The past 2 weeks have been sneak previews into my newest eBook, Virtual Event Engagement.
This week is the 3rd and final preview of this free 20+ page resource to planning and accomplishing your virtual event engagement goals.
Read about engineering virtual engagement and the virtual event coffee hour, or pick up your copy of the eBook on my website.
Let’s think about producing your virtual event and getting the engagement you want like a three-legged stool. The chair of the stool is where your engagement happens, and the three aspects holding it up have to be in alignment or engagement will topple.
Here are the three legs of our event engagement:
It’s the first thing we think of when talking about virtual events: HOW are we going to host it?
Technology is pretty vital to the virtual event. Even a conference call uses a form of technology, so with computer or not, we need to consider the appropriate tech for the event we want and its audiences.
Finding your ideal technology may not be the most popular, most-touted option. It may not even be one solution, but several.
I’m going to say something pretty controversial:
Price is not the first consideration.
The first consideration is the scope.
What do you need the technology to do?
- Payment portal
- Branding options
- Audience chat
- What else?
Make a list of what you need the technology to do, then start sorting through your best options.
Break out the digital calendars and datebooks, it’s time to talk scheduling.
You would never set up a live event without testing the microphones, lighting, stage entrances and exits, going over the schedule, and checking that everyone knows their cues for a seamless transition throughout the event.
So why get lax when it comes to virtual events?
It’s simple: don’t.
Even with a hybrid event where some events take place in-person, any digital component, including streaming the event, needs to be practiced in the recording or streaming space by the people in each segment.
With completely virtual events, practicing is essential. You need practice sessions for everyone that will be on camera or audio.
Practice sessions are dress rehearsals; everything should be the same as it will be for the event or the recording so that there is comfort, reliability, and a basic understanding of how the event will work.
Dress rehearsals are a non-negotiable requirement of all speakers, moderators, panelists, and especially the tech support staff. A “dress rehearsal” event will make the next step a snap.
As my friend Joy O’Shaughnessy said in a recent interview I hosted with her about virtual events, it’s time for the sledgehammer.
Make sure everyone that will be on camera or over audio follows the same technology, schedule, and appearance checklist.
Make your expectations short, memorable, and frequent. You’re not looking for subtlety about what the expectation is, you’re looking for a cohesive event so your attendees aren’t distracted by avoidable pitfalls.
Here are just a few topics that should make it on to your checklist:
What else can you think of that would make your event look, sound, and feel consistent across the duration?
Get the whole book, Virtual Event Engagement, for free!