What Often Goes Wrong with Virtual Events
When it comes down to it, many event planners are still new to virtual events. You don’t have the advantage of knowing what to plan and watch out for that you have with in-person events. While there are strategies that help set event professionals up for a successful virtual event, problems and roadblocks are always a possibility. Here are a few points to keep in mind when preparing for a virtual event:
Attendance: Although virtual events can see a significantly higher number of registrations, don’t be surprised if you experience up to a 50% attendance drop from people who say they would come. It is so much easier to sign up for a virtual event than it is to arrange travel details and block out time for in-person events. Because of this, many people will sign up and then decide at the last minute they are too busy to attend or would rather do something else. On top of this, many people register for virtual events just to receive the recorded version of it after it’s over.
To help, you may decide to offer incentives for actually attending the live event. This could include things such as providing a free lunch, giveaways, Q&As with popular speakers, or the ability to network with attendees in breakout rooms.
Internet Connection: A big problem with virtual events is, well, the virtual part. Internet connection issues can pose a threat to the user experience if speakers do not have the ideal setup or are not plugged in directly to their router. If they don’t know how to already, be sure to help your speakers optimize their internet connection before the event to prevent any problems from occurring on the event day. You might also want to recommend they have a backup mobile hotspot in case of surprise outages.
Sound Issues: Audio settings can be tricky, but they need to be perfect if you want a smooth virtual event. This is also important to go over before the event happens, as speakers don’t always know where to look for sound settings, or may even need to upgrade their microphone. Sound is critical to the viewing experience of the user. Attendees may tolerate below-average video quality, but if sound quality is poor, you will greatly struggle with your retention rate. Running into sound issues during the event can be a disaster, so make sure you account for them prior to the start.
Audio issues can be solved by using an external microphone or headset and sound-friendly rooms that reduce echo. Also, having someone available throughout the event to address issues with sound will help your virtual event run smoothly.