As more people hang up their robes, put away their slippers, and head back to the office, one thing remains the same: in-person meetings and events are a thing of the past. Since March, LS2group has helped its clients successfully hold dozens of virtual public meetings and news conferences.
“While the pandemic has definitely changed how we do things, it hasn’t changed the need to hold meetings or events to keep business running as usual,” explained Account Manager Ashley Miller. “Virtual events also serve as a great way to keep connected, and there has been a noticeable increase in attendance since switching to virtual platforms for meetings. People had gotten complacent with in-person events, and the switch to a new format has increased engagement.”
While it might seem simple to open Zoom or another virtual platform to hold your meeting, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes planning leading up to a virtual event.
“We work diligently to prepare all the speakers and coordinators of these events,” added Senior Account Manager Nick Boeyink. “Through multiple technology checks and simulations, we place an emphasis on preparing for the unexpected,” he continued. “These virtual meeting platforms offer many resources to run a smooth event, and our additional preparation allows for peace of mind when the day of the event comes.”
Aside from the technical preparation, Boeyink explained it’s important to prepare for how people and reporters will ask questions without everyone in the event trying to talk over each other.
“By using a well-prepared moderator and utilizing the chat functions for question and answer periods, we ensure all voices are heard while avoiding the all-too-common issue of attendees speaking over one another,” he said. “The process involves a detailed run of show so all involved can enjoy a valuable and insightful meeting experience.”
Miller agreed, adding that having a run of show and sticking to it can also help your virtual event stand out.
“It’s extremely important when organizing a virtual event that you set expectations and clearly outline the agenda, especially when you have a guest speaker,” she said. “Clearly defining the amount of time for introductions, speaker presentation, Q&A, and other business, keeps the event moving and ensures no one is talking over others.”
While many are hopeful in-person meetings and events will start up again this fall, virtual events continue to be the safer option and can be equally as effective. However, if a virtual event is not an option or will not suffice, it is important to keep in mind that event hosts should plan to allow enough space and provide masks to attendees in order to follow CDC guidelines.