11 Tips for Adapting Your Speaking Events to These Pandemic Times

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought everything online, from meeting friends to business conferences. You can’t cancel or postpone your events for eternity, so virtual events have become an excellent alternative to in-person experiences.

But hosting a virtual event can be more challenging than it appears. For instance, how do you provide your audience with an immersive experience amidst the distractions of home? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. This blog will take you through 11 tips for adapting your events to these pandemic times.

1. Choose your favorite virtual friendly platform

Choosing the right platform is the first step to hosting a successful virtual event. Keep the convenience of your attendees in mind while selecting a virtual platform.Ask yourself these questions before making a final decision:

  • Is the platform accessible to your audience?
  • Does it have the capacity to accommodate all the attendees?
  • What features does it have to create a meaningful experience for your audience?

Several social media platforms help you organize your first virtual event like a pro. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Instagram

If your audience involves millennials and Gen Z, Instagram is your perfect companion. The social media platform lets you host a live event without any hassle.

You can conduct a live stream with three other speakers. Your audience can also comment and ask questions, ensuring the opportunity for their active participation during the event.

GoToWebinar

This virtual event software lets you host virtual events with limited attendees. Thus, it is a great platform for paid events with a few exclusive members.

Clubhouse

If your event is more of a discussion, you may not need the video feature. In that case, Clubhouse would be an excellent choice.

This audio-based social media platform has gained a lot of popularity recently. It allows you to create rooms and invite people to participate in them. Your audience just needs to install the app to listen and participate in the discussion.

Other social media sites are also introducing audio rooms. Twitter spaces are a great alternative to Clubhouse. Even Facebook and LinkedIn have included the audio feature in their apps.

Check out some of the best webinar software to host your online events smoothly.

Source: Markletic

2. Choose the right time for the event

There are a lot of differences between online and in-person events. So, you need to consider several things before deciding on the timings.

If it is a global event, people from different time zones will attend. Thus, you will have to select a time that is convenient for the majority. It won’t be a wise idea to host the event when it’s time for some of your attendees to be tucked-up in bed.

Also, make sure you allocate enough time for all the event segments. For instance, your audience should have time to ask questions after the presentations.

3. Promote your virtual event across social platforms

How will people know about your event if you don’t promote it? Don’t stick to a single platform, market your event on numerous social channels for maximum reach.

Promoting your event online might be relatively easy. At least you don’t have to go around putting up billboards and posters. But that doesn’t mean you have any less work. You might have to brainstorm for hours to come up with creative ideas that encourage people to participate.

People are bored and tired with everything shifting to the virtual world. So you have to think out of the box to appeal to them. For example, people love visual content, so you can create event videos of previous successful events to showcase what audiences can be a part of.

But what if you don’t have a considerable budget for running paid advertisement campaigns? You can use the organic reach of social media to promote your event. Ask your network to spread the word.

Social media influencers can also help boost the reach of your virtual event. Influencers have considerable influence over their followers. So, don’t underestimate their power. Inviting some renowned faces is also an excellent strategy to promote your event.

4. Engage your audience

No one likes to listen to a boring lecture. So plan activities that will keep attendees involved and engaged. Make sure they interact with each other and the host.

Here are some tips to make your online event engaging

Keep scripts short and tight

It is challenging to hold attention for a long time. So cut the fluff and get straight to the point. Present what is necessary in an exciting way.

Get a witty moderator

The moderator plays a crucial role in any live event. Make sure the moderator is an excellent speaker with a good sense of humor. That will keep your participants hooked.

It’s the moderator’s task to pump up the spirit and create excitement among attendees. If the people have nothing to do between sessions, they will lose interest.

Read our blog to know how to make your audience laugh.

Involve participants

Don’t have participants be passive listeners. Ask questions and encourage them to ask questions to the speakers. That will make them feel part of the discussion and will hold their attention.

Check out our blog to see how public speaking in the online world is different.

Source: Medium

5. Be ready to troubleshoot technical issues

What is worse than a technical glitch in the middle of a session? Have your technical team on standby to be ready to deal with any such issues.

