We don’t need to tell you that we all made a lot of adjustments over the course of the pandemic. We became more flexible because we didn’t have any other choice, but the fact of the matter is that we have developed skills that will stand us in good stead long after the COVID restrictions are a distant memory. One of the big leaps forward that we saw was in online events and conferencing. The fact that virtual is here to stay has been cemented by Zoom’s continued growth. People had been describing virtual events as the way of the future for years, but 2020 hit fast-forward. If you have yet to host a webinar or virtual event for your business or institution, here’s what you need to know.
There’s No Limit To The Size Of Your Audience
Back when the vast majority of these events were conducted in person, there was always a temptation to think small. Can we really fill a venue of this size, or are we going to embarrass our guest speaker with all these empty seats? Is it asking too much of people to come out after work on a weeknight? With a webinar, you don’t need to worry about any of this. You can open this event up to as many people as you like, so think big with your promotion. People from all over the world can be tuning in.
Think Carefully About Your Guest Speaker
Getting the right guest speaker for your event can be a little nerve-wracking, especially if you’ve never done this before. Your first thought should be: does this person suit the theme of the event? Then, is this someone that the audience will want to hear from? That might sound a little terse, but it’s worth bearing in mind, especially when things are so fraught politically. Asking a right-leaning speaker who is outspoken on the benefits of Brexit to address an audience with the opposite view may be asking for trouble, for example.
If you’re in any doubt, then it’s best to talk directly with a consultation and booking service, such as Speakers Corner. They have a stunning range of highly respected voices, and you can find your webinar speaker here.
Planning Is Everything
Now, while flexibility is absolutely one of the main advantages of a webinar or virtual event over its in-person equivalent, that doesn’t mean that you can just wing it. Your audience will expect professionalism and punctuality, and it is worth noting that one of the things about the freedom of a virtual event is that they are free to click “Leave” if you’re running late.
So, create a detailed plan of action and make time to have a rehearsal well ahead of time. If you have hired a speaker, try to include them in the rehearsal, if possible, to make sure that they are comfortable with the set-up. Give your attendees as much information as you can ahead of time to ensure that they know what they have signed up for. There are hiccups that can happen during these events. The pandemic is still causing massive disruption that we won’t always be able to offer an ironclad guarantee of smooth sailing. What careful planning can do is minimise the risk of any embarrassment.