Online events are nothing unusual today. After two years of social distancing, most businesses have at least to some degree adapted to the digital environment and can conduct the bulk of their operations online. However, that does not mean that everyone is fully comfortable with the new setup that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Tips to make your Online Event more Professional
Organizing an online event is more than just pressing the live button on Instagram. As a business, you want it to look professional, communicate the right message, and yield results that make the whole endeavor worth it. If you are still lacking experience, hitting the mark is all but easy, but embarrassing yourself and your business is out of the question. Here are a few tips that will help you steer clear of that.
1) Plan, Plan, Plan
Every successful virtual event begins with thorough planning. A poorly planned event will lack structure, making it look highly unprofessional. The chances of mess-ups are also much higher if you don’t have every single step planned ahead of time. You need to set clear, SMART goals. You won’t be able to measure the true success of your event afterward unless you approach the whole thing methodically.
2) Boost attendance
Good attendance is very important for a successful online event. Nothing is more embarrassing than starting your live stream just to realize the viewers are merely in the double digits. So, part of your planning will also need to involve coming up with a marketing plan for boosting attendance for your event.
This is a whole other topic, but be sure that you have a compelling invitation ready well ahead of time. Advertise your event through your usual platforms, let your partners know through email, consider event content marketing.
3) Coordinate your team
You cannot do an online event alone. Well, technically, you may be able to pull it off, but it will hardly be professional at all. The key to a well-orchestrated, professional online event is a team that works together like a well-oiled machine. If there are several guests that are to speak at your event, don’t take their participation for granted. Brief them in detail, so they are not left in the dark, and everything will go smoothly.
4) Make it hybrid
Some people simply feel awkward talking to a camera. If this is your issue, too, there may be a solution that will allow you to broadcast your event without feeling like you are talking to avoid it. As live in-person events are becoming a thing again, the option of hosting a hybrid event is not out of the question.
A hybrid event not only gives attendees the opportunity to choose how they would like to attend, but hybrid events also make you, the host, feel more connected to your audience. The flesh-and-blood audience will allow you to feel more relaxed and provide a better show.
5) Encourage and Facilitate interaction.
There are always a lot of concerns about engagement when it comes to virtual events. After all, staring at a screen is hardly engaging, so it’s like the online environment immediately puts you at a disadvantage. This is why it’s important to encourage the audience to participate in what’s going on actively. Add live reaction and live comment sections (perhaps even live tweets with the use of a custom hashtag), and have a team that handpicks them for you.
If the audience sees that their questions and comments are not lost to avoid, they will be more likely to become even more involved in the conversation. You can even look into fun ideas for boosting engagement, like quizzes and leaderboards.
6) Remove the Struggle
What makes online events daunting for most is the technical aspect of it. There is no denying that technology seems to fail us at crucial moments every time. So, being prepared for the possibility of technical problems is paramount. And while technical issues happen to the best of us, when they do, they reflect on the host truly poorly and scream unprofessionalism.
So, make sure that you build your event on solid foundations that won’t give you an error message at the slightest disturbance. Picking the right platform is half the success. Seek out a reliable company like Redback Connect that will remove the struggle from online meetings. Letting professionals take care of the tech aspect will allow you to focus on other things without jeopardizing your event.
7) Do a Test Round
No matter how well everything is set up, doing a test round before the big day is highly recommended. It will allow you to familiarize yourself with the setup and feel more comfortable when it’s actually on air. Practice is also paramount if you don’t have that much experience. Needless to say, it will also allow you to fine-tune some details in the eleventh hour and achieve a truly polished final result.
Finally, when your event is done, you may think that your job is done as well. However, leaving it at that would show that you are not that well-versed in online events after all. You don’t want the attention you managed to garner to slip out of your hands.
Grab your momentum and get the most back from your event by following up. If recordings of the events are available afterward, be sure to let your viewers know. Send out thank you notes through email.
After a couple of days, you can put together some highlights to sum up, the best moments and post them on various platforms. This should all be part of your initial planning process.
Hosting an online event is not as easy as it seems. At least not if you want to do it right. Make sure that your business exudes professionalism with the tips mentioned above, and you will set yourself up for success.