corporate video Tag

Greg Shapiro Netherlands Cheerleader

Greg Shapiro ‘NETHERLANDS CHEERLEADER’

Greg Shapiro ‘NETHERLANDS CHEERLEADER’ – Speakers Academy Magazine, 2022-23
by Jacques Geluk

Greg Shapiro is world-famous, ever since he perfectly imitated Donald Trump’s voice in Arjen Lubach’s ‘Netherlands Second’ video. (It’s since been viewed almost 30 million times). Shapiro is already known in the Netherlands for his work with Boom Chicago comedy theater, and previously as host and writer of Comedy Central News. Now, he is also an author and vlogger, and he frequently focuses on the Netherlands and Dutch innovations – a self-proclaimed ‘cheerleader for the Netherlands.’

Shapiro moved to the Netherlands in 1994 and is married to a Dutch woman. “Came for work, stayed for love.” By now he has lived here more than half his life, hence he knows both American and Dutch culture quite well. He often gives a ‘Masterclass’ in Dutch culture called ‘Culture Shock Therapy,’ or additionally ‘How to Be Dutch: the Quiz.’

Given Shapiro’s unique Dutch-American status, he is a popular bilingual speaker at major events. He is known for hosting or performing for NATO, for the president of France, and for King Willem Alexander. “I’ve lived here long enough to be proud of the Netherlands, but I’m still American enough to not care how loud I am about it,” says Greg in his native language. “I am frequently asked by Dutch or multinational companies for business events, often to talk about culture shock. I confront the stereotypes like sex, drugs – and Dutch cheapness. Then I go into more detail, realizing that it’s actually better here than I was used to in America. As ‘The American Netherlander’ [which is also the title of his last book from 2020], I am already a fan of Dutch inventions, innovations, water management. I’ve become a kind of cheerleader.”

 

Business card

Shapiro finds it interesting that the ‘Netherlands Second’ video has been used by Prince Constantijn and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency during trade missions – as a kind of business card. “And as far as water management is concerned, yes there’s the Afsluitdijk – a marvel of water engineering. And there’s the Deltaworks in Zeeland – but also the New Orleans Deltaworks, built with the help of Dutch engineers at Royal Haskoning. It’s like the old commercials from Centrale Beheer: ‘Have a problem? Better call the Netherlands.’ Hurricane Katrina? Better call the Netherlands. Containership stuck in the Suez Canal? Better call the Netherlands (Boslkalis).”

“So many examples to mention! And not only foreigners are surprised to learn these companies are Dutch – it’s Dutch people too. Dutch folks are not giving themselves enough credit. That’s where I come in. And I’m collecting new examples all the time – for the shows and projects I do for clients like TU Delft, for Mosa Meat (lab-grown ‘cultivated’ meat) and for Wageningen University & Research.”

Event Host of the day

As an ‘improv comedian’, Greg Shapiro is also the almost ideal event host of the day. He puts guests, audience and organizations at ease with a lot of humor and always without being rude. If something goes wrong with the sound, a speaker who is not comfortable, the timing or the connection during a webinar… he improvises immediately, thanks to his many years of theater experience. “The unexpected actually makes it all a bit more lively and interesting for everyone.”

Greg Shapiro Netherlands Cheerleader 

Greg Shapiro NETHERLANDS CHEERLEADER – in het nederlands

‘Een Cheerleader voor Nederland’

Hij is wereldberoemd sinds hij de stem van Donald Trump perfect heeft geïmiteerd in Arjen Lubachs ‘Netherlands Second’ video (inmiddels bijna 30 miljoen keer bekeken). Greg Shapiro is al bekend via Boom Chicago theater en als gastheer en schrijver van Comedy Central News. Nu is hij ook auteur en vlogger, met als onderwerp Nederland en Nederlandse innovaties. Hij is een zelfbenoemd ‘cheerleader van Nederland.’

