Think about the last webinar you were on. Maybe the speaker had an echo in the background or a distracting glare on their face. You might have accidentally glimpsed a presenter’s inbox as they attempted to share their screen. These moments can be stressful enough to experience as an attendee and can be catastrophic as an organizer.
As an Event Producer responsible for coordinating and supporting webinars and virtual events, I’ve seen it all. Each event is unique, and there are certain things you may not think of that can take an event from “fine” to “fantastic”. Here are some of my tips and tricks to ensure you have the most successful virtual event possible!
1. Have a dry-run/technical rehearsal
I can’t stress enough how valuable a dry-run is, especially with multiple presenters and multiple sessions. In a perfect world, everyone’s microphone and webcam turn on automatically, but it often requires troubleshooting for at least one speaker. It also allows the speakers to engage with the platform and learn more about the functionalities to feel more comfortable prior to the live event. Having everyone on at the same time is a great opportunity to go over your content and run-of-show so all are on the same page.
2. Use polls and chat to engage attendees
It can be exhausting to stare at a screen passively for hours, no matter how captivating the content is. Polls and Chat are a great way to grab attendee’s attention and add a more interactive element to the event. You can capture information about the attendees in real time. It can be great to start off an event with questions about the attendee demographics or their interest in the program. This can also be done in a more open-ended format via chat and the hand-raising function. Polls can also be useful for Continuing Education classes to monitor attendance and credit.
3. Take advantage of pre-recorded hybrid events
I’m going to let you in on a little secret – not all your events have to be live! Recording a segment of your event in advance can alleviate stress for both speakers and organizers. We all have busy schedules and if a speaker is unable to make the live event, simply record their portion in advance. Videos can be easily uploaded into our platform and played seamlessly either as a portion or entire presentation. Sometimes attendees can’t even tell it isn’t live! If your speaker can join the live event, I’ve found it to be the most successful when they are able to participate in the “live event” – while their video plays, they’re able to focus on interacting with attendee questions rather than making sure they have all their notes in one place.
4. Plan for back-ups and emergencies
As much as we’d like it to be, technology is beyond our control and emergencies do happen. Make sure everyone has the dial-in number written down so they’re able to call in via phone in case they lose their internet. If a PowerPoint is being shared, I highly recommend that another organizer has it downloaded and ready to go in case the screen sharing connection is disabled. And most importantly, if you have concurrent events, you’ll need to ensure that you have multiple licenses to avoid double-booking.
5. Utilize event services
We want your event to be as successful and stress-free as possible. To help alleviate that pressure, book an Events Producer to assist with your next event. With the guidance of a Producer, you’ll gain access to even more knowledge and invaluable support that will take your virtual event to the next level.
Are you ready to collaborate openly with our event producers to exceed your webinar expectations? Contact us today to discuss the best solution for your upcoming events.