Digital events have quickly become an essential part of the event planners toolkit. Now, any in-person event is likely to have a virtual contingency plan or offer a live-stream to those who can’t attend.
Digital events don’t require the logistical planning required for physical events, but still require preparation to ensure they go off without a hitch.
Here are five tips to ensure you can run the best digital event:
1. Keep it short
While day-long in-person conferences are common, it is much harder to keep people engaged for long periods of time in digital environments. Try to keep your digital event short and punchy. Sessions that last 30 - 45 minutes are optimal to keep your audience engaged. Some digital events, like workshops may need to be longer, but try to keep any webinar event under three hours! Always incorporate a short break too.
Tip: If your event is over faster than you anticipated, it is ok to finish it early!
2. MCs are worth their weight in gold
If your event has multiple speakers, or different parts, it’s a good idea to have a MC or a moderator to facilitate the event. This person will introduce the event and the speakers, make the transition between sections and facilitate audience participation.
3. Practice makes perfect
Don’t take chances with your speakers knowing exactly what to do without a rehearsal. Even if they have used the same platform before, every event is different.
It’s not too late to schedule a rehearsal with all your speakers before Techweek2021 begins. This is the perfect time to check slides and presentation materials too. Rehearse in the actual space that will be used during the live event, so you can see what it will really look like.
Only speaker at the event? Double check your setup - is it suitable, does it work, are your devices compatible with the event platform and are your familiar with its functions?
4. Don’t let them leave!
Nothing makes attendees hit the ‘leave meeting’ button faster than poor quality video and sound.
Ensure high-quality audio by reducing background noise - close windows, shut doors, switch your phone to silent and turn off any computer alerts.
Safeguard video quality by closing all other unnecessary apps, email and disable automatic updates so they are not taking up bandwidth in the background.
Finally, to avoid any disruptions, reliable internet access is essential! If you are concerned about a speaker’s internet access, if the format allows, consider recording their section. The speaker can join the event to answer questions after their presentation has played or via the chat function.
5. Get chatting
The best digital events include a dialogue between speakers and the audience. This is best done by using the chat function on your online platform.
It’s worth showing your audience how to use the chat function at the beginning of the event. Encourage your audience to ask questions or make comments to stimulate further conversation. Also use breakout rooms for additional discussion and interaction. Speakers can also engage with the audience directly by asking questions which can be answered using the chat function or a poll.
6. Don’t forget to follow up
After your event, send your attendees an email to thank them for attending and request any feedback so you can learn for your next event. A quick survey is the easiest way to do this. If possible, share any presentation slides, information and a recording of the event. You can also share event highlights with your network and on social media.
Check out the Techweek2021 programme here.