Types of Virtual Event Challenges and Ways to Overcome Them
Some may call it a pandemic, while others may see it as a blessing in disguise. For the events industry and many organisations, one of the biggest benefits of shifting to virtual events and webinars, beyond their scalability and cost-saving benefits, is that they’re easy and reliable to run.
All you need is a trusted online events platform, some editing software, a microphone, webcam, and an internet connection. Right?
If you think the above is as simple as it sounds, you may want to think again. Despite a myriad of experiences from running many physical events within the industry, event organisers also face their deal of challenges on a daily basis, let alone a company or organisation which probably host a couple of events in a year. Which is why, even though virtual events are becoming the new norm, you will still require the expertise of an event organiser to make them a successful one.
Here are the some of the challenges that could possibly arise, and how you can safeguard against them with the help of a professional event planner.
Challenge #1: Inexperience with Virtual Events
For many organisations who are new to the virtual environment, it can be daunting to learn all there is to know about hosting a virtual event. The complexities of creating content, marketing the event, finding the right speakers, and finding the right platform are just a few steps in the planning process.
Solution: Part of the planning process stems from learning from others. Participate in virtual events that are similar to what you like to organise, because these experiences will be your guide to what resonates with audiences.
What is most important for addressing this challenge is to find an experienced virtual planner as your partner to guide you through the process. Choose a vendor that meets the software and services needs of your organisation and communicate your expectations to them. Services might include media production, virtual event management, and event support. Tap onto the vendor’s expertise with virtual events to shave weeks off research and planning.
Challenge #2: Slow Internet
Forbes published an article this year stating that internet usage was up by 70%. It is also been widely noted that global broadband and mobile speeds have decreased as of April 2020.
Slower internet speeds increase the risk of technical issues or lags in your content when recording or presenting an online event. While we can’t improve global internet speeds, we can take precautions on our end to mitigate such risks.
Look for cloud-based platforms with the ability to condense content from multiple presenters into a single stream. This creates a more reliable platform experience and makes it easier and faster for your audience to load and watch your content without lags or technical issues.
At the same time, always test and boost your internet connections. Every individual presenters must test their internet connection before attempting to record or present your event. It’s best to test the connection multiple times throughout the day to confirm that their home connection will be strong enough to power their presentation. You can also try a WiFi booster for each presenter to help minimize the risk of losing their connection mid-presentation.
Challenge #3: Technology and Virtual Event Logistics
Not just simply about the internet speed, technology makes virtual events possible but technology itself is complex. There are a lot of moving parts that virtual attendees don’t realize is even taking place.
Event planners are there to ensure that you get the right amount of support that is needed to host a virtual event. This includes customer support to assist attendees, and technology support so the event runs smoothly across all devices such as desktops, tablets, and smart phones.
Solution: Choose an event organiser that meets the software and service needs of your organization. To address this challenge, ask if they can manage the technological logistics of the event for you, or a revenue-share partnership where they manage all the event set-up and technology, and your team focuses on content and marketing.
Challenge #4: Engagement, Engagement, Engagement
People are working from home. Period.
Although this challenge is far less technical than the last three, it is equally important to consider. Keep in mind that a large portion of your attendees are working from home and will be more difficult to get their undivided attention.
Tailor your event format to accommodate these group of attendees by make it as easy as possible for them to consume your content with options like:
- Creating a channel for your webinar content with a small series of videos rather than one large presentation
- Make your content available on-demand
- Offer multiple sessions for a single webinar
- Provide transcripts, blogs, or copies of your slide
- Create kid-friendly content that parents can download for their kids while they watch your webinar
To initiate and spark exchanges, ask relevant questions when sessions begin and while they continue. After sessions conclude, participants can continue interactions in private groups with the available virtual platforms accessible to your attendees
Virtual events offer an option for organizations postponing or cancelling a physical event, while still be able to reach out to their audience. But organizing them presents unique challenges. Thorough technical, speaker and content preparation along with strong publicity will make most virtual meetings successful. To learn more about hosting a virtual conference, save yourself hours of research and a lot of headache by tapping into the expertise of a virtual conference organiser in Singapore.