With more and more companies shifting resources to virtual events, we’ve compiled this quick and handy guide on how to create a successful virtual event for your company.
Not only have I featured more than 100 virtual events over the past twelve years, my team and I at Convince & Convert organize and produce more than one 30 online events and webinars annually. We know what works, what doesn’t, and we’re here to share that advice with you.
For tips on choosing a virtual event/webinar management solution, check out our recent post, How to create a webinar from Scratch .
Let’s dive in now:
Table of Contents
1. Keep session length short
A 60 -minute keynote or discussion session at a live event is pretty standard and doesn’t usually sound like a tagline. the ability to experience presentations in a three-dimensional environment.
Getting the audience’s attention during a virtual event is more difficult than FAR than in an in-person conference.
In fact, we pioneered the concept of a “webinine” – a webinar that only lasts 9 minutes. Audience impression share is much higher for sessions of that length (versus 60 minutes), as is rate playback.
We’re not suggesting that each session in your virtual event be only nine minutes long, but consider shortening the periods you’ll use for a physical event to 15 or 30 minutes in advance.
For example, a 60-minute face-to-face should have 45 or 30 minutes when it comes to online delivery.
2. Sharpen your title and description
When given multiple simultaneous options for sessions to choose from in a real event setting, attendees will often rely on word of mouth, asking other participants what breakout they are attending and at star.
Most virtual conferences lack this dynamic feature.
Furthermore, many online events rely on email, social media posts, and other tactics to inform attendees of what information will be presented (no written conference instructions or application available). mobile-specific in most cases).
So participants in your virtual event, have less information when deciding which sessions to follow and which sessions to ignore.
Therefore, it is more important that the session title and description for your virtual conference is descriptive and engaging.
3. Use Moderators or Emcee
During a live event, a moderator or curator helps to contextualize the information presented during the conference, while helping to maintain energy and deliver important work notes.
Many organizations transitioning to virtual events believe that since programming is now delivered over the Internet, this curator role is no longer needed.
The opposite is true.
Having a consistent face and voice “combined” virtual sessions gives participants much-needed familiarity and helps alleviate the sense of isolation that online events can sometimes produce for those who are not. participants.
The best way to go about it is to ask the event moderator to open an online conference – just like a regular event – and then moderate questions ons for the presenter and re-enable online between sessions for chat. with attendees (I’ve played this role numerous times for major online events).
4. Use Early and Frequent Attendee Chat
The networking component of live events is almost always considered the best part of the conference.
While it’s more difficult to provide rich networking online, you can support your attendees’ interactions between themselves and the presenters by comfortably using the chat/Q&A functionality in the virtual event platform you have selected.
Curators/moderators should ask questions to attendees at the beginning of the day to familiarize participants with the functionality and also between sessions to facilitate networking.
Each presenter at your virtual event must answer questions from the audience using the Chat/Q&A tool.
Furthermore, one of the built-in advantages of online conferencing is the ability to use the software’s voting functionality to ask questions of the audience and get instant, mathematical results.
You should train presenters on how to use this voting feature to make the sessions more interesting and interactive.
5. Ask the presenter to run over
When it comes to training presenters, you should really force each of them to run through their material a week or so at your virtual event.
Of course, it’s likely that your presenters have attended some kind of online event and may have even delivered a show at some point.
However, EVERY online event software platform is different, and presenters need to understand those nuances.
For example, some online conferencing software packages “hide” presenter notes while in presentation mode. A speaker accustomed to using presenter notes will be surprised when they suddenly disappear after the session begins. (TIP: for online events, ask all presenters to print out their slides and notes)
Furthermore, once the presenter has a clear understanding of the various interactive elements of the software and the “feel” of a virtual presentation from the audience’s perspective, they should make changes to their content. yourself accordingly.
Let’s make this clear: For maximum success, you can’t just take your slides offline and make them available online.
6. Using the Camera
To make the virtual conference feel more like a live experience, you should ask the presenter to use their Web cam during the presentation.
This allows the audience to see the speaker during the presentation, adding another layer of information, such as nonverbal cues, etc.
However, this requires that each presenter not only have a good camera (ideally better than a laptop on their laptop) as well as proper lighting.
This isn’t necessarily a huge challenge, but it’s another wrinkle that presenters don’t face during a live event (and another reason why you need to take a look).
7. Sound Quality Guarantee
If the speakers at your video conference don’t have great lighting or great cameras, the event can still work if the content stands out.
But if the speaker’s sound is uncertain, your audience will log out IMMEDIATELY.
Just like podcasts, the audio quality for a virtual event is non-negotiable.
It is shocking when people present at online events just imagine they can talk on their laptops, regardless of room acoustics, background noise, dogs barking, people walking. passing by, neighbor’s macaws, etc.
As you run through the presenters, make sure they’re conducted in the same room and with the same setup that would happen during the actual broadcast.
Also, consider purchasing USB headset microphones for all presenters and sending them in two weeks before the event, with a link to a video demonstrating how to use them. We are also fans of Yeti . speaker again.
Finally, if a speaker cannot be in an audio-acceptable situation when their live presentation is scheduled, pre-record the session and then have the speaker sign in at the end of the recording. question answer section. This robs speakers of the opportunity to use audience polls or ask questions via chat during the session, but is better than poor audio.
In some ways virtual events are easier than in-person events because you don’t have to worry about huge audiovisual infrastructure, meals, hotel rooms, food allergies and other obstacles.
But in other ways, video conferencing is more difficult because there’s no one “setup” for the room with the speaker simply picking up the microphone and providing their information continuously.
The time it takes to work with each speaker in a virtual event to ensure excellence and consistency is considerable.
But, that time will pay off and a good supervisor/moderator will make your event a huge success.