Greg Shapiro woont sinds 1994 in Nederland en is getrouwd met een Nederlandse. Doordat hij nu al meer dan de helft van zijn leven hier woont kent hij zowel de Amerikaanse als de Nederlandse cultuur heel goed en kan hij ze naast elkaar leggen. Vaak geeft hij een ‘Masterclass’ in Nederlandse cultuur die heet ‘Culture Shock Therapy,’ of zelfs ‘How to Be Dutch: the Quiz.’

Mede daardoor is hij een gewilde tweetalige spreker op grote evenementen, voor zelfs de president van Frankrijk, de NAVO, en voor Koning Willem Alexander. “I’ve lived here long enough to be proud of the Netherlands, but I’m still American enough to not care how loud I am about it”, zegt Greg in zijn eerste moedertaal.

“Ik word meestal gevraagd door multinationale bedrijven voor grote B2B evenementen. Vaak praat ik over cultuurschok, de stereotypes met thema’s als seks, drugs – en de Nederlandse bescheidenheid. Daarna ga ik er dieper op in, beseffend dat het hier eigenlijk beter is dan ik gewend was in Amerika. Eigenlijk ben ik als ‘The American Netherlander’ (wat ook de titel is van mijn laatste boek uit 2020) al fan van Nederlandse uitvindingen, innovaties, watermanagement en andere technieken. Ik ben een soort cheerleader geworden.”

Visitekaartje

Hij vindt het interessant dat de ‘Netherlands Second’- video is gebruikt door prins Constantijn en het Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency tijdens handelsmissies als een soort visitekaartje. “Wat het watermanagement betreft benoem ik net als in de video de Afsluitdijk, een wonder van waterengineering, en maak ik de connectie met de deltawerken, en met de New Orleans deltawerken gebouwd met hulp van Nederlanders. Even Nederland bellen. Ik heb zo veel leuke voorbeelden te noemen! Vaak zijn buitenlanders verbaasd te horen dat de uitvoerende bedrijven Nederlands zijn. Maar vaak zijn ook Nederlanders zelf verbaasd! Dat verwerk ik allemaal in mijn lezingen, voor TU Delft, voor Mosa Meat (kweekvlees) en ook voor een project met Wageningen Universiteit & Research.”
Greg introduceert ook zijn vernieuwde YouTube-kanaal, Climate News Comedy, met nog meer voorbeelden uit Nederland.

 

Dagvoorzitter

Als ‘improv comedian’ is Greg Shapiro bovendien de welhaast ideale dagvoorzitter. Hij stelt gasten, publiek en organisaties op hun gemak met veel humor en altijd zonder grof te zijn. Als iets misgaat met het geluid, een spreker die zich niet comfortabel voelt, de timing of de verbinding tijdens een webinar… improviseert hij onmiddellijk, Geen probleem dankzij zijn langjarige theaterervaring. “Het onverwachte maakt het eigenlijk allemaal nog wat levendiger en interessanter voor iedereen.”

door Jacques Geluk, juli 2022

 

GREG SHAPIRO’S VLOG: ‘WHY THE DUTCH DIG DIGGING’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YILSxeIhWwg

GREG SHAPIRO CORPORATE EVENTS
https://gregshapiro.nl/greg-shapiro-corporate-events/

 

Greg Shapiro Dutch Direct

Dutch Direct vs the Elephant in the Room

Greg Shapiro: ‘Dutch Direct vs the Elephant in the Room’
11 October, 2022

 

As ‘Dutch direct’ as you think may be, it still helps to have an American by your side. Dutch culture prides itself on being ‘Dutch direct,’ which is an indirect way of saying ‘rude.’ Sometimes I get hired by Dutch companies to host their events, to help ‘bridge the cultural gap’ between the older Dutch management and their mostly younger, more international staff. Practically, that means I get to share the stage with them and demonstrate how to not get upset when they say ‘Dutch direct’ things like “I wouldn’t have chosen that outfit” or “Ha ha – that joke didn’t work.”

Lesson Number One: start off by removing the tie.

