Virtual Events Best Practices for 2020
The coronavirus is hitting the entire planet and has thus accelerated digital transformation. The organization of events and online services are, therefore becoming the new standard. To succeed, you’ll need to apply some of virtual best practices for Events which will be covered in detail here.
“At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years… If they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.” —
JOHN CHAMBERS, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, CISCO SYSTEM
Whether it’s presentations, meetings, networking events or happy hour, companies are choosing to organize their activities online. Virtual services allow them to interact with their employees and customers, during this period of social distancing, via digital platforms.
While hosting online events is a new challenge, going digital can also have its benefits. Like minimizing your impact on the environment and reducing carbon footprints.
Moreover, you can define a new target for your events by meeting new users and creating a more international community.
The difference between virtual and physical Event
Because the virtual event takes place at a distance, it must be much shorter than a physical one. Like any event, it has to keep your participants in suspense, so you need to engage your audience through interactive tools.
A multi-screen will allow you to incorporate your speakers into your virtual event and will facilitate debates, quizzes, votes and surveys to make the participation easy. The chat option will also encourage people to ask questions and address the speakers, as well as facilitate conversations and private discussions.
As with a physical event, creating a virtual event means planning breaks at key times. For maximum attention, it’s essential to let them know that you have scheduled frequent breaks throughout the virtual event.
The variety of content
You can go from a presentation of a document on a split-screen to a multi-screen exchange between speakers, then to a quiz session just after a Q&A. Get creative, switch it up!
Best tips for hosting Virtual Events
As we learn to adapt to this new situation, we face the difficulty of organizing a virtual event. Below is a list of some of the best practices to follow while hosting virtual events.
1. Plan ahead
Create a buzz before your event by communicating with your guests. You can use a calendar app to let them know where and when to connect.
Also you can personalize a home page with applications, then load your program, your images and your guest list for example. Once you’re ready, the app will help you send your guests all the essential information about the event.
In addition you can alert them of a program change or delay. Then The app will be able to send you real-live updates when guests connect. You will, therefore, have all the necessary information at your fingertips.
2. Pay attention to details
If you want to organize a successful event, you will need to pay close attention to details, whether it is an online or offline event.
Also organize more interactive events by adding certain features such as Live Polling (Slide poll) or Slide-Sharing.
Grab your audience’s attention with an interactive quiz or turn on the digital note-taking option for your guests to share your presentation on social media.
Simple and effective, with a little organization, you can boost the participation of your audience and create commitment around your product from the comfort of your home.
3. Create links
With corporate events, employees can connect and go digital. They will have a unique opportunity to interact with people from around the world and in real-time. You can also use Donut or Slack to allow them to connect and organize meetings in private rooms.
When it comes to networking, a virtual event is no longer an obstacle. With the help of applications such as Zoom and Whereby, you can organize individual meetings.
Your guests can create personal connections, face to face and away from the main event. Networking online, in addition to being secure and private, is a great way to make sure your guests are always in the virtual room where the event is taking place.
As with any event, it’s the details that make the difference when planning a meeting or a concert online. To make your event unforgettable, you can call on a DJ or a musician who could play live. Also, you can use a virtual photo booth like Snapbar to create great memories during your online session.
4. Boost morale
If you want to boost morale, why not use UberEats to deliver muffins and coffee before your next online meeting? During this period, technology plays a vital role in keeping us in touch.
Human contact is more important than ever, and with some creativity, you can make your events unique while connecting with your network.
5. Define the objectives
Defining the type of event will help you build everything that follows.
However, it is still necessary to define the objectives of your virtual event as well as the theme. These must be clear to your participants to capture their attention and make them look forward to it.
Will your event have a seminar, conference, team building, product launch format etc.? What are the messages that you want to share, do you want to entertain, inform, teach?
Defining the type of event will help you choose the recording location, the speakers, the interactivities set up, shared documents etc. However, even if the content is going to be quite similar to a physical event, its format will have to take a different form.
6. Invite participants to your virtual events
As usual, build your invitation email optimally. Specify if there will be a replay of your event and share the download links for your application.
The essential information of your virtual event must appear in your email, the access link to the virtual event along with the passwords or codes for access.
Also, share the calendar of your event and highlight the break times. Specify if there will be a replay of your event and share the iOS and Android download links for your event application if you have one.
You can also share the website link of your event so that your participants register directly using a form you have designed. List all the information as well as the speakers, sponsors, partners and the agenda of the event.
Best practices for Virtual Events’ technical part
To make sure that the rendering is at the top, here are some of the best technical practices recommended for Virtual Events:
- Sound is going to be the focus of your event. Did you know that poor sound quality is much less bearable than a poor quality image? Audio will be the centrepiece of your event, so plug in a microphone and pay attention to your surroundings.
- Choose a room with carpet and furniture rather than tiling and earthenware.
- Use discreet and good quality headphones and microphone.
- Make sure anyone around you doesn’t make any noise during the recording. Switch off your microphone if you are not speaking.
- Switch your smartphones & watches to airplane mode.
- Have your face lit by natural light (main light)
- When using artificial light, choose a warm one.
Excellent sound and image quality also mean having a good internet question. It is essential to test your internet connection before the broadcast of your live event. For an optimal internet connection, use an ethernet cable or wifi if it meets these criteria.
Plan for an upload bandwidth of at least 24 Mbps (= 3 MB per second). To test its connection, visit fast.com or speedtest.net.
No software download
Consider using an event management platform as it can make things much more manageable. They can facilitate designing your virtual events by sending your campaigns, installing word clouds, votes, quizzes and much more.