On-Location Broadcasting Done Right

As people get vaccinated, the world resumes having fun. Radio shows are returning to their winter broadcasts from sunny resorts.

On-location shows can be fun for the hosts but torturous for the audience if not executed well, and a week of bad content can have a negative effect on Nielsen results.  Consider these points as your show plans a beach-side or theme park broadcast.

Don’t change the show. Keep all the regular benchmarks. Do your preparation. But look to make everything on-air better and more fun. If you play games, play them on-location with bystanders. You are at a vacation resort, but your show is not on vacation.

It’s a show, not an infomercial. Study the resort’s requirements for sponsorship mentions. Honor the agreement without giving up extra airtime.  You can cover most sponsorships in recorded IDs with minimum verbiage. Describing buffets and waterslides is not content. Take required sponsorship airtime out of promo or commercial time and do not allow it to replace your usual entertainment content.

Edit all interviews. When you must talk to someone from the resort on the air, record them and edit before airing. Don’t air them live. It will suck. Trust me. Have your engineer hook up a laptop with an audio editing program into the sound mixer at your remote.

Multiple microphones are a must. If you have four people on the show back home and they have four mikes, they should have four mikes on location. Two people sharing a mike is not OK.

Audience participation.  Set up where there is foot traffic. Interact with people and invite them to contribute to topics. The home audience will enjoy hearing poolside audience laughter.

On-location audio. Record your co-host after three Mai Tais, audio of the ocean surf, and the screams from paragliding adventures. Those sounds bring your trip to life for the audience at home.

Seek out stories. You will be blessed with great content for the show as you drive to the airport, go through security, and get lost on the way to the hotel. Don’t just sit around by the pool. Go on experiences at the resort so you’ll have something to talk about on the show.

Get the technical part right. That begins by accepting that something will go wrong. When it does, stay cool. Prepare plans B and C as a backup when equipment and connections ruin plan A.