To show how well integrated I am, I will sometimes respond to Dutch directness by teasing Dutch people right back. It makes the boss more human! There was one Dutch CEO who had a real ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ attitude. He liked to answer questions by saying “Okay, look…” But he was speaking English as a second language. So frequently – instead of saying look – he would use the Dutch word kijk. Luckily, he didn’t pronounce it the ethnic slur way. He said it more like “cake.” So I pointed out that – if he was going to start off every point talking about cake, there had better be some cake by the end of the day. (There was.)

DUTCH DIRECT + Yank Joke

For another event – for another ‘Dutch direct’ CEO – there was an elephant in the room. That’s partly why they’d hired me: to help keep the day loose and informal, so the audience would feel confident enough to ask the difficult questions. And the employees did ask difficult enough questions, about sustainability,  about equal pay, about fair hiring… But then came a question about accusations of fake sustainability claims, ie ‘greenwashing.’ The elephant had arrived! 

The CEO explained that he took the greenwashing accusations very seriously. He admitted that just a couple years ago those accusations would have been partly true. I said “I was here a couple years ago, and I can confirm! The last time I hosted for you guys, you had one HR manager saying ‘sustainability would be a good idea,’ and now she’s on the board as the first ever Chief Sustainability Officer. …And if anyone still comes with complaints that Dutch companies aren’t green enough, remind them that Shell Oil is now located in the UK.”

For more on Greg corporate events: 
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/greg-shapiro-hosts-citizenm-tv-season-2/

Greg Shapiro Sells Potatoes for AGRISTO

Greg Shapiro Sells Potatoes for AGRISTO
14 Sept. 2022

Soda Stream, Dollar Shave Club, Old Spice with Terry Crews… and now Greg Shapiro sells potatoes for Agristo. In an online ad directed by Gouden Kalf winner Dennis Bots. Starring me, parachuting into a potato processing plant in Wielsbeke, Belgium.

Dennis Bots knew me from watching me at Boom Chicago theater in Amsterdam. There was a time I was improvising a James Bond character, and I entered wearing a jumpsuit – which I then removed to reveal a tuxedo. Coincidentally (?) Dennis hired me to appear wearing a skydiving outfit, which I would then pull away to reveal a tailored suit. And that’s how the video opens.

 

WATCH: 

CASTING

Why cast Greg Shapiro to sell potatoes? Dennis wanted John Cleese type to lead the viewer on a tour through the Agristo HQ & potato processing plant. Have you ever seen those truckloads of potatoes trundling down the Dutch and Belgian highways? Now I know where they go: Agristo. Thick-cut Belgian frites, thinly-sliced potato crisps, and even those starchy-molded Pringles. The processing plant was amazing.

 

THE MAKING OF
Day One started outside Agristo HQ, pulling off my flight suit. Then I got to meet the Agristo management team, who were also extras in the video. Some of them dressed as giant potatoes. This was a fun team.

Day Two took place in the processing plant, leading up to the ‘Matrix’ moment. Director Dennis wanted to demonstrate the many, many potatoes flying around the processing plant by recreating the ‘Bullet time’ moment from The Matrix.

There was a stuntman to help me, but I would be bending over backwards myself. The stuntman’s name was one of the more perfect names I’ve ever heard, by the way: Kili Wolf.

foto by Europe’s finest Steadicam man Jo Vermaercke

 

CREDITS

I knew of Dennis from his work directing kids shows like Sinterklaas Journal & Huis Anubis. He’s also done a lot of Belgian Studio 100 productions like K3. And he won his Golden Kalf for Achtste Groepers Huilen Niet. But then he revealed the coolest credits: he helped design some of the rides at amusement park Efteling. He did the Sprookjesboom in the fairytale forest, he did the story behind the rollercoaster Joris en de Draak, and most amazingly he helped design the part dark-ride / part rollercoaster / part wet-ride De Vliegende Hollander.

