Most of you have likely pivoted your business practices and YPN events in response to current events. But if you’re still looking for ways to host meaningful virtual or hybrid events, I’m here to share a few ideas on how to do so with ease and panache.
Just as in live events, you need to produce content that runs seamlessly. Yet there’s a heightened need to be precise with virtual events because screen audiences have a far greater expectation for “broadcasts” of every kind.
Here are some tips for polishing your virtual events:
- Script and/or rehearse all presenters thoroughly.
- Write compelling and engaging content. Dips in energy, lackluster content, and mundane moments will direct the audience’s attention away from you and your virtual event.
- Be clear about your purpose for the event and its objectives.
- Is it educational? Motivational? Internal (such as a meeting)? Open to an audience of paid registrants? Create content that supports your objective.
Just as with a traditional in-person meeting, content is king! Yet in a virtual event, your content needs to make up for the lack of in-room energy by giving extra oomph to all aspects of your presentation. Here are some ways to do that:
- Involve your audience to help them stay completely engaged during all presentations.
- Add plenty of audience polling (voting) opportunities to your presentation in order to check in with them and gauge their interest and experience levels with your topic.
- Play games or quizzes that earn attendees gifts or rewards. For example, offer prizes for spotting the “word of the day” in a presenter’s slide deck. In other words, give the audience extra motivation to stay glued to their screens.
- Tell your virtual audience that there will be opportunities for them to participate as a virtual panel discussant in certain sessions.
- Recreate the in-person experience as much as possible.
Great virtual events include ways for the audience to interact with one another during the event. Polling features are a great way to frequently encourage audience participation and acknowledgment. Set up virtual meeting rooms for use after the talk where people who share common goals can collaborate based on the information they just learned. You can also still include live music or other performances. Lastly, social media is also a great way to get people involved. For example, Twitter is an ideal way for people to communicate during a virtual event—just create and heartily promote your event hashtag.
Of course, we’re here to help you make your next virtual event stress-free and 100% polished. Feel free to contact us with any questions and ask how we can help.
Richard Carlstrom is the president of Carlstrom Productions, a corporate events, video production, stage management, and entertainment production company. Visit Carlstrom Productions to learn more.