Miguel Neves: Tips for running virtual events for event professionals
1. Don’t try to replicate face-to-face events Online experiences are not comparable to live events so instead look to create a great online experience which may be anywhere from a single livestream on social media or multiple private one-on-one discussions.
2. Consider everyone’s objectives Focus on creating a shared experience that meets the needs and desires of those involved, including clients, event participants, sponsors, speakers, media etc.
3. Design the whole experience Consider all the steps from the pre-event promotion, and registration, the actual shared event experience and the post-event follow-up making each step as simple and engaging as possible.
4. Partner with professionals Don’t try to do everything yourself, while this may be possible and tempting, it is almost never the best solution and your virtual event will greatly benefit from other experts in each filed such as content development, video capture, software management, AV etc.
5. Keep it simple Try not to overcomplicate event design and technology choices, if a client already has a reliable system in place, only consider changing technology if the resulting event experience is significantly better.
6. Use a single focal point Regardless of the technology choices, make sure there is one single point of entry to the event which contains all the relevant information, be it an event registration website, a YouTube channel or a dedicated community platform.
7. Design how the system should be used Decide how participants should use the chosen virtual event platform and make sure the settings are correct, consider it may be beneficial to disable some options for the participants.
8. Offer clear guidance While it may seem obvious to you, it’s important to guide all participants, regardless of their technical ability, on how to use the chosen software solution so that they feel comfortable and can make the most of the virtual event experience.
9. Map out all interactions Have a full picture of how participants will interact with each other so that you can make provisions for who needs to be seen, who needs to be heard and who needs to have access to what systems or features.
10. Use a moderator Professional moderators are your superheroes who will keep your participants engaged, your speakers happy and each session running smoothly, so have one in place for every single session you are running as part of your virtual event.
11. Coach speakers Speaking on a virtual event is very different to speaking live from a stage and some speakers, particularly corporate leadership, struggle to effectively communicate with online participants, so work with them to make sure their content is well received.
12. Make sure speakers look and sound great Even if your speakers are streaming from home without any assistance, ensure that they can be seen and heard clearly and that their slides or videos look great as this has a huge impact on how participants perceive your virtual event.
13. Offer tech support Ensuring that every participant can experience the virtual event regardless of their technical knowledge is your responsibility, so providing adequate tech support in advance and throughout a virtual event is essential.
14. Avoid distractions A world wide web of distractions is only one click away for all online participants so avoid any type of distractions including sharing links to resources or moving conversations to social media, these are sure ways to lose your participants.
15. Test, test and test again Test all possible scenarios on every possible system including website, registration, connectivity, video, sound, slides, polling and all other features before the start of the virtual event so that you can anticipate any potential issues well in advance.
Whatch this webinar made by Miguel to know more about the subject: https://youtu.be/fX3ruuzuAJ4