Virtual events are bound to face technical problems sometimes. There might be issues with the video or audio for instance. Be prepared with alternative solutions.

6. Explore opportunities for pre-recording

Pre-recording can be a saviour in virtual events. It will prevent technical glitches, delivering a smooth experience to attendees.

Let’s see how pre-recording can benefit your online event.

It provides a smooth and polished experience

Speakers can take multiple takes for recording. That will allow them to deliver their best. Moreover, it will help amateur speakers who don’t have much experience of speaking at events.

Apart from that, professional background and lighting will make the speakers look good. The appearance of speakers matters a lot because it develops credibility among the attendees.

It brings together content from various presenters

Pre-recording helps to maintain flow by bringing together all the content. There won’t be any awkward silence or gaps between presentations.

Webinar software lets you pre-record the sessions in some cases.

7. Focus on safety

Just because it is not an in-person event, you can’t forget about safety while pre-recording the event. Make sure there are only a few people. Different speakers can be given different time slots so that it doesn’t get crowded.

Make sure organizers and speakers follow all safety protocols. Your company has to see that no one’s health gets compromised.

8. Integrate networking breaks with fun quizzes

Depending solely on pre-recorded sessions would be risky, so you have to take recourse to other activities so that the attendees stay interested till the end. And quizzes are an excellent way to connect with participants.

You can hold some quick quizzes during networking breaks. Giving correct answers will motivate the participants to stay till the end of the event.

9. Add value for your sponsors

Your sponsors are the backbone of your event, so you have to add value to them to keep them happy.

Sponsors are willing to spend the same money whether it’s an in-person event or a virtual one. Here are a few ways to add value for your sponsor.

See what your sponsor wants — Does your sponsor want to send branded goodies to the participants? What exposure will they get in the promotion of your event?

  • Try bottom screen messaging — Displaying full-screen ads might interrupt your sessions. You can take advantage of bottom screen messaging instead. It is a great way to promote your sponsor without disrupting the flow of the event.
  • Involve them in your events — Try innovative ways of involving sponsors like letting them introduce the speakers or giving them a 2-minute slot at the start of a discussion.

Many organizations also conduct contests, letting sponsors give away prizes. That is a great way to add value for both your attendees and sponsors.

10. Offer tangible takeaways

Virtual meetings are a great alternative to in-person events. However, you have to offer tangible takeaways to ensure people remember the event and the content.

Here are some interesting ways to offer them takeaways from the event.

Send follow-up emails

Emails give a personalized touch and can make your audience feel valued. Send a follow-up email thanking the attendees for joining. You can summarise the key takeaways from the event in your email. Moreover, it will give them the chance to ask any questions they might have.

Give downloadables

Sending downloadables helps in building connections with the audience. You can prepare an ebook containing the highlights of the event.

It will help the participants remember the important points from the conference. Moreover, people who could not attend the event will get a chance to know about it.

Share video clips

Short video clips from the event serve as great tools to give a recap. The attendees can share these videos with their friends and family. That will boost awareness about the conference. Thus, interested people might participate in future events.

11. Work with influencers

Source — Big Commerce

The global influencer marketing value was 13.8 billion dollars in 2021. It shows the importance businesses have been giving to influencers. It is not without reason.

Influencer marketing is growing because influencers command a great deal of influence over their followers. It is because they develop deep relationships with their fans. 50% of millennials trust influencers more than celebrities because they find them more authentic.

Make sure you approach influencers in your niche. For example, don’t reach out to a fashion influencer to promote your tech event.

Read our blog for more tips on how to organize memorable virtual events.

Get Ready to Ace Your Online Event

The pandemic has brought endless challenges for your business. However, it has also brought several new opportunities. Online events are one such boon. They help your business connect with your target audience without the hassles of in-person events.

Speakerhub is the one-stop solution to conduct all your virtual events effectively. We can connect you with the best speakers to enthrall your audience at all events — in person or virtual.

Check out our blog to know how to hire the perfect keynote speaker for your event.

This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.

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