It’s much easier for an attendee to switch off online, so content is king for online/virtual events. Check out our content tips below…
Use a moderator
An experienced moderator, host or master of ceremonies will be the glue that binds your online event together.
They can represent your audience in the interviews and debates, manage the Live Q&A from your virtual event portal, think on their feet in interviews, connect in an engaging way with your audience and provide a summary of the key points to help your audience retain the most important information.
If you are running a blended event, you could use two hosts; one for your in-person event and one to host additional content for your online event.
Keep it snappy
There is a reason TED talks are no more than 18 minutes! An attendee’s attention span is much shorter online than it would be at your live staged event.
We recommend planning for your studio presentations not to exceed 20 minutes, although 10 or 15 minutes would be better if your speaker is seated and using webcam. It doesn’t mean you can’t spend more time on the session topic, but you could change it up by adding an interview, different speakers or moderated interaction to keep the audience engaged.
Use a wider variety of speakers
You no longer have the usual live event obstacles of a speaker not being available on your event date; not having the time to travel to the venue/destination, or not being on the same time zone.
Live link ups and pre-recorded presentations can overcome most eventualities, so take advantage of the new opportunities that an online event provides for your audience to hear from a wider range of people.
Invest in guest speakers
More often than not there will be at least one big name speaker on stage at your in-person event, so remember to include a big name draw in your online programme too.
Your attendees are collectively giving you a significant amount of their time, so they deserve to hear from presenters who will energise, educate and inspire them.
But remember, the speaker who bounces around amusing delegates on a physical stage may not be the ideal speaker for an online event! Checking that your guest speaker can engage with an audience down a camera lens is a priority.
If you have lots to talk about, you can divide sessions into concurrent streams to cater for the different needs of your audience. There’s no need to worry about anyone missing out, as there is with an in-person event, as all streams can be made available on-demand after the scheduled session has finished.
Delegates attend events to listen, learn and be entertained. Often attendees will learn more by getting involved, so consider using interactive workshops – which are perfectly possible online.