By now, everyone should know why events and conferences mainly take place online these days. However, the question is: how can you organise good online events, like really good ones? To help you, we have put together a little manual for your next remote event.
Online Event Tip 1: Choose the Right Format
Not every remote event is the same. What can users expect? An event in a lecture format? Or an interactive, multifaceted event? It is essential to decide in advance whether there should be individual log-in links for each keynote and session or a central one for the entire day of the event.
Online Event Tip 2: Document the Event
Video, audio, images, illustrations – in which formats should the event be documented? Here is a best practice: the illustrator Anne Lehmann simultaneously draws each Handelskraft Conference, even if it takes place remotely. This allows participants to watch how the artist charmingly captures the event on paper or smart device.
Online Event Tip 3: Schedule Dry Run Appointments
If dry runs go wrong, the event is successful. It is also important to arrange dry runs with hosts, facilitators and speakers for digital events. This makes everyone speaking at the event feel more secure – be it on a technical or mental level.
Online Event Tip 4: Ensure Good Transmission Quality
Nobody likes it when it cracks and crunches. In order to proactively avoid unstable Wi-Fi connections and thus poor audio and image quality during the event, you should (still) rely on cables. It is also important that the remote event takes places in quiet rooms or even in a studio and that headset and microphone are used regardless of which room you are in. Microphone and sound should definitely be tested again before the event starts.
Online Event Tip 5: Be on Time
Participants should already have access to the event a few minutes before the first announced agenda item. This means that the event should officially be started using the tool. This way, participants can log in without having to hurry before the speeches begin.
Online Event Tip 6: Communicate Clearly
Session titles and content have to be formulated in a clear and understandable way and participants have to be informed if the event is recorded. These recordings should be made available to everyone afterwards. Even more so than offline, implicit things have to be made explicit online and participants have to be proactively and repeatedly made aware of agenda items. Virtual reactions, including possible technical problems, should be addressed live by the host – consistent dialogue is the best way to avoid losing participants.
Online Event Tip 7: Set up a Supporting Programme
What can participants be offered individually? Whether it is meet-the-speaker formats in separate virtual rooms, system demos, one-on-one meetings or fuck-up slots: you have to be creative and take advantage of the tools’ technical possibilities. The partner network can also be used for slots and formats that complement the regular programme by providing variety.
Online Event Tip 8: Design Breaks
The number and length of breaks should be determined and communicated in advance. In order to keep the bounce rate as low as possible, it is better to have shorter, but more frequent breaks. It is also important to offer added value during breaks, for example through interactive networking formats such as coffee sessions. Under certain circumstances, cooperation with delivery services may also be possible in order to offer participants not only real but also edible added value.
Online Event Tip 9: Gather Feedback
Online events are only at the beginning of their history, but even those who have already been involved in several of these digital events do not stop learning. Since focusing on the user is essential for any event, it is important to be open to participant feedback, even at remote events, and to meet the technical requirements for anonymous feedback during the event, for example by using the polling platform Slido. Polls using previously prepared questionnaires can also be helpful for follow-up work.
Online Event Tip 10: Allow for Consulting
Digitisation is changing the world. Too quickly for some of us, too slowly for others. No matter how you look at it: it is easier to digitally map events with professional help. After all, innovation has always been accelerated when people put their heads together instead of burying them in the sand.