In-person events have been out of the picture for quite some time. Given the rising number of COVID-19 cases, there is no doubt that virtual events are here to stay. In fact, even post-pandemic, events will continue to be held online for various reasons.
Online events, such as virtual conferences, and summits, have proven to be time and cost-effective, not to mention provide a wider reach than onsite events. Another reason is that, despite its limits, virtual events can simulate the important functions of an in-person event such as learning, networking, and entertainment.
The only problem, however, is that virtual events may result in virtual meeting fatigue, or commonly known as “zoom fatigue.” It is an encompassing term that “describes the tiredness, worry, or burnout associated with overusing virtual platforms of communication.” This is why it is highly recommended to keep virtual events short, preferably around 45-90 minutes, and here are some tips to help you maximize every second of your virtual event.
Stream your event on other platforms
Events are usually held in a Zoom or Google Meet room, which can only accommodate a limited number of people. Some attendees may also encounter problems entering the call. Thus, it is highly encouraged to consider streaming your event to other platforms such as Facebook and YouTube for a wider reach. Be cautious, however, of the preference of your attendees, and make sure to get their consent before recording and streaming the event.
Serve many purposes
What is interesting right now is that there are no clear-cut conventions on what constitutes a virtual event. We are still in the process of experimenting with these types of events and thus virtual events remain flexible. This is why it is highly suggested to be creative with what you do in your events. If you really want to make the most out of your virtual events, then, make sure it hits two birds with one stone. A networking event may simultaneously be a fundraising event, for example.
Reaping the benefits of your efforts does not have to stop within the event proper, rather, you may still do so even after the event. Consider doing a post-event recap, and there are many ways to go about it. You may opt to post the recording of the event in your social media account, share the highlights of the event with those who were not able to attend via email, and ask the attendees to share their experience or photos from the event on their chosen platforms.
Prepare a contingency plan
Virtual events are undeniably more susceptible to unforeseen circumstances, such as zoom bombing, stoppage due to unreliable internet, and miscommunication, which is why it is best to be prepared. As much as possible, jot down these contingency plans and share them with your co-organizers. It is also advisable to have a direct line of communication with your attendees so that you may be able to contact them should contingencies arise.
Harmer, R. (2021, April 20). Are virtual events here to stay?. LinkedIn. https://business.linkedin.com/en-uk/marketing-solutions/blog/posts/virtual-events/2021/Are-virtual-events-here-to-stay
Karlitz, H. (2021, August 3). Zoom Fatigue? Not So Fast: Tips For Engaging Virtual Events. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/08/03/zoom-fatigue-not-so-fast-tips-for-engaging-virtual-events/?sh=16e6b2f16b6d
Lee, J. (2020, November 18). A Neuropsychological Exploration of Zoom Fatigue. Psychiatric Times. https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/psychological-exploration-zoom-fatigue
Lorenz, T. (2020, April 7). ‘Zoombombing’: When Video Conferences Go Wrong. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/style/zoombombing-zoom-trolling.html