Producer Reinhout Nechelput revealed at the wrap party that this production was the first with his new production company. It was great. Creatives at Belgian D-artagnan were creative. And branding manager at Agristo was delightful.

 

GREG SHAPIRO PREVIOUS CORPORATE HOSTING
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/greg-shapiro-hosts-citizenm-tv-season-2/

photo: Costume designer Inger Pedersen

Greg Shapiro Hosts CitizenM TV Episode 2

Greg Shapiro Hosts CitizenM TV Episode 2
20 June, 2022

Thanks, Covid! After the 2020 Lockdown canceled Christmas, CitizenM hotel group had to reinvent their annual Christmas party as a TV show in January. Thus ‘CitizenM TV’ was born – with me as the host. It went so well that I was invited back to host the live Christmas party in 2021. But would we be able to have a live Christmas party…?

NO! The latest Covid lockdown kicked in on 18 December, and canceled everything. Which is EXACTLY what CitizenM had predicted when they decided to make CitizenM TV Episode 2. Again, with me as host.


I must admit: when I’d hosted the first CitizenM TV, I’d never stayed at a CitizenM hotel before. I’d been to meetings at the Amsterdam Zuid location, just because it’s a cool place to meet. For Episode 2, I did my homework. I got to do an overnight ‘staycation’ at the Amsterdam Amstel location. And since then I understand their motto ‘affordable luxury.’ More than that, they recognized me from the TV show, and they treated me like one of the family.

The concept for Episode 2 was to show me warming up before the show – IN a CitizenM hotel room. Hence – WARNING: CONTAINS SOME MALE NUDITY. Episode 2 was again produced by Dutch media company GRNDPA. And this time they gave me more to do: I got to interact with CitizenM office staff, dressed as ninjas. And I got to play a mustachioed gym coach (inspired by Ted Lasso’s alter ego Led Tasso). That’s why you can see me yelling at CitizenM employees like Boyan.

Again, I got to chat with founder Rattan Chadha and CEO Klaas van Lookeren, and I noticed that yes they felt even more relaxed and on-message than in Episode 1.

Looking forward to seeing a live Christmas event this year… But if it ends up being CitizenM TV Episode 3, I won’t complain.

Comedian Greg Shapiro hosts CitizenM TV, Episode 2 (Dec. 2021). Produced by GRNDPA, NL.

Greg Shapiro Presents CNC: CLIMATE NEWS COMEDY

Greg Shapiro Presents CNC: CLIMATE NEWS COMEDY
6 June, 2022

What if Climate News could be fun?
These days most people hear the term Climate and get ready for dread. And for good reason.

But the truth is there’s a sustainability boom happening, with lots of clean energy innovations that are genuinely exciting.
…Also, there’s a lot of bullshit sustainability that’s a lot more like ‘greenwashing.’ How to tell the difference?
Introducing a new weekly video series. ‘CNC: Climate News Comedy.’
Anything it takes to make climate news funny.

I’m committing myself to a weekly video of 6 jokes in 60 seconds.
And I’ll post the links as well, to share the good news.  

Greg Shapiro. Putting the GS in SDG’s.

‘G7 countries to Stop Funding Fossil Fuel Development Overseas’
…From now on they’ll only get fossil fuels from UNDER seas.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/30/g7-countries-to-stop-funding-fossil-fuel-development-overseas

‘HUNDREDS OF US CITIES COMPOSTING FOOD WASTE TO CUT TONS OF EMISSIONS.’
…Considering that you could feed that compost to an anaerobic digester and heat your home with it – this headline is kind of like celebrating a touchdown at the 50 yard line.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/200-us-cities-composting-food-waste-to-cut-tons-of-emissions/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_medium=weekly_mailout&utm_source=03-05-2022

‘California Erects Solar Panels Over Canal to Save Huge Supply of Water From Evaporation.’
…The project is scheduled to start 20 years ago, when it might have made a difference.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/california-erects-solar-panels-over-canals-to-save-huge-supply-of-water-from-evaporation/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_medium=weekly_mailout&utm_source=07-03-2022 

