How do you keep virtual event attendees engaged?
With people around the world in various kinds of lockdown, we remain in the largest workplace experiment ever. Whether you are engaging with weekly MS Team meetings or larger international conferences broadcast from virtual studios, the challenge of keeping attendees engaged remains.
“Death by PowerPoint” has been replaced, and sometimes augmented, by “Death by Zoom” and virtual meeting fatigue. This comes in different shapes and sizes - on-line gatherings during which the manager calls the troops for a “motivational” talk that’s about as inspiring as news that you need root canal treatment, or small team virtual meetings where everyone talks at the same time having not yet mastered the mute button …
While we don’t have any choice about the situation in which we find ourselves, we have adapted and learned what works best in terms of virtual meetings and events. When used properly and judiciously, online presentation tools and virtual meeting platforms are highly effective ways of communicating, motivating and rallying the troops.
By now most organisations have their virtual event platforms of choice – MSTeams, GoToMeeting, WebEx, GoogleMeet, Zoom - for the one-on-one and small team gatherings that constitute 90% of the virtual meetings that occur across global workplaces. These virtual meetings don’t require anything more sophisticated than access to the platform via a laptop, tablet or smartphone with a camera and microphone.
Meetings that require specific outcomes – decisions to be made, problems to be solved, ideas to be harvested – can also take place on these platforms using the enhanced functionality that many now offer: real time screen sharing, polling, Q & A, breakouts, emojis, hand raising etc. But regardless of the size of your event, it’s important to stick to some broadly accepted protocols.
Key Success Factors for Small Virtual Meetings
- Have an Agenda
- Have a pre-determined start and end time
- Limit meeting to 30 mins max
- Appoint a moderator/facilitator
- Highlight meeting etiquette and platform functionality at the start of the meeting
For larger meetings, particularly those with mission critical objectives, it has become necessary to raise the bar and approach the task as if it were a TV production. We’ve grown to expect slick sophistication from what we consume via screens and, naturally, we also transfer this expectation to work related virtual meetings. If we want our work colleagues or other attendees to be actively engaged in these bigger and more important virtual meetings, then we may need to consider a virtual studio.
Virtual studios for meetings & events
With our AV & Production partner, AVCOM, we developed a Virtual Studio back in July as Ireland emerged from the first lockdown. With meticulous attention to all safety protocols and best-in-breed production and technology, we found ourselves extremely busy with virtual events - so much so that we had to move to a larger studio in January! Our extended space features larger capacity for organisers, technicians and speakers with enhanced catering and green room facilities and better access to the stadium stands and pitch side.
Learn More About Virtual
Let Paul from AVCOM introduce you to the Studio at Croke Park here.
Hybrid meetings & events
While live events are on hold for now, hybrid will be our event reality once we can get back to meeting i person. Hybrid events allow audiences engage either in person at the venue, or virtually, for example when travel is not possible. Combining the "live" in-person event and the "virtual" online component isn’t new but there will be greater expectations for the level of engagement available to online audiences with our recent forays into virtual and the seamless merging of both experiences is what will bring hybrid events to a whole new level. And we're looking forward to being part of that!
Learn More About Hybrid
Contact out team about virtual or hybrid events below.