When you run a physical event the first and most important thing is to effectively communicate to your audience where the event is taking place, how to get there, and what is expected of them from when they arrive. Is it a costume ball at a historic venue, a business casual mixer for young professionals or a black tie event?
Online events are no different, and in many cases communicating with your audience can be even more critical.
Make it clear – Facebook Live, Zoom Meeting, Google Meet or Virtual 5K? No matter what you’re doing, it’s critical to let constituents know how to “get there” and, just like some people use GPS while others know to “take a left at the gas station,” having virtual directions for multiple levels of technological skill is critical. Don’t just think how you would register online, think how your kids would register and how your parents would register, and have options for all.
Make it concise – But don’t have all the directions in one place. Utilize links, video or walkthroughs to take people to the directions that are right for them without resorting to one page that scrolls on forever
Make it shareable – Perhaps the biggest advantage of online events is how easy it is to encourage people to share their belief in your organization and the work you’re doing. So make sure all your shareable points have social media options, so with a single click you can turn constituents into apostles.
Make sure people know what to expect – An agenda, always a critical element, is even more so with a virtual event. The last thing you want is a participant sitting in a Zoom waiting room for 5 minutes, only to get admitted and find their microphone is on mute and they have no idea what’s happening. While it’s not necessary to spell out every step along the way, you should have steps sketched out with links to additional information and technical support (because – remember – you’re “making it concise”).
(and what’s expected) – And in these increasingly polarized times, make sure you spell out expectations of the event and of event participants. While this article is from a physical event, it underscores the necessity of setting out clear expectations and making sure you’re the first person to follow them.
Setting up directions, expectations and guidelines from the start can help you increase participation, save last minute fire drills, and ensure your next online event is a success. Need more help with a virtual event? Download our new eBook.