Event planning did not cease to exist with the arrival of Covid-19. It just changed dramatically to become a completely virtual experience. But, even with the physical requirements removed from the process, event planning in some ways became more troublesome and complicated when it moved entirely online.
Technological advances make it possible to host corporate or social events without gathering people physically. It removes the need to rent space, which eliminates a cost. It eliminates the need to transport people from one place to another, which eliminates another cost. It eliminates a great deal of paperwork, including printing a schedule of events or flyers of any kind, which eliminates yet another expense. It is much cheaper to host an online event than a live-and-in-person one.
But less expensive does not mean easier. For every physical requirement in a live event avoided when you do an online event, there is a technological aspect that complicates the matter. In terms of planning, there really is no time-effective difference.
Let’s consider the technological factors that go into planning an online event to avoid pitfalls or find someone who can assist you in creating a successful event.
When you host an in-person event, you must consider the number of people who want to attend, and then plan accordingly. With an online event, similar planning must occur, but with a different focus.
The number of attendees to an online event is determined on the platform you are using to host your event. We have all become accustomed to attending video chat sessions for work or other purposes since the coronavirus's arrival. We all know the difference between an online video conference with five people versus one with 250 people.
Are you making presentations for which you want widespread coverage, or do you desire an interactive presentation that invites attendees to ask questions or add input? The answer to that question will go a long way to determining the platform you will use.
If you want both widespread dissemination of information AND attendee interaction, you will require an entirely different sort of event, one with multiple formats and access points. Discussing your online event needs with someone from The AV Agency will allow your event to go off as planned from the outset. Expert analysis of your event wants and needs are necessary to assure a positive experience and appropriate expenditures of both time and financial resources.
Choosing the proper platform (Zoom or other such video conference sites) goes beyond the ability to handle a sizable audience or multiple event formats. Your organization must discuss the production values involved in creating your event. Is Powerpoint a viable choice, or is it outdated for your needs? How will you present your information to attendees, and how much visual “splash’’ are you looking for? Do you want your event to have a “WOW!” factor, or do you want to present something more straightforward? What does your audience expect? What have your competitors done in their similar presentations?
Host the event before hosting the event
Everyone who has ever attended an in-person corporate or social event has come away thinking, “I would have done that differently.” It is impossible to please all attendees; it is so much easier to criticize an event than plan an event.
Most of corporate America has attended an online conference of some sort and some size in the past six months, and have been able to point to aspects that worked and aspects that didn’t. Your staff needs to discuss what they liked about online events they have attended and what they didn’t like, and consider whether that concern could be applied to your event.
But, from a technological standpoint, the most annoying flub in an online event is when there is a digital malfunction. Connectivity, speed, communication lag time - all of these factors could crush your event's impact or appeal.
To avoid as many potential miscues as possible, conduct a thorough test run. It’s not enough to make sure the platform can handle your audience size and connectivity. It would be best to make certain your displays, diagrams, and other presentation material easily accessible and easily read. The only cost involved in conducting a test run is time, and the goal of conducting a successful event is probably worth that cost.
To ensure your event will go smoothly, discuss your plans with us.