It’s a new year, but remote work and digital events are still familiar ground. So it doesn’t take long for us to get to know what we like — and what we don’t like — about these online experiences.
Whether you are planning a pre-recorded webinar to show later, or a live webinar you will stream as a webcast, These are some key things you need to be aware of if you want it to be error-free and successful.
One of the interesting themes to emerge consistently from our yearly Redback reports, despite the prevalence of video events, is the importance of audio. If there’s one thing you should be totally confident of before kicking off your next virtual event, it’s the quality of your audio.
Our experience managing more than 2500 digital events a year tells us that people will overlook a frozen video feed, but if the sound drops out, so will your audience.
To prevent this from happening at your online event, test remote presenters’ connections a week in advance and go with audio and slides if the video isn’t reliable. Or ask them to present from a broadcast studio to be sure of a reliable connection.
If you have presenters dialing in remotely from regional areas where the internet connection may be unreliable, ask your technology provider if they offer a teleconference option as phone lines offer much better audio than dodgy broadband.
Advise remote presenters to use headphones and a microphone to minimise background noise.
Teach them to treat the camera as another person in the room. This means looking at the camera lens when they’re speaking to the audience.
It’s important to keep it natural, use a conversational tone and make sure they don’t forget to smile. The more they relax, the more the audience will too.
Interactive elements such as polls, quizzes, Q&A sessions, and virtual whiteboards are also a great way to build engagement.
Discover how to present like a Rockstar
Lengthy events with no breaks
Match the production value of the event to the content requirement. Trying to pack your webinar with too many moving parts will take away from the content and intent of the topic. Ill-structured events with no breaks can create room for error.
We keep saying it because we know audiences prefer it: shorter is generally better when it comes to digital events and virtual meetings.
Online workshops, conferences, webinars, and seminars often deliver a lot of information in a short space of time. Meanwhile, distractions are only a click away in the virtual environment.
With the best intentions, some people will find it hard to remain engaged for your entire event.
Great digital event organisers will find ways to help their audience to stay engaged, including keeping events short and punchy and also building in interactive exercises, quizzes, and other elements that break up a presentation.
For half-day events or longer, schedule plenty of breaks so your viewers can do what they need to do, reset, and return when the session resumes.
Meet your commitments
Does your digital event do what it says on the invite or rego page? If not, you’re going to leave your audience feeling frustrated, unfulfilled, and irritated.
It’s not that hard: cover the topic as advertised; start and finish on time, and do your best to answer the real questions your audience has.
If you can’t get to everyone’s questions in a live forum, either respond in a virtual chat room or answer questions in a post-event FAQ you mail out to your attendees.
Keep these 3 points in mind when formulating your online event program and you’ll go a long way to ensuring both you and your audience have a great virtual event experience.