrobe Dos and Don'ts

August 1, 2013

Congratulations…your session has been chosen to be live streamed and you get to connect with the virtual audience! That means that you will now be on-camera, so there is not only an additional audience, but an additional medium, that you need to consider in your preparation.

Hopefully the meeting planner or conference organizer has coordinated with you and advised you on everything you need to make an informed decision as to what to wear during your session. If not, be sure to ask for the following information:

  1. What color is the background and what does it look like? Can you see a rendering, picture, or graphic to get a visual of what you will be in front of?
  2. Will you be sitting or standing? If you are standing, do you get to move or are you stationary? Are you behind a podium or a lectern? If so, how high is it? What color is it? If you are sitting, will you be in a high chair or a short chair? Will you be facing the audience straight on or will you be angled to the side? Is it a couch? What color is the chair or couch?
  3. What arrangements have been made for lighting? What type of lights are in the room? What type of lights will be brought in? Is it a room-flood? Is there a backlight?
  4. What type of microphone will you be using? Is it a lavaliere with a belt pack or a hand-held?
  5. What are the colors of the conference branding? What additional colors will be on the virtual platform that surround the stream window?

Once you have this information you can start selecting your wardrobe.

What to Wear:

  • wear something that is comfortable and makes you feel confident
  • wear something that projects the image you wish to portray to your audience
  • wear something that is appropriate for your audience, your session, and the conference
  • wear something that compliments the colors of the backdrop and the virtual platform
  • wear clean, freshly pressed clothing
  • wear natural fabrics
  • wear comfortable shoes
  • wear simple accessories and jewelry
  • wear appropriate undergarments

What Not to Wear:

  • avoid wearing colors that will blend in or clash with the color of the background and the virtual platform
  • avoid wearing white, bright yellow, black, and red
  • avoid wearing colors that are close to the skin tone
  • avoid wearing pinstripes, plaid, herringbone, hounds tooth, polka dots, checks, and loud patterns
  • avoid wearing shiny or reflective clothing, accessories, tie clips, neckties, and jewelry
  • avoid wearing clothing, accessories, or jewelry that makes noise
  • avoid wearing short skirts, especially if seated
  • avoid wearing sleeveless shirts or blouses
  • avoid wearing wrinkled clothing or fabrics that wrinkle

Things to Consider:

  • if you are going to wear a lavaliere microphone, be sure to wear a stiffer fabric on top and be sure to wear bottoms that have a waistband
  • if you are going to use a hand-help microphone, avoid wearing dark colors on top
  • if no additional lighting has been brought in, wear lighter or brighter colored fabrics
  • if you are going to be sitting, wear clothes that do not grab, pull, or feel uncomfortable around the midsection
  • if you have a co-presenter, be sure to coordinate your wardrobe
  • if your feet will be shown, wear closed-toed shoes and appropriate socks/hosiery
  • ladies should wear undergarments that are close to the skin tone or to the color of the top

When in doubt, feel free to bring a few options to the conference and speak to the producer, camera operator, or virtual emcee to see which is best.

Break a leg!

Hybrid Meeting Consultant/Virtual Emcee Emilie Barta's 15-plus years of broadcast/video experience AND live event experience enable her to help meeting, conference and trade show organizers plan successful, visually stimulating and interactive hybrid events. Emilie Barta Productions maintains a website at www.emiliebarta.com.

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About the author
Emilie Barta