Blog FPO
By: Kate Pojeta | Sep, 25 2020
Meetings

Supporting Attendees for a Successful Virtual Event

To help our attendees have positive virtual experiences, let's set them up for success!

  • Choose a platform that is easy for them to use while still providing the best features to meet the event's needs.
  • Offer free virtual events using that platform so attendees can become familiar with it prior to putting money into pay-for, content-driven events. If this isn't an option, provide pre-event tours of the platform so attendees get a better understanding of what your virtual event is expected to look like.
  • Remind attendees that just as when we attend an in-person event, it's important to set that time aside to be present for the virtual experience. Multi-tasking feels easier to "get away with" when doing virtual webinars, yet you'll find the experience significantly changes if you fully engage in the sessions online as you would in-person.
  • Having a dial-in option with the video platform, or other web-based, non-video interaction option should be considered. If it's appropriate and useful, maybe a Twitter or Facebook conversation happening simultaneously to the video event can help bring attendees together (keep in mind, not all attendees will use any/all platforms).
  • Make the event accessible. If attendees have needs, gather that information during registration and properly prepare accommodations as needed.
  • Provide resources for engaging in virtual events to attendees, such as recommendations for how to setup their environment, maybe even provide some virtual backdrops for those that would like to use that feature.
  • Record the educational content parts and share it out to attendees afterwards along with any resources such as slides, key takeaways from chat box conversations and more.

 

Support Meeting Attendees with the Tools to Show Their Video

  • All virtual meetings are not created equal; set appropriate expectations and communicate those to attendees. A formal meeting with a client or partner may require more professional expectations than a 10-minute weekly "standup" meeting or brainstorming session with co-workers. Sometimes having that specified ("business attire" or "casual attire") can help with comfort level and helping attendees be appropriately prepared. 
  • All environments are not created equal; be understanding of the inequities that exist and may drive a person to NOT share their video. This could be that their home environment is not one they're comfortable sharing for any number of reasons. Their computer or internet may be significantly taxed by video and they can more fully participate if they keep video feeds off. Someone may not have camera capabilities at all.
  • Encourage attendees to find a meeting spot or two in their house or work area. Take these things into consideration:
    • Lighting. When the video is on, can we see you or what appears to be only a dark silhouette of you? Typically, bright lighting behind your head will cause it to overpower your face. Try to situate yourself facing a light source, or position a light shining towards your face.
    • Background. What is behind you that you might not want others seeing? What distractions or movement will people see behind you? What interruptions might appear in your background?
    • Noise. What conflicting noise might be heard? Microphones pick up a lot of extra little noises - from keyboard typing to sound machines to the computer fan itself. How can you best reduce the surrounding noise around you? Attendees that are unable to control some of that background noise should keep their microphones on mute unless they are speaking.
    • Comfort. Are you sitting somewhere that you will be comfortable for the length of the meeting? Do you have everything you need nearby, including writing utensils, chargers, paper, beverage?
  • Wear screen and microphone suitable clothing. Clothing in bright colors or bold striping/patterns can be harsh on people's eyes. Also, clothing or accessories that are noisy when you move will cause interference with your microphone. Avoid them if possible. And if you're using a green screen (either real or computer-generated), don't wear green 😊 

Virtual Events - Beyond the Platforms

Virtual event platforms seem to be everywhere, yet there still is no one-size-fits-all solution. And we can't expect there to be. Every event is unique and has its own needs, whether it's in-person, hybrid or virtual. So as event planners, we cannot assume one platform will check all of our boxes. There are, though, MANY add-on virtual pieces we can snag to create a unique event - most of these will work with most platforms. Here's a list of some of the best virtual add-ons we've used, tested or are looking forward to digging into more.

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By: Aaron Wolowiec | Sep, 28 2020
Meetings

Hybrid Meeting Strategy, Pricing & Best Practices

As you consider if a hybrid event is the right choice for you, your event and your organization, Aaron has curated:Key strategy questions to discuss with your planning team; A resource to guide your pricing strategy; Hybrid meeting best practices; and a New guidance for the in-person portions of your hybrid meeting.

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By: Kate Pojeta | Sep, 25 2020
Meetings

Supporting Attendees for a Successful Virtual Event

To help our attendees have positive virtual experiences, let's set them up for success! Here are Kate Pojeta's tips to do just that!

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Pre-Recording for Virtual Presentations

You’ve made the decision to pre-record your presentation for an upcoming event. Or someone else made that decision for you. Either way, you know you have to pre-record. Now what? Here are Kate Pojeta’s tip for a successful pre-recorded session.

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By: Kate Pojeta | Sep, 18 2020
Meetings

Graphic Design and Creative Tools for the Rest of Us

Whether you are forced to be a graphic designer at times or simply want to jazz up some documents and presentations with something other than text, there are a variety of tools out there that can help you along the way. Here are some favoritesthat might help you up your game for your next presentation, honey-do list, calendar of chaos, or whatever design needs you have!

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6 Strategy Questions to Ask Your Event Team

Countless organizations have had to pivot their education strategy from in-person to digital or hybrid experiences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The most successful organizations have convened a leadership team to rethink their strategy and scenario plan in alignment with organization mission. We invite you to complete a wellness check on the virtual and hybrid meetings and events comprising your current education portfolio. Whether at the board, staff or committee level, or some combination of the three, following are the six strategy questions the Event Garde team thinks you should be asking right now.

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