Five Tips for Designing Virtual Events
Updated: Jun 17, 2020
I have fielded dozens of calls in the past couple of months on how to better design a digital event. Note, I use the word digital and not virtual. Something about virtual invokes avatars and a Minecraft-type environment to me and I can't take that seriously. Digital events are events that take place on-line. They are the next-gen webinar and they can be awesome!
Why? Because geography isn't an issue, cost is mitigated as a barrier to entry and they only require that the guests get half dressed. Here are a few guidelines I share with clients.
Five Tips for Smart Digital Event Design
Derive the why of your event....at least one reason and up to four reasons people will want to participate. Write those down! Remember them constantly as you evaluate your technology platform(s) and build out your agenda.
Use a combination of pre-recorded and live content. This will provide variety and help keep participants engaged.
Find an MC who can seamlessly tie the event together and fill the void/silence/tech glitches (because they will happen) with humor and grace (I love the role of MC and I have some availability ;). Your MC must have a mastery of your community and content so hire a few weeks out.
Avoid virtual backgrounds unless you are able to test with each presenter prior to the show. Virtual background quality is contingent on processing power of the individual speaker (a tip I picked up from the team at Dahlia + Agency).
Find a person(s) with the skillset of an event producer who can create your run of show, call your event and work with all participants to rehearse (you will need more than one person in this role for day-of work. Yes, you must rehearse.
BONUS TIP: Prepare, prepare and rehearse (with preparation). But, know that unless the WIFI gods are smiling, there will be gremlins and people who speak like Mr. Roboto at times. Roll with it. It's all good. It's authentic and genuine. Best of luck!