Our Top Virtual Event Tips To Deliver A Successful Event
Virtual events have been a step into the unknown for many event organisers and meeting planners. For us here at Speakers Corner we've learnt so much from delivering our Speakers Corner Connects Series. It's been a steep learning curve for many organisers.
It looks like virtual events are here to stay for the foreseeable future so we've pulled together our top virtual event tips for event organisers and meeting planners to check out.
Content is King
The beauty about virtual events is they are accessible to anyone in the business. Therefore with business leaders, managers and employees facing unprecedented challenges, the virtual events platform delivers knowledge to a content hungry audience as we seek answers to navigate through this period. Event organisers and meeting planners should consider how a virtual content programme, delivered either as a one-off or as part of a series, will inspire audiences to develop the right mindset to survive and thrive in a changing world.
Everyone Has a Front Row Seat
Live events are incredible. But the power of virtual events cannot be underestimated. Indeed, every single member of the audience has a front row seat and will develop a unique connection with the speaker. We've seen the level of interaction has increased with audience members feeling liberated to ask questions via the chat functionality as the speaker is talking. This level of interaction means there's a huge opportunity for the speaker to set the tone and share their experiences, followed by an extensive Q&A where the audience has a chance to probe and challenge the speaker, and the speaker can impart their wisdom back onto the audience. It's a win-win.
A Series of Virtual Masterclasses Can Develop Skill Sets
Employees need different skill sets now. Some will have been brought back from furlough and will be transitioning into new roles. Others will need to have different skills to find new opportunities. In each area of the business it's likely there has been a shift in priorities and the way things need to be done. However there is a need to look after the employees wellbeing and give them the tools to develop the right mentality for the challenges which lie ahead. This is why Virtual Masterclasses are becoming ever popular. The title is not only engaging to the audience, but a curated series featuring inspirational speakers delivering the tools to help employees is proving a hit with businesses as they seek to ensure their teams are equipped to deal with this new world.
Use An External Speaker To Deliver Your Message
There's one critical message you need to deliver to your business. It needs to be impactful. You know there will be follow-up questions, 'how', 'why', 'what if' and so on. Virtual keynote speakers are being used by businesses across the globe to do this right now. The speaker will present for a short period, and there skill in answering questions and relating it back to their story will help your audience understand what you're asking them to do is possible. It's an inspiring way to set the scene for what's about to come.
Consider Your Post Event Follow-Up
Many virtual event platforms allow you to record the session as soon as you hit play. Therefore you'll have access to the recording within minutes of the session ending. This provides an opportunity to deliver bitesize follow-up video clips from the session with the key points repeated so your attendees don't lose sight of the message. If you do this right you can create a highlights package which works well for both attendees and non-attendees. If you get the opportunity, it's also worth asking the speaker to stick around online after the meeting has finished and do a piece to camera with them answering some of the questions they were unable to answer.
Use Meeting Rooms To Develop New Ideas
Just like in physical meetings, breakout sessions work very well to faciliate cross-sharing, learning and collaborating across teams. They can also serve really well with creative brainstorming too. Virtual events remove some of the hierarchial barriers that exist in physical meetings which should mean, if you carefully pick the breakout room groups, that everyone will have the opportunity to contribute. It's recommended the breakout groups meet up again at a later date via the virtual platform to pick up where they left off.
Everyone Has A Voice So Encourage All Participants To Contribute
The HIPPO context shouldn't apply to a virtual meeting. There isn't a power seat. There won't be the physical body language signs that signify 'who is in charge'. And right now that's super important as everyone in the business, regarding of their level, needs the opportunity to contribute. These are unprecedented times, so HIPPOs need all the help they can get from those around them. As a meeting organiser this is your chance to ensure everyone can shine.
As host of the meeting, the power is in your hands. Make sure you tell speakers to be on mute when they are not speaking, but if they forget then make sure you mute them. You can even turn off their camera. It's a small thing but makes a big difference for the audience.
Post Event Gift
Everyone loves a gift. Typically an external speaker with a story to share will have a book to accompany their speech. When your speaker has finished and they've left your audience feeling exhilirated and inspired, many will Google the speaker to find out more about their journey. By sending your audience an e-book (or even a hardback copy!) you're ensuring the memory of the talk lives on and the lessons drawn from the speech have even more resonance.
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