How to Host an Online Event
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, face-to-face events have been canceled all over the world but the events industry is doing what it can to soften the blow. Thanks to online event and meetings platforms, many events have been able to continue online. But for those who have never hosted an online event, it can seem like a minefield for potential technical and planning issues. Luckily, at JTB Meetings & Events By JTB Communication Design (JCD), we already have experience in online events and can help you with all the essentials.
What is an online event?
Online events are organized meet ups that take place through online spaces which can host any number of participants and utilize interactive features. They work perfectly for events like conferences and webinars. They can also include interactive aspects such as live Q&As and content sharing. The CEO of 6connex, an online event platform, has even stated that ‘virtual (online) events are up 1000% since coronavirus’ which attests to the incredible rise in popularity of online events.
Successful online events
Just one example of our successful online events is this large-scale convention which was held in an entirely virtual space, as opposed to a convention centre. The multiple sessions and venues allowed attendees to get the full convention experience online.
This kind of multiple live streaming is difficult to manage and takes expensive professional equipment that we provided for our clients. It took careful planning to prepare the material and make it available for participants to browse freely during the event’s duration. From our experience, we’ve identified a few key areas of successful online event planning:
● preparing targeted content
● clarifying the purpose of the event and setting targets
● online marketing
● gathering participant feedback
● utilizing state of the art live streaming equipment
Planning your online event
If you are thinking of planning an online event webinar for your company, there are several things you will need to make time for. Firstly, the planning process can be even more intricate than that of a physical event because of the complicated equipment and scheduling.
When preparing targeted content, we help you to make a plan for what you want to achieve through your event. We also help you to pick the best time for your audience and take into account different time zones when you market your event. There is also now a range of platforms to choose from to suit different purposes and we test the best ones to set up the most effective virtual event space.
Further technical tips for holding a great online event
An online event offers everything to your attendee through their screen. For this, it is essential that it is presented in a professional matter. When setting up your online event, here are some technical pointers to keep in mind.
1. Video quality
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised that your event’s professionalism is immediately judged by what your attendee sees. If the video quality is questionable, the first impression might not be a good one, and may make the viewer lose interest fast. In order to offer great video quality, a good camera setup is essential. You would be amazed by how many organizers use the webcam in their laptop during an online event. While the quality might vary, most inbuilt cameras don’t offer enough as of now, and setting up greater quality home video cameras, or bringing in a technical team with high-performance professional cameras will bring the quality of your event to a much higher level.
As with video, built-in microphones are often used during presentations at online events but it goes without saying that an earphone mic is a must-have, and a professional microphone is even better to have. The audio is a core element of your event, and making sure the audio is crisp is of importance. If using multiple video streams, it might be that the audio and video run out of sync. Having a professional crew in place to sync the two back up is also recommended.
Last but not least, how your event and speakers are lit is also something to look into. Even if the video quality is sharp, and the audio is in sync, if the lighting is too dark or too bright, your viewer might have an uncomfortable experience. Making sure the backdrop and the speakers are well lit and presented in the right color balance, with your company brand also being well displayed, is essential during an online event.
If hosting an online event is already starting to sound like more work than you expected, don’t fret. Our job is to make the event as little work as possible for you. With the help of professional planners, the new world of online events is anything but daunting and can even be a more popular, more economical and safer way for you to host your events. If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact us here.