As part of our event coverage service, our team has covered a lot of virtual conferences over the past two years. Here are some best practices we’ve observed to help you get as much value out of an online conference as an in-person one.
Choose the right platform
Different virtual meeting software offers different functionality, from basic video calling to complex, multi-room streaming with full archiving options. Get clear as soon as possible on the features you need for your event and what your chosen platform offers so you can fulfill your vision.
Decide how participants will contribute
Video calls can become chaotic very quickly when people talk over each other and separate conversations unfold in the chat window. Meetings tend to go better when hosts establish a protocol right from the start. We’re big fans of the “raise hand” feature offered by most platforms, which allows people to contribute to the discussion in an orderly fashion.
Facilitation is critical
If you have more than half a dozen participants, a good facilitator can really help. They can ask follow-up questions, keep speakers on track and on schedule, and balance speaking time to avoid the conversation being dominated by one or two voices.
Remember tech support
In any large meeting, someone will inevitably have trouble logging in or a spotty internet connection that drops them out unexpectedly. It’s wise to have a dedicated support person on hand to help with troubleshooting or let people back into the right breakout room — so hosts can keep running the event uninterrupted.
Taking care of the technical details and being present in the discussion and keeping track of everything so you can refer to the key insights and action items later is a big ask. Contact us if you need some reporting support for your next virtual meeting.