Picture the scene. You’ve been marketing and preparing your virtual event hosting for weeks and the big day has finally arrived. You’re ready to log in when suddenly the unthinkable happens… you realise you forgot to send the correct log in information to attendees, or you find that your microphone isn’t loud enough, or the presentation slides are in the wrong order.
Virtual event hosting is now a proven method of delivering engaging content. However, for an event to run smoothly you need to spend time preparing even the finest of details. To help you with your event we have identified five of the most common mistakes that we have seen virtual event hosts make and how you can avoid making them too!
- Getting content wrong
Judging how much content you offer to attendees is a skill in itself. Event hosts often provide too much or too little content as part of their virtual event. One of the best things you can do to avoid this is to communicate a schedule of speaker times so that they know what is coming and when, which gives all of the speakers a parameter to work within.
Expecting attendees to sit engaged for hours on end is unrealistic and will prove no more productive than a shorter event with tons of value. So focus on providing the latter and pack as much genuinely thought-provoking content into a shorter time as you can.
TOP TIP: If you cannot fit all your content into one virtual event, offer a follow up event or a post-event resource that they can access after the event to keep. You can also use social media and other platforms after the event to share snippets of information directly from the event. This will also support the topics that were introduced during the event.
- Not checking the technology in advance
There are a number of points to make here, but the main mistake that people make is not checking their technology in advance and not having a back up plan for if it all goes wrong.
Virtual conferencing means managing audio and microphones, syncing slides, sorting out cameras and ensuring that all your attendees can engage in a way that they feel comfortable with. This will require plenty of communication with speakers, including getting all their presentation tools sent over in advance so that you can ensure they run correctly with your software. We also advise giving attendees the access link in advance so they have the right apps downloaded to access your event.
- Not engaging the audience enough
A successful virtual event is one where there is plenty of time for audience questions and comments. A great way to manage this is with a Q&A tool that enables attendees to send in their questions at any time during a presentation. The speaker can then return to the questions at an opportune moment or at the end of their segment. This ensures they are not interrupted or lose their flow when speaking.
Remember that audience interaction and engagement is what will make your event a success. If attendees aren’t given a chance to engage, they will quicky switch off. As the event host, it is up to you to make their time worthwhile.
- Letting speakers overrun on time
A speaker may say they “Need another minute”, or they “Just need to make one more point”. Remember, every minute one speaker runs over will have a knock-on effect on the running of the entire event for everyone else.
To avoid speakers overrunning and eating into each other’s time, share a running order in advance and encourage speakers to set themselves up with a timer so they are aware of how much time they have left.
- Not understanding the event objectives
This is where it is important to ask yourself a few key questions:
- Why are these speakers involved in my event and what do they want to communicate?
- Why are my attendees going to log in for my event and what do they want to learn or find out?
To keep your virtual event focussed and on track from start to finish, it is essential that you understand what your key objectives are and keep them at the forefront of your mind as you plan your event. Make sure you understand what each speaker wants to deliver and communicate in advance and use this information to create a running order which is cohesive and productive.
For more support in delivering a successful virtual event hosting, we’re here to help! For information on how we can support your next virtual event, get in touch with our team today!