working online - How to manage your events
Covid-19 has brought uncertainty to almost all business types across the world. Employees are being forced into unemployment or if they’re lucky, have the chance to work remotely. It is becoming obvious that companies who evolve and adapt to the current situation will be less affected in the long run. Moving to remote meetings and working online has probably been on your list for a long time and this crisis has forced us to look at remote working options earlier than expected.
Here are our top tips for managing your events online.
Choose your Software
As an organisation, decide about the software you will use to communicate across the board, both professionally and for more casual meetings. Software options include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Webex, Slack and so many more. You might find your current email provider already has a premium conferencing option available to save you installing something completely new. If you’re new to this, choose the functionality you want your software to have and do some research, reading reviews and appraisals from real clients.
Content is King
Before you write a word of your online event, define your target audience. Is this an internal, informative meeting? Or is it a meeting to bring suppliers, clients or customers together? You cannot write quality content without a key audience/customer/client in mind.
Tailor your content to convey the message you want in an informative, engaging way. If you don’t, your audience is likely to tune out or become distracted, much easier than they would in a traditional event.
Consider your surroundings
Before you start your conference call, consider your surroundings. You may not notice that distracting picture in the background or that your laundry is drying behind you, but your guests will. Try to keep things as professional as possible and if you don’t have a blank wall to sit in front of, many platforms have an option to change your background. You should also keep external noise to a minimum, try to avoid having noise from children, dogs or music in the background.
Few of us are used to this new way of working and may not be sure of the correct online event etiquette. Make sure to introduce yourself to your audience and give your company and the event a little context. When you are speaking, try to make eye contact with the camera, instead of staring at yourself. Switch off your phone or email notifications so you’re not distracted looking at them or trying to multitask. Wait until everyone else has left the meeting before hanging up, so attendees can leave at their own pace and give time for queries at the end.
If you were conducting an event in person, you would not expect your attendees to sit quietly for a couple of hours with no interaction. If your event topic lends itself to interaction, make use of the chat function that comes as standard with most communications’ software. You should also promote social interaction, sharing posts on social media and encouraging attendees to do the same.
Importance of Timing
If you say your event will last an hour, try not to go too far over or under that time. Attendees have scheduled a specific amount of time to enjoy your event and may have prior commitments afterwards. It’s important to schedule your event properly and stay on track, making sure your goals are met within that time frame. If you are unsure, practice and time yourself beforehand.
Prepare for the worst
Think of the worst thing that could happen during your event and prepare as if you are expecting it to happen. From poor connection and sound issues, to signing in and signing off, prepare for all eventualities, making sure you have a contingency plan in all cases. This will make sure your event runs smoothly, maintaining a professional front for your audience and mitigating any worry or stress you might feel about technical issues, leaving you to focus on excellent delivery.
Before you begin, try to determine what questions your audience want to have answered by attending your event. The only way to find out if they felt the event was worthwhile is to ask. Prepare a feedback form for all attendees and consider recording the event to send afterwards in case they want to listen again later. Feedback is invaluable and can help you improve and grow as a business and in future online events.
While many offices may be closed for the moment, we still have excellent virtual office services that may help your business survive this uncertain time. If you need to move out of your permanent office for any reason, we may have a solution for you in one of our Kildare or Dublin serviced offices.
Contact Therese Mullane today to learn more about how Premier Business Centres can help you.