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Top 5 Things to Avoid While Hosting a Virtual Event

BusinessTop 5 Things to Avoid While Hosting a Virtual Event

Companies are adjusting their 2020 plans in response to the global spread of Coronavirus. As live events are off the table for now; hence, businesses have taken things online as working from home is the “new normal.” Many experts believe that this will continue long after the crisis is over.

Remote events and meetings are very different from in-person meetings. Therefore, if you’re not used to it, you are bound to make mistakes, and these mistakes can have significant implications in terms of productivity and performance. However, you should know that well-planned online conferences can be extremely powerful.

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Holding Online Meetings

According to Harvard Business Review, online meetings and conferences are more efficient than face-to-face meetings when well-planned. For that, you need to be aware of what you need to do. Here are some of the common mistakes newbies make when hosting a virtual meeting.

1. Neglecting one of the “five key success points” of virtual events

If you are aiming to bring people together through virtual to share information, ideas and come up with solutions, then you need to do meticulous planning to ensure the achievement of your meeting goals. Following are five key features of the online event:

  1. Have a clear goal and objective
  2. Make it easy for attendees to participate
  3. Get them fully engaged and immersed in the meeting
  4. Get them in the right mindset for the event
  5. Incorporate strategic, high-quality content that fulfills a purpose.

You cannot hold a successful online conference with long and dragged-out PowerPoint presentations. It might work during an in-person meeting, but the attention span in a virtual meeting is less in comparison. Therefore, if you follow the above key points, you will end up with a high-impact online conference. If you don’t, you will end up holding an awkward and inefficient meeting, which is the last thing we need right now.

2. Voice calls instead of Videoconference

Videoconferencing helps to re-establish relationships with your attendees as you not only hear them but also see their body language and facial expressions. This leads to productive collaboration and provides and shortens the gap between employer and employee.

It is becoming a norm in the corporate world, especially after the development of VoIP, which helps in communication via underlying infrastructure. When people’s cameras are on, they are less likely to multi-task and focus on the agenda, which increases overall engagement.

3. Not giving passive attendees an active role

One of the most challenging features of any event, be it virtual or in-person, is to turn passive listeners into active participants. Instead of giving all the roles to one person, break your team into different roles, like a moderator, presenter, facilitator, etc. You can also use the following tools to increase engagement at your webinar.

  • Chat rooms: Use chatrooms so attendees can interact separately with each other in small groups. You can also increase engagement by forming teams and giving them tasks.
  • Polls: Integrate polls during each presentation so people can give their ideas about the discussion, and the presenter can get an idea about what they think.
  • Real-Time Q&A: Make sure your attendees can ask questions in real time so the presenter can incorporate those questions during the presentation. Similarly, you can also go for the end of the session Q&A so the presenter can read the questions out loud and then answer.

This is an excellent opportunity to achieve maximum results from your webinar. Did you know around 47% of people are more likely to ask questions at online events than at an in-person meeting? Don’t let the Coronavirus stop you from achieving your goals; consult with corporate events Dubai-based companies for hosting a successful conference.

4. Failing at Sequencing of Sessions

The most common mistake made by organizers is falling behind on the sequence of sessions and activities. After clearly defining the purpose of the conference, strategize on the progression of your sessions. Consider the following things in mind:

  • If there is “an elephant in the room” deal with it first; otherwise, you will have to experience long pauses that really kill the mood of the meeting.
  • If there is a presentation or discussion that may be intense or create heated debate, put it in the middle to get everyone warmed up and break the monotonous environment.
  • If you have something new and exciting to share, hold it for the end of the meeting, but let people know that there is a surprise announcement to build the suspense.

5. Underutilization of Breakouts

Instead of treating all the participants like one big group, you should break them into breakout teams so they can work in smaller groups. Most successful online workshops from IBM, Microsoft, and Adobe increase engagement and learning by taking advantage of breakouts so teams can come up with new ideas and action planning. Online webinars and meetings are amazing for fostering collaborative work.

Several online meeting platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts offer breakouts. With your attendees divided into smaller teams, you can give each of them a time frame and a clear set of tasks. With clear instructions and a set timeframe, you would be amazed at the results you achieve and the work that gets done, which would have taken days if done the unusual way. You can also consult event companies to help you with the virtual setup and breakouts.

Take Meetings Virtual

As you can see, these are some of the common mistakes that you must avoid when you are hosting your virtual event. Bear in mind that planning an online event takes as much effort and time, if not more, as planning a face-to-face conference. So, make every minute count and execute your plan to ensure the success of your event.

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