As virtual events have grown in popularity during the Covid-19 lockdown, they’re now part of our ‘new-normal.’ While virtual and in-person events have some similarities, when it comes to hosting, their differences can be key. So we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks pulled from our experience to help you navigate this online format. If you want more and in-depth advice on how to organise your next virtual event, feel free to contact our Digital team.
1. Choose your platform carefully
There are many different hosting platforms currently available, some traditional and other newer ones that users may be less experienced with. Keep in mind any limits on audience size, scope for audience participation, ability to record, potential for networking and Q&A, and reliability.
2. Online in style
Decide on the style of your event. Options include panels, presentations, fireside chats and more. For all styles, it is important to shorten the timing compared to in-person events, as screen fatigue is a thing.
3. Doors open or closed?
Will your event be open to the public or will it be closed for a target audience? With an open event, you can add the link to the event web stream directly in your invitation. For a closed event, you need to ensure security by sending the participation link only to registered participants; you can even send it only the day of the event for added security.
4. A good moderator goes a long way
The right moderator will help cut through screen fatigue and keep the audience engaged. Moderating a virtual event comes with a whole new set of challenges than an in-person event.
5. Recording on or off?
Decide whether you will record the event. If operating under the Chatham House rule, note how you will manage anonymity while recording. If you do record, you will have more material to work with post-event to continue the conversation. But make sure to tell speakers and participants beforehand.
6. Virtual audience participation
There are many ways to actively encourage audience participation before, during and after the event. Use a chat function or an app such as Sli.Do for participants to comment and ask questions. You can even use some platforms to set up virtual networking.
7. Troubleshooting technical difficulties
We all know tech can be challenging at the best of times. Make sure to provide participants with some solutions to the most common technical problems ahead of time.
8. Tweet away
Your target audience is inundated with virtual event invitations. Make sure to highlight your event on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn using visuals and a relevant hashtag. During the event, ask participants to live-tweet and designate a member of your team to do so.
9. Take your mailing list global
The only limitation to a global virtual event is the various time differences so don’t forget to broaden your invitation list!
10. Post-event advocacy
Think about how you can use resources from the event to help your advocacy efforts. Video clips and Twitter cards with relevant statements can be used later on to support advocacy campaigns.
Cambre offers a wide variety of services to help you navigate the virtual event space. From A-Z production, moderator training, logistics and design, to helping you shape the content of your panel, our team of experts can help you every step of the way. Contact us for more information.