Smoother, Better Events in the New Year
Virtual events come in all shapes, sizes, and formats. And, with the new normal established by the pandemic, virtual events and virtual communications aren’t going anywhere soon. With that in mind, it’s rather startling how simply bad many presenters are at coordinating and launching virtual events. With that in mind, here are five tips for better virtual events that will help your next event sizzle rather than snooze.
Test Video and Audio in Advance
With years of experience in virtual events under all our belts, it’s startling how many large virtual events start the same way… with video that halts and stutters and audio no one can understand. The “why” on this one is easy. Far too many people simply don’t test their audio and video in advance.
This is a simple step anybody can take and everyone should. Simply log onto whatever software you are going to use to present your virtual event the day before the event, contact a friend or colleague, and try it out. This is going to weed out 99% of your problems ahead of time and make you look far more professional.
Send Reminders with Links
The very last thing you want to be doing at the start of any virtual event is fielding emails, texts, and DMs asking you where the link is while you’re trying to get the event rolling. Head that problem off at the passes by making sure that your initial invite to the event has the link included. Then, send reminders about the event. Try sending a week before and the day before and make sure both include the meeting link.
While sending reminder links won’t stop 100% of people from failing to join the meeting or event at the right time and in the right way, it vastly reduces the probability that will happen. At the very least, you can for sure say that you’ve done everything you can to make sure the event goes off without a hitch.
Have a Designated Event Moderator
Ideally, you should have someone on hand for every virtual event that is the designated event Moderator. This person should not be the key presenter of the meeting, they should be a tech-savvy individual with the time available to focus on the meeting and head off any technical problems before they derail the event. Even just having someone available to let people in from the “waiting room” saves you from having to break stride on an event to click the “allow” button a thousand times.
If you are operating virtual events by yourself or only with a team of presenters, consider bringing in outside help to cover this critical position. Shameless plug: SML virtual assistants have extensive experience in managing virtual events and meetings. Their expertise can help turn a stressful flop into a successful, professional event.
Consider Platform Pros and Cons
What software you use to launch your virtual event can be as important as the content of your event. At the moment, Zoom is the business standard for virtual events. However, if you are looking for a live feed to reach a broader audience, going live on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or LinkedIn could be better.
All these platforms, and many others, have their own intricacies that you will need to understand to be successful. If your skillset is not in keeping abreast of the latest developments in tech, consider reaching out to a tech specialist or a virtual assistant that can advise you on how best to reach your audience.
Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
How many meetings and events have we all sat through where the content droned on forever? For every time you have, you should rehearse your content once. Keep it concise. Remember that there is a specific reason people have logged into your event and getting to that reason fast is just common courtesy.
Rehearsing and understanding the key point of your (hopefully concise) message will also help your confidence–should you have a touch of totally understandable stage fright. Also, please remember to keep it conversational. Nobody wants to be yelled at or lectured.
Keep these five tips in the back of your mind as we head into the new year. With proper testing, plenty of reminders, a qualified event Moderator, the right platform, and a little light rehearsing, every virtual event can be made smooth and professional.