Be it physical or virtual, speakers are the backbone of an event – they can really make or break it. Set them up for success by working with them at every step of the way.
Here are some key tips:
1. Choose an appropriate virtual event platform
When you are selecting your online event platform, don’t forget to think about it from the speaker’s perspective.
Ask yourself: Is it easy to onboard speakers on the platform? Is the process to bring them on live sessions straightforward? Is there an option to upload and play pre-recorded sessions, along with conducting live sessions?
Does the platform allow you to display individual speaker profiles with their photo, bio, contact details and sessions they are speaking at? Is there a way for attendees to network with them (e.g. 1:1 chat, 1:1 scheduled meeting, networking lounges, meeting rooms)?
Is there a way in which you can offer additional branding to your speakers (such as via banners and mentions in the event feed and push notifications)?
Remember, the best virtual event platform will equip you with the right tools to deliver value to your virtual speakers.
2. Prepare a virtual speaker kit
In the speaker kit, include a demo link of your virtual event platform and a step-by-step guide on how to enter the virtual stage and take the subsequent steps – from details on how to login into the event, how to join the sessions, how to connect audio/video, how to screen share, and also how to view Q&A and session chatbox to take up attendee questions.
Additionally, include a document with suggestions on how to prep for the event. This can include pointers on lighting, camera positioning, background, attire, microphone setting, network testing, ideal presentation styles and structures, etc. You can also share presentation templates and branded virtual backgrounds that they can use while presenting.
3. Include a session moderator
Just like in-person events, online events also require a moderator (if not more so) to keep the panel discussions relevant, engaging, structured and well-timed. If it weren’t for them, discussions would easily go haywire, leading to a loss of interest among attendees. Similarly, if there is no one to keep a track of the time, a delay in a single session could disrupt the entire agenda flow.
Furthermore, moderators are the main link between your attendees and speakers. They can pick relevant attendee questions for speakers to answer, and even communicate any feedback to them. This allows speakers to keep away from such tasks and focus purely on delivering high-quality sessions.
Lastly, PRACTISE. PRACTISE. PRACTISE. And always have backup plans in place.
Some final thoughts…
It is very important to establish a relationship of trust with your speakers and this can only be achieved by consistent and clear communication. If you have their back throughout the whole process, it will not only ensure that your current event goes as smoothly as you envisioned but also nurture your continued partnership. So don’t forget, if you set up your speakers for success, you will be ‘boomeranged’ with success yourself.
This content is sponsored by Hubilo.
Author Bio: Falguni Jain is a content marketer for Hubilo, a virtual and hybrid event platform with notable global clients that include the UN, Siemens, GITEX, NYU, AWS and Tech in Asia.