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April 4, 2020

How To Host A Successful Online Meeting

How to host a great online meeting or event. Right now a lot of people are having to learn or discover what it takes to…

How to host a great online meeting or event.

Right now a lot of people are having to learn or discover what it takes to move an event online while still being able to make revenue. However, hosting an online event while it may have some synergy to live events, online events can't simply be the same as an in-person event. That is why we have put together this article to help set you on the path to hosting a successful online event.

1.) Don't try and replicate face-to-face events online. 

If you think about a simple conference which is three days long and 8 hours a day and then imagine trying to make someone sit in front of a screen like that the normal response would be "That's Crazy!" That is why we have to think about how to get people to a place where they can attend an online event and still feel like they got the same or even better value as they would if they attended an online event. Consider doing the following:

  • Break your normal event up into a structured viewing session. The best way to do this would be to keep your main keynote experiences live through live casting and then taking what would normally be smaller breakout rooms and recording the speakers session. Once you have all of your breakout rooms speakers recorded then you can offer a "scheduled" broadcast list where people can choose what videos to watch. You can repeat a breakout session every day at different times to allow people to pick and choose what rooms they want to watch.
  • Think about WHY you want to host the session or why someone may want to sponsor a session. Think about what people really want to see and design your session to give them the most valuable content in the shortest time you can. Look through presentations and see what is filler information and what might be key information for people and have presenters skim down their presentations to provide the most impact.

2.) Design The Experience - Think about your experience from the viewer first and not the organizer.

  • Consider from the first moment of communication where you want them to go, what you want them to learn, and what do you want them to do.
  • When your guests connect to the meeting what are they going to experience? Think about if you want them to provide feedback during the session. Do you want them to see other presenters?
  • Are you going to send them an email event with a formal agenda? Do you want to create a facebook group for them to be apart of.

3.) Things for your presenters to think about

  • Think about the type of audience they want to reach. Do the people want to learn about the product or learn about the concepts around the product. Create content to engage people and not just sell to them.
  • Powerpoint slides are not always the best to use during presentations. Most powerpoints have to much information or "filler info" that presenters often put in to fill in their time so they speak for the full allotted amount. Is all the information in the slides relevant to why your guests are there?
  • Consider using pre-recorded video to start off or end the meetings. This could be product demonstrations, bite-sized explainer videos or something like that to help fill in your users knowledge before going more in detail with a presentation.


Things for you to think about as an event organizer. 

Before you start advertising your event think about the following main sections: 

  • What is the strategy for the event. What are your goals and who are the audiences you are trying to reach?
  • Content is going to be different so work with your teams/presenters to make content easily digestible and easy to deliver.
  • How are you going to engage your people? Are you going to use chat, polling, or texting to communicate with your presenters?
  • Once you determine the above things then see about hiring a professional company. Broadcasting live events is way different than hosting a simple webinar with a few people. Let them know what your thoughts are and do the research on the different platforms there are out there so you are knowledgeable.

Your audience has a motivation to learn and connect with people. 

  • Create a Facebook group or community around your event to give people an opportunity to connect before and after your event.
  • Create automated email followups for people that sign up for your event with whitepapers from your sponsors or presenters. Give them opportunities to continue learning even after the video or streaming has stopped.

It's really important especially when people are paying for your event that you have tech support available. 

  • Include a tech support chat or email within your platform if possible and have them monitor those during the event. You won't be able to control everything but it is important for people to feel like your listening.
  • List your phone number in emails, websites, and any login pages where you can to make it easy for people to find and reach out.


Type of Virtual and Digital Programming Styles

1.) Virtual events are one type of programming style. This is the most immersive type of experience and one that simulates a real event. It often has breakout rooms, sponsorship or branding opportunities, and pre-programmed sessions. You would use this type of event for a virtual tradeshow or consumer training conference.

2.) Event TV - This type of experience emulates a TV broadcast experience where there may be one or multiple streams that people can pick from. These would be either pre-recorded or all live.

3.) Single Video Stream - This type of experience is ideal for a one-off experience where you want to showcase particular content. These are great for announcements, keynote sessions, general sessions or even event recaps.

4.) Video Stream Service - This is a series of broadcast that are all in one location like a single page where guest can view both live content and look back at previous programs that were recorded.