As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates, many companies have decided to move their events, conferences and trade shows online instead of canceling or rescheduling.
But transforming a live event into a virtual one brings its own challenges. Unfortunately it isn’t enough to set up a camera and hit “record” or “go live.”
If you’re planning an online event, here are some common pitfalls to avoid.
- Skimping on audio-visual equipment. Visual presentation is a critical component of virtual events. Invest in high quality cameras, lighting and sound equipment to make your event as professional and engaging as possible.
- Not testing everything ahead of time. Before going live, you will need to run several tests of your equipment and programming. Designate time for these trial runs in your pre-production schedule so that everything runs smoothly on the big day.
- Holding yourself to the same standards. Virtual events are a different ballgame with their own set of rules. Audience attention spans are shorter, their expectations are different, and their participation or investment level may fluctuate. Revist the benchmarks for your event and see if they still seem reasonable given the new format.
- Assuming your audience is tech-savvy. Regardless of demographic, your audience may not have a good grasp on your virtual event platform and tools. Make sure to educate them before the event begins and provide multiple channels for assistance and support once you launch.
- Assuming your presenters are tech savvy. Public speaking skills don’t always translate to video conferencing skills. Your presenters might need some support with aspects like video lighting and framing in addition to training on live video programs.
As with any live event, be prepared for something to go wrong during your virtual event and have a Plan B (and Plan C) ready to go. Remember that everyone is figuring this out as they go along and be easy with yourself and your team if mistakes happen.