‘Man Creates Environmental Charity with €200m Lottery Win.’
… Isn’t that great? All we need to survive on this planet is depend on winning the lottery.   

https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/04/08/my-dream-has-never-been-to-buy-sports-cars-man-creates-environmental-charity-with-200m-jac

‘Dutch Zoo Works with Delft start-up Reefy to Restore Coral Reefs.’
…The start-up ‘Reefy’ is not to be confused with the Dutch stereotype ‘reefer,’ although they are hoping to create some ‘reefy madness.’

Dutch zoo works with Delft start-up to restore coral reefs

‘SEAGRASS – THE PLANT THAT REMOVES CARBON 30 TIMES FASTER THAN A RAINFOREST.’
…Should be grown right next to the Reefy Madness.  

https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/05/03/seagrass-the-plant-that-removes-carbon-30-times-faster-than-a-rainforest?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=green_newsletter&_ope=eyJndWlkIjoiNWRlNmU1MWRmNTNlZDM3ZjY0ZmRhZjIyYWNhNzFkNWIifQ%3D%3D

Also, I’ll put a monthly compilation on YouTube. Here’s the first one: May, 2022.

Greg Shapiro and the Office Jester Team Up for Trump Video

Greg Shapiro and the Office Jester Team Up for Trump Video
24 May 2022

We were both experts in corporate speaking, specifically comedic corporate speaking. Yet we came to our positions from completely different routes. I was a comedian / corporate speaker, and he was an academic / court jester.

1) Comedian / Corporate Speaker. Me, I started out at theater school, and I quickly transitioned to improv comedy. I came to the Netherlands to work with the Boom Chicago comedy theater in the booming 1990s – when every Dutch business became an e-business, and every Dutch office transitioned to English. Hence, Boom Chicago was quickly called upon to perform comedy for business events. Many, many business events: for Philips; Heineken; KLM; Shell; Unilever. All the biggies.

According to most comedians, corporate entertainment is the worst. “Vanilla jokes for boring events, just to get a paycheck.” But I quickly realized it can be the opportunity to ‘speak truth to power.’ We comedians can make jokes about the boss that the employees can’t. It doesn’t have to be ‘vanilla jokes.’ It can be more like a roast. Closer to the comedy speech at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner: you make jokes about the president to their face. Or, as I put it at Boom Chicago years ago: “We make fun of your boss in front of your boss, and the one who has to pay for the whole thing is your boss.”

2) Academic / Court Jester. I met Juri Hoedemakers at a networking event for Speakers Academy in Rotterdam. Juri was the man who had done his PhD on the role of the jester in the modern ‘court’ known as ‘Upper Management.’ Sounds familiar! It turns out we had come to the same place from different directions.

Juri had just written his book Gezocht: Hofnar. Reflective voor Leiders en Leidinggevenden.
Of course he did this all in Dutch (at Erasmus University). And now he’s speaking for corporate events about the importance of reflection for business leaders. According to his research, every leader has a blind spot, which is to take oneself too seriously. Leaders need jesters to help their message connect with their teams.

Juri was of course a fan of the Trump voice I did for the ‘Netherlands Second’ video on Zondag Met Lubach. So I did a quick voice recording to promote his book.
And here it is. [Video created by Jeroen Smolders]

Greg Shapiro Working with Dylan Haegens and – Roy Donders?

Greg Shapiro Working with with Dylan Haegens and – Roy Donders?
5 May 2022


It was an early call for a video shoot in Brabant, at the home of a famous Dutch celebrity. Based in Tilburg.

Whose kitchen features a Senseo coffee machine…

…and a leopard print kettle and toaster.
Can you guess who it is yet?

Yes, it’s Roy Donders. 

I was hired for a commercial shoot to work with Haegens Media.

