From advisory boards to grand rounds to congresses, it seems there’s no live event that can’t be made virtual. But making a typically live event virtual isn’t as easy as uploading some slides, logging in, and turning on your camera. It requires foresight and an approach tailored to the medium’s strengths and weaknesses. Here are some tips to help your audience get the most out of virtual events.
All systems go—Ensure everyone has their camera on. This is basic, but essential. Being able to see each other during the meetings fosters human connection—perhaps the most critical element of any successful event. Also, make sure to test all equipment and software beforehand and be ready to troubleshoot any issues that arise.
Get a good moderator—A virtual event needs a moderator like a ship needs a captain and a good one makes all the difference. Good virtual event moderators are hyperaware of participant needs and engagement level, know exactly how the event should unfold, and can adjust the course of the event when necessary.
Modify your content—Keeping audiences engaged is the greatest challenge for virtual events (distraction and multitasking is endemic) and developing the right content is the first step to taking on that challenge. For advisory boards, a moderator guide specifically tailored to a virtual environment is a must. Concerning slides, simpler is better—and consider virtual handouts before the meeting begins to deepen discussion.
Engagement is everything—Insert a few icebreakers before the meeting so that attendees can get to know each other (again, human connection is key). Strategically place periodic polls throughout the meeting to not only gain insightful feedback, but also ensure attendees are still hanging in there. Finally, don’t be afraid to repeat a question or ask a participant to repeat themselves—clarity is crucial for engagement.
Truly engaging virtual events? AVAIL can make it happen.