As all organizations transitioned to virtual events this year, we were forced to quickly learn how to best streamline, operationalize and execute our online engagements. From internal meetings, virtual happy hours to large conferences, there are a myriad of logistics that have to be confirmed prior to kicking off your meeting. We wanted to share a few tips and tricks we’ve identified when it comes to executing your virtual event.
Identifying the best platform for your organization
The first step in hosting an interaction is identifying the platform and available capabilities to engage with your attendees. We would recommend crafting a list of your “must-haves” from the platform, considering features like:
- Do you want the ability to poll your attendees?
- Would a live Q&A be feasible with all attendees?
- Should you send a quick survey to increase participation during the engagement?
- Will you break out into different collaboration meetings?
- Is it crucial that your platform also includes the ability to transfer and share files with team members?
Many of these capabilities come with each vendor, but understanding how your organization will leverage the platform is crucial before planning your event.
Discuss and assign roles and responsibilities
Virtual engagements take a behind-the-scenes team to execute each session. Not only do you need to decide on a date and time for your event, but you also have to ensure each participant understands their role, ownership and prep work required. Below is a summarized list of potential roles for your virtual engagement:
- Content Owner: This person will identify the objective of the session(s) and be responsible to manage, craft and finalize the content ready to present to attendees. There could be multiple content owners based on the solutions being shared.
- Delivery Owner: This individual is responsible to present the information at the time of the event. Normally, these are executives or key stakeholders responsible for owning the overall message. They need to have a firm grasp on the overall objective of the session to appropriately align messaging.
- Platform Owner: This person will be in charge of recording and ensuring high production quality of the event. They will also need to be ready to address any connectivity issues during the engagement. Potential questions to ask as you prepare:
- Does your presenter have the right account settings?
- Will they share their screen? Video on?
- Who will kick off the meeting?
- Who is managing and capturing questions from the Q+A?
- Communications Owner: With a virtual event, there are multiple communications required to attendees. For example, the initial calendar invite, delivering the agenda, setting expectations prior to kick-off and a final wrap-up note. This person should own all crafting and sending of any content to session attendees to keep the messaging both concise and uniform.
Prepare and plan for success
Once you’ve identified the main logistics and roles for your event, the next step is scheduling internal checkpoints. Plan for meetings with content owners, key stakeholders and operational owners throughout your planning process. This will ensure clear expectations for your virtual meeting prior to kick off. We would also recommend a team kick-off call and final run-through where all participants have the opportunity to align on content, ask questions and finalize their work.
At Spotlight, we help our clients prepare internal and external teams for their virtual events. To learn more about how we can support you and your next engagement check out our services.