Organising events has always been part of the regular, if not daily, management of many businesses. For this reason, it is not uncommon for every firm to have at least one manager who is familiar with “best practices”, i.e. the set of rules that lay the foundations for the proper running of any activity. But what are the best practices for virtual events? It took all of us a while to work them out: the transition from an ‘in-person’ world to a world of fully remotely managed events has been so sudden that many people have had no choice but to proceed by trial and error in order to understand how best to manage these kinds of events. To help you organise your events remotely, we have prepared a quick guide to best practices for virtual events, which can be adapted to any type of event and apply to organisers, participants, and panelists alike.
Virtual Event Best Practices: Organisation and Technology
If you organise a virtual event, choose your platform carefully: not all platforms offer the same features, and even within the same platform the services offered may vary. We recommend that you carry out an audit of your specific needs and make a list of all the features that are essential to you, and then contact the platform’s customer service department to find the most appropriate solution for your event. Another important aspect in terms of technology concerns panelists’ and guests’ presentations: a technical glitch or misunderstanding can cause a talk to be cancelled or rendered unusable, ruining the entire event. For this reason, it is important to carry out several technical rehearsals and ensure that all participants use exactly the same setup during the rehearsals as they will during the event. This will help to solve any problems in advance, both with the platform and the individual panelists. Organising preparatory meetings with moderators and panelists also helps to improve the dynamics of their interaction and to better define the event line-up. On the day of the event, it is also important that panelists and moderators connect in advance, in order to have at least a half-hour margin in which to resolve any last-minute hiccups.
Engage the audience with interactive activities
One of the most important aspects that you should pay attention to when organising a virtual event is audience engagement. A special effort must be made to compensate for the lack of direct contact and to ensure that users have as rich an experience as they would at an in-person event. This is why t is advisable to always foresee a moment of interaction at the end of each panel, where the audience can ask questions, but also to provide users and panelists with a platform that allows them to get in touch with each other directly to discuss topics related to the event. In addition, we recommend that you create a small survey to be submitted to users before they leave the event. This way you will value their feedback and find out what you can do better. However, make sure that the survey is not too long, otherwise, users may abandon it without answering all your questions.