As in Dylan Haegens, the biggest Dutch YouTuber ever. I thought “What a compliment! He knows me from my YouTube channel.” It turns out: he had not heard about my YouTube channel. But he knew me from my onscreen work as ‘an American in a suit.’ And that was my role: the American manager of a new app called Club Vegas. In a suit.


Roy Donders is known as a singer and stylist, and he has a reality show on Dutch TV with his mom. The two of them are very cute.

In the opening scene, I pitch the app to Roy and his mom. And the reason I liked this concept is that it’s not a straight-up commercial spot. Rather, it’s a behind-the-scenes ‘Making of’ story for a commercial spot. Clever. Well done, Dylan.

The app itself is NOT a gambling app. I made sure of that. It’s a gambling-themed app. And it is free. Okay yes, it has in-app purchases. But since the target audience is women aged 30-50, I think it’s ‘fair game.’

I made sure to give Roy Donders a copy of my book, and he’s going to give it to his Dutch-American friend. I also gave a copy to Dylan himself – the gifting video is coming soon.  

Oh, and Roy Donders is known for his love of worstenbroodjes, ie Dutch sausage pastries. This is a reputation he says he is now trying to live down. But it’s not working. The wrap party photo features the entire cast and crew seated on an enormous worstenbroodje.

It was great to work with Haegens Media – and with the green screen studio Key-ative. We’re already teaming up to work on more. Stay tuned…

Greg Shapiro – Commercial & Character Voiceovers

Greg Shapiro – Commercial & Character Voiceovers
12 April, 2022

Many people know me as the voice of Trump in the ‘Netherlands Second’ video – which is great. But it’s also making me lose jobs.

So for everyone who has labeled me as ‘too comedic’ (business event), or ‘too crude’ (corporate video), here is an updated DEMO: ‘Greg Shapiro: Commercial and Character Voiceovers.’
Please note: ‘Commercial’ FIRST. ‘Character’ SECOND.

The Menu:
– ‘WILD’ nature film. (Dutch Voiceover: Andre van Duijn. English Voiceover: Greg Shapiro.)
– SHELL ‘New Energy Challenge’ Radio & TV, Netherlands.
– RABOBANK ‘Growing a Better World Together’ Radio & internet, Netherlands. 
– CHICKEN TONIGHT ‘The Terry Stinger Show’ Radio & TV, Netherlands.
– THEATER CARRé ‘Pippin / Broadway aan de Amstel’ series. Radio & TV, Netherlands.
– MEDIA MARKT ‘ePro TV’ Internal.
– DE WERELD DRAAIT DOOR. ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light (Baseball Announcer).’ TV, Netherlands.
– ZONDAG MET LUBACH. ‘Netherlands Second’ video. TV Netherlands + Internet. 

That’s all the time I had for the demo. But so you know, I’ve also done the following Voiceovers:

– FRIESLAND MARKETING. ‘Fascinating Friesland,’ Internet.
– ALLIANZ DIRECT. (Dutch Voiceover: Jeroen van Koningsbrugge. English Voiceover: Greg Shapiro.)
– TELE2. Frank the Sheep. Internet.
– SANYO. Explainer video, ULT freezers. Internal.
– RANDSTAD. 50th Anniversary Podcast Host. Internal.
– WAKA WAKA Power. Host / Voiceover. Internet.
– THE QUICKEST QUIZ. Quiz App. Host / Voiceover. GooglePlay / App Store.
– CITIZEN M. Annual General Mtg. Host / Voiceover. Internal Livestream.
– PRINGLES. ‘Spanish Salsa.’ Radio, NL.
– COCA COLA. ‘Happiness Factory.’ Internal.

And last but not least. One of the first voiceover jobs I got in the Netherlands was back in 1994 for Gatorade. It was a tagline: “Gatorade. Because water just ain’t wet enough.” I gave it my most over-the-top, American DJ delivery. It was for a Dutch radio commercial, and it got a lot of airtime. 

In 1999, I was getting ready to get married to a Dutch woman – when I mentioned I had done that Gatorade voiceover. She recoiled in horror: “That was YOU?” The marriage was almost called off.

