Today’s post gets you to think about three things when organizing or hosting virtual events, both large and small. You may want to read today’s post in conjunction with yesterday’s Teams365 blog post – 3 Ways to Stand Out Virtually.
When hosting our own virtual event, keep the following in mind:
Be clear about expectations. There are so many different types of virtual events, that it is important to clarify what your event is going to be like and what level of interactivity people can expect at your virtual event.
Clarify the small details – verbally and in writing. This might include email copy, a welcome video and a welcome email. Remember that not everyone is likely to read their email so if there is any pre-work required before people get in the room, note that you’ll want to reinforce key details in multiple ways.
Consider a balance of learning, reflection and dialogue. It’s likely that since the beginning of the pandemic you have been part of multiple learning events. Consider which ones allowed you to be an active learner, or whether you were being “talked at” during the session.
As someone who started off her career as an experiential educator, I value the three-part cycle of learning and action, reflection, and then dialogue. What that can look like in the virtual space is a mix of learning something (i.e. a lecture), then a reflection piece of focusing of doing some individual work/worksheets and then dialogue- talking it out virtually with one or more people.
Get people “in the room” before the event to get them thinking about the experience. In cognitive science we call this “priming”.
Depending on the type of event you are hosting getting people in the room might include:
- A pre-call with each person to learn more about them, cover key logistics and answer any questions they have – this is ideal for small groups.
- For medium sized or larger groups, it might include a pre-call concierge experience. This could entail welcoming people into your “room” or platform for some pre-event networking, so they can meet others, and also “road test” the technology. This provides the benefit of providing a focus, connection point and networking experience for people.
Leave time to take action on WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP? Critical for virtual events, where running from one Zoom room to the next is the norm, is leaving time to take action, or at least schedule, the next step. Be sure to leave time in your programming to focus in on what’s the next step – for them, and for your next touchpoint.
Let us know which of these three areas are most resonant for you. I look forward to hearing from you.
PS – Don’t forget that this week I’m kicking off the Stand Out Virtually Fall 2020 program. Join us live on either Mondays from 1:00 – 2:30 or Fridays from 1:30 – 3 pm ET for the next 7 weeks. We’ll be exploring these tips and many more, geared to support you in creating your most powerful virtual programming. Check it out here.