Key To Success With First Virtual Event

Regarded as the largest celebration of its kind in the country, with event proceeds funding college scholarships and The King Arts Complex, the 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Breakfast went virtual for the first time this year. Having produced the annual breakfast for many years we were excited to bring this event to life in a new way. To weave together their theme, “Now Is The Time”, as a cohesive thread throughout the event, we decided on pre-recorded videos and animations edited together into a seamless video presentation. Some of the pre-recorded segments were shot in our studio, edited and inserted into the program. This presentation was then premiered live and available throughout the day for viewers.


Utilizing that system, we were able to recreate the EXPERIENCE of the live event while also being able to reach an additional audience, with around 1,500 total views of the presentation. Pre-recorded videos were produced for multiple presenters including Melissa Harris Perry, the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, Shannon G. Hardin, Columbus City Council President, and Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther.

In the wake of COVID-19, we had to switch from the normal in-person event to a virtual event for our citywide 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Breakfast event.

Planning our first virtual event with a lot of options and unfamiliar terminology can be overwhelming and seem like a daunting task. Also, as an IRC 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization, we were looking for an affordable solution.

Our production services provider for in-person events, Bartha was there with an affordable virtual solution. They took the time to understand what we wanted as a company, what we wanted for our attendees, and the branding we wanted for our corporate sponsors. Bartha explained the process, asked thoughtful questions, provided contingency plans and full support.

We wholeheartedly recommend Bartha to everyone we know.

– Bert Castle, Executive Director

In addition to the main video presentation, we also created a highlight video of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Breakfast. This highlight reel is available to view above.

We get the opportunity to partner on all types of events, but we’re always especially proud of the ones that share messages of equality and have a positive impact on our greater community.


Pivoting Towards Virtual Can Enable Broader Access

Over the last few months, as plans have continued to change, we’ve helped new and long-time clients create virtual experiences that help capture their attendee’s attention and challenge what’s possible by going virtual. One of these events was the Ohio Virtual Fatherhood Summit. When the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood, a long-time partner, reached out to start planning their annual summit, it was an in-person event for around 200 people. But as with many events in 2020, they had to make the decision to create a completely virtual event. Their main goal was to stay as true to that original event as possible.

As with in-person events, we’ve found that pre-production for virtual events is crucial to identifying possible problems, managing virtual platforms, coaching speakers and anticipating technical support needs. We follow a multi-step process that allows us to assess each client’s individual virtual meeting needs including streaming, custom websites, virtual event platforms, location options, a/v support, moderation and creative content creation. This attention to detail helps everything run smoothly on event day.

For the Virtual Fatherhood Summit, we were able to provide our client with a customized event platform including an exhibit hall, technical support for attendees and presenters, branding, edited videos from all sessions and metrics to review the success of the event. We were able to provide those services utilizing our on-site control room and their headquarters and assigning two teams to support the event. Our event platform team was responsible for setting up the platform and tailoring it to the client’s specific branding requirements. Additionally, they served as the technical help desk for anyone having issues with the platform. Our creative team elevated the quality of the sessions by creating graphics, lower thirds and editing video compilations.

Part of our event day support included switching between presenters who were in different locations. Weaving presenters from multiple locations together can be a challenge but having a knowledgeable production partner removes the stress. Our approach and expertise with the event platform allowed everyone to come together in an interactive way. One way we accomplished that was by using PiP (picture in picture) during the live event so that attendees could see the presenter during the PowerPoint presentations or could see both people speaking on-screen at once.

A wow factor for this client was the exhibit hall feature we created within the event platform. The exhibit hall included a custom map and each exhibitor was given their own dedicated web page for information, polls, conversations and the option to jump instantly into a Zoom call at the press of a button to interact live with the exhibit representatives. Nearly 20 virtual vendor booths were ready to greet visitors during the all-day event. This solution allowed our client to keep something from the live event that was important to their success, but in a way that kept it effective for their virtual meeting.

Overall, this event was a big success. Over 450 people visited the website and generated nearly 30 thousand page views. Feedback from attendees and vendors was positive with lots of comments on how much like the in-person event we were able to make the virtual summit. The summit also logged record attendance because they weren’t bound by typical financial barriers that often stifle events of this size, such as venue capacity, travel, lodging and catering costs.

Our award-winning design team partnered with our experienced team of technicians helped the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood reach their goals and create an impactful experience. With our turnkey solutions and impressive support, they were able to connect with more attendees than in years past and reach higher than before.

We can’t wait to see what we’re able to do next.


For the past 29 years, the YWCA of Columbus has chosen a select few women who’ve made extraordinary contributions to their families, workplaces, and communities – and honored them as Women of Achievement. They are celebrated at a very popular luncheon gathering in the heart of Downtown Columbus.  

The YWCA chose to partner with Bartha for the 2014 event – to which we brought a new level of creativity, highlighting the accomplishments of the current class of honorees while honoring the long history of service the YWCA has provided to Columbus with striking visual effects and theme implementation.

What we provided:

  • creative consultation
  • set/stage design & fabrication
  • lighting & sound design
  • professional show staff & direction
  • production management
  • HD image magnification
  • venue & labor management