Let’s face it, online conferences are here to stay. Visitors can join from all over the world from the comfort of their office chairs and get the same information they would in-person. Although this is a wonderful way to keep costs down and save on travel time, it poses some interesting challenges for hosts to keep an audience engaged. Here are some top tips from AVT.ca on how to pull off a memorable event.
1. Understand your technology
So much of what makes an event successful is understanding how your software and hardware work together. AVT.ca has been in the industry for over 30 years now and we’ve seen a lot of change, but this is a constant. When preparing for a video conference knowing how your streaming platform works, making sure the camera and audio are synced and your audience knows how to follow along is the foundation of a great, online event.
2. Prepare your guest speakers
Most online conferences will host speakers from different locations. With that being the case, preparing your co-hosts with everything they need to be successful is a must-do prior to the event. Things such as sound, lighting, connection speed and software compatibility are things that can derail even the most poised speakers. To keep these issues to a minimum we recommend outfitting your special guests with the tools they need to be successful. AVT.ca has a selection of microphones and cameras that are excellent to bring a uniformity to your event.
3. Have a mix of live panels and presentations
One thing that is difficult in the virtual world is holding and keeping prolonged attention. If you need a moment, just reference how many browser tabs you have open. To keep participants interested and engaged they are going to want more than watching someone read off a slide deck. Video conferencing software features many tools and options to keep your viewers engaged and participating. Things like taking polls, introducing social hashtags and live commenting, help to keep the energy high and the conversations interesting.
4. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
This should go without saying but an online event is a live event where all eyes are on the same thing, so running through how the day is going to go is essential to minimizing common issues. One of the major things is to have a schedule of events and to stick to it. Make sure your guests and hosts are aware and prepare them in advance for what the potentials are, i.e. this is when / where you will get questions from the audience, you are on deck as the next speaker, etc. Rehearsing will help to remove any unknowns or things you didn’t anticipate ahead of time.