HOW NOT TO LIVESTREAM: a Greg Shapiro Online Mini-Show

HOW NOT TO LIVESTREAM: a Greg Shapiro Online Mini-Show

25 March, 2022

Comedian Greg Shapiro follows up his tutorial ‘How NOT to Zoom’ with a new livestream mini show: HOW NOT TO LIVESTREAM.

Now that we’re all ‘Post-Covid,’ who knew The New Normal would still include Working from Home? Well, surely by now we’ve all mastered the basics of Home Studio video conferencing… NOPE. 

Time for a new training strategy: HOW NOT TO LIVESTREAM. Kick off your next online meeting with 5-10 minutes of ‘Sharing WORST Practice.’ Whether you use Zoom, Teams, or whatever – Shapiro’s interactive presentation will parody the Seven Deadly Sins of video conferencing.
Including: Flimsy Webcams; Unflattering Angles; Terrible Lighting; Embarrassing Backgrounds; Green Screen Fails; and yelling at your kids when you think you’re on mute. 

Do yourself a favor and start your next video meeting with a guaranteed icebreaker. How NOT to Livestream. Because sometimes the best HOW-TO is How NOT to.

“Hi, it’s me Greg Shapiro. Here to remind you how livestreaming from your home studio can be easy and fun! [knocks over camera]

Now that we’re all working from home, your internet connection has never been more important. So give your cable a little jiggle to make sure it’s secure. [livestream froooo-zen]

If you’d like a pro-tip life hack, you can make sure that your lighting makes you as attractive as possible. Me? I’m using a diffuser, which I got from the camera shop for just €60. [injures self with fold-out prop]

Who needs an expensive home studio lighting system, when you can rig a series of desk lamps tho this clothes hanger? And who needs an expensive laptop stand, when you can use this simple household ladder? [displays embarrassingly amateur setup]

Now, if you want to look really professional, you need to make sure you have a virtual background. And that means you need to get a green screen! [injures self with fold-out green screen]

Once you’ve got your green screen and your lighting in place, it’s time to pick an appropriate background – and start livestreaming, like a pro.
[shows wildly inappropriate virtual background]

Remote Meetings Are Dead – Long Live Hybrid Meetings! Greg Shapiro

Remote Meetings Are Dead; Long Live Hybrid Meetings!
7 March, 2022

In February I was called upon to do two separate events for Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Belgium – both remote meetings. Now that Covid restrictions are lifting in the Netherlands and Belgium, you might expect a return to 100% live events ! And you’d be wrong. Looks like hybrid meetings are the New Normal.

The first remote meeting was an expat event, and I was asked to make a 20-minute tailored video.

Would there be enough material about cultural quirks in Belgium? Oh, yes. But how far should I go in making fun of Belgium? I started out with “Who knew one country could drink so much beer? Even the children drink to excess – at least that’s what I assume since the national mascot is a boy urinating.”

I sent in my video – via WeTransfer. Would they approve? Would they even watch it before plopping it into their meeting? I didn’t hear anything back… until after the day of the meeting. The subject heading said “LOVED IT!” Phew. “We used your video at our event yesterday and it was great. It really hit the right note and was enjoyed by all. We hope to see you again – hopefully F2F next time.”

Indeed, we were hoping for F2F Face to Face next time. But the next time was a hybrid meeting. Which was fine! The second Janssen remote meeting was produced by Co-MANA, who created a pop-up studio in Belgium. There was a giant LED wall, with projections that could change themes for the two-day event.

 

There was a dedicated screen with a dedicated link to the internal Janssen team leaders. There was a live monitor. And there was a prompter screen, which doubled as a link to the Q&A moderator. And we ended with a live band, who played during the interactive quiz.

It would have been nice to have the team leaders on location, as well as the band. Heck, it would have been nice to have a fully live event. But if Hybrid Meetings are the new normal for now, i gotta say this meeting was great.