Digital events are a great way to get in contact with others! They allow you to share your knowledge and expertise with hundreds and thousands of people through a screen.
Hosting a digital event, just like hosting an event in real life, takes care and planning. Here is what to consider when hosting an online event.
You have to get your announcement out to the masses
1. Create buzz
What is the point of hosting an event if you don't tell anyone about it? You have to get your announcement out to the masses.
Send an email to your clients, post about it on your Instagram story, tweet down the days till the event. You can use websites like Eventbrite to create a page for the event itself and share that on Facebook - all it takes is for one person to say they're attending for it to pop up on one of their friend's feed.
2. It's all in the timing
When deciding on the date, you need to do some research. Check to see if other events are taking place that day - you want to maximise the number of people watching your event, so try not to make them choose between you and another.
In terms of time, you need to think about when people most likely have the time to sit down and watch your event. If you plan to go global, make sure you take into account different time zones. Also when picking a time, ask your audience. Make the most of Instagram and Twitter polls to gauge what time works best for the majority of your audience.
3. Time to prep
Whenever you're about to carry out an event, you have to prepare. Sit down and brainstorm the things that you want to discuss - take a look at the ideas you have brainstormed and pick out the ones that are of importance.
You don't need to have a strict script that you must follow but creating a structure allows your event to have a start, middle and end. This will make it easier for your audience to follow and show that you know what you are talking about. People respond to confidence.
4. Expect the unexpected
Going online doesn't always run smoothly. Tech problems can easily occur so it is important to be prepared.
Sit down and think of the possible issues that could arise and the ways that you can combat them. Come up with backup plans in case the internet connection cuts out. If possible, do a run-through so you can work out any kinks before the event.
Also be prepared for technologically challenged audience members; create an FAQ sheet or easy to follow guides for them to use if they struggle to access the page.
5. Make it accessible
Think about the ways in which you can make your online event accessible to a large variety of people. Where possible, include captions and visuals to go along with your audio.
You can always host events through different event websites that help to make your presentation accessible for all. For example, vFairs offer colour contrast and page narrator settings.
6. Interact with your audience
Just like you would with a real-life event, engage with your audience!
There are a variety of ways you can do this whether that be sharing your screen, getting them to live-tweet or by having a comment section on your event page.
A comment section allows you to interact with your audience in real-time. You can respond to their questions throughout the event and see which parts of your presentation gain the most engagement. It may also help to have someone moderate the comment section, so they can help sort through the questions that you answer.
Interacting with your audience allows you to see what people respond to and what you can improve on for your next online event.
7. Record the event
By recording the event, you are giving your audience the chance you hear your words again and pick up on something they might have missed the first time.
Recording also helps you to create a bank of content and resources that anyone can access at any given time. This means that someone could stumble across your recorded event and see how you operate. This could then lead to them joining your next live event, helping you to gain one more audience member.