When Centrifuge first called me for an opportunity to emcee a virtual event in late 2020, I was just a few months removed from my nearly 7-year career in television news and was actively hunting for my post-journalism adventure.
“A virtual event? Sounds interesting,” I told Jack McDonald and Chris Dahnke over the phone. I had never emceed a virtual event before, but I knew my TV news experience would come in handy (they did, too).
At the time I had no idea just how much my background as a reporter and anchor would be utilized over the course of that four-day product launch. And now, I can’t imagine a successful virtual (or hybrid) event of any kind without an emcee, particularly someone with a background like mine. A bold and self-promoting statement, I know – but hear me out.
The list of benefits for involving a trained TV journalist as an emcee/host/moderator (all relatively the same) is extensive. An obvious pro is that we have the skillset for speaking into a camera with that classic news anchor cadence and annunciation.
There’s a handful of less obvious, but possibly more important, reasons we will elevate an event and make it a truly memorable experience for the audience and presenters – all translatable from the 6 o’clock evening news:
Much like moving a broadcast along between the hard and light stories, reporters, sports and weather, a TV anchor-turned emcee will carry the burden of transitioning between speakers and content. This alleviates the responsibility from presenters and allows them to focus on the reason they’re there, nothing more.