Virtual events are all the rage at the moment. From stress busters to pilates classes, the online space is more preferred now owing to the current global situation.
Contrary to popular belief, organizing virtual events can be tricky. It isn’t just bringing together a few speakers and putting up a show last minute. Virtual events require more intensive planning than physical events.
Using Speaker Engage, you can plan and organize your virtual event to be better. With in-built functionalities to ensure smooth communication between your speakers and sponsors, Speaker Engage can also be your event planner.
Coming back to virtual events, there are multiple things that can go wrong and reflect sourly upon the organizers. It is better to identify them and take necessary measures to avoid them since precaution is better than cure.
A low turnout is frowned upon regardless of whether the event is hosted online or offline. This would mean that the audience that did turn up would question the authenticity and quality of the event and could even ask for a refund (worst case scenario). This usually happens when an event is hurriedly organized with little or no planning at all. In this case, your speakers or presenters are let down as well, as they may not partner with you for future events.
HOW TO FIX IT?
Plan. Chalk out a well-detailed promotional strategy that will urge the audience to take action and be involved. Prepare a marketing list and send out emails, create promotional videos and content, and share them on social media. Leverage your industry contacts and promote within niche circles.
Have a well thought out budget for your paid promotions, and always follow up. Send notifications and reminders to those who showed interest in your posts as well as to those who signed up. Keep them informed and engaged, and ensure a good audience at your event.
Any issues with connectivity, be it buffering or a lag in communication is one of the worst situations to be in as a virtual event organizer. You are promising your audience a real-time event that would in no way deter the experience of a real live event. Once the event starts running like a pause-play marathon, your audience will no longer be interested.
HOW TO FIX IT?
Choose your virtual event hosting platform wisely. It mustn’t be too heavy for your audience to run on their home systems.
Have a tech team available at all times to take up any connectivity issues faced by the audience and they must be equipped to walk the audience through fixing any and all issues.
DISTORTED VOICE AND VISUALS
It is not pleasant when a speaker or an organizer is unable to communicate well to their audience. Especially during a virtual event, where the voice must travel through the internet. Your voice may be distorted, causing a huge inconvenience to the audience. Same with visuals.
HOW TO FIX IT?
Invest in good quality mics. Communicate to your speakers that you would want them to be using mics of certain benchmark qualities. A good microphone to invest in is the Sennheiser e845 mic. This model is well suitable for presentations and conferences.
Invest in good cameras for speakers as well. In the era of online interactive experiences, decent recording equipment is an indispensable tool for presenters. We suggest the Canon XF200/XF205. This model is an advanced HD video camera that is used by professional broadcast corporations. This means any footage filming on this unit is good enough for TV.
The two sides of a virtual event are sounds and visuals. We’ve already covered the importance of a good mic and camera, but what about the other visuals, the presentations?
Flashy colors and text-heavy presentations are an eyesore. A speaker’s presentations speak a lot about their expertise as well as your quality as an event organizer. Not just that, long drawn out presentations bore the audience. If they wanted to go through PPTs, they would have chosen to go to SlideShare.
HOW TO FIX IT?
Get a graphic designer to design the presentations for your speakers, or use Beautiful.AI to build your professional content. Keep it classy with minimal text, a maximum of 4 lines per page. Pictorial representation of your data/content is what your presentation should have instead of text alone.
Stick to color schemes and follow it in the presentations being prepared for all your speakers. In short, create a template that will keep the audience from second-guessing their participation in the event.
AN ENGAGEMENT STOPPER
One of the highlights of a live event will always be the audience lingering around the venue, chatting, catching up, sharing contacts and ideas, and setting meeting appointments. A mistake you must never do as an event organizer is to stop engaging with your audience as soon as the event is over. This doesn’t sit well with your audience who are obviously accustomed to the after-event rituals of a live event. You must not deny them that experience.
HOW TO FIX IT?
Just as you have prepared a strategy for the event, prepare another for after-event engagements. Provide space for your audience to interact with each other as well as hold discussions if they wish to.
Here we have listed out a few activities to engage your audience after virtual events.
Even though virtual events are a class apart from physical events, as an event organizer, you must always be aware of the experience you are handing out to your audience. There must be a stage in your planning phases where you must take into account all that could go wrong and prepare for contingencies.
A true event organizer is one who is prepared to face the glitches in real-time than denying the chance of anything bad happening. While chalking out strategies for Plan A to Plan Z, always ensure to keep the event as user friendly as possible for the audience and speakers.