What makes a successful online conference?
easyREG has created a list of nine recommendations that will help you achieve a successful online event.
Make your barriers to participating in your event as low as possible so that attendees can join from their desktops, laptops, tablets, or smart phones regardless what operating system they are running. easyREG uses an online meeting room platform that operates on any device and operating system.
We have picked Zoom as our technology of choice as many presenters are already familiar and comfortable using Zoom. Using an online meeting platform that presenters are already familiar with helps ease presenters’ anxiety when they are able to use a tool that they are familiar with.
Use the same online meeting technology for all of your event sessions. Mixing and matching platforms increases complexity, costs, and the potential for problems. It is hard enough to provide support for one technology let alone multiple.
It maybe tempting to let presenters use their own technology but that would be a potential fatal mistake. You would be completely dependant on their skills and abilities.You don’t know if they know what they are doing? Are they willing to give you access? Is it really the same type of account? How do you provide support if you don’t have access to the account?
It may cost a little more but it is absolutely crucial that the event organizer is providing the technology!
Many presenters have never presented in an online environment. It is critical to provide presenters with training sessions as well as resources such as tutorial videos, step-by-step instructions, and tips and tricks.
Check out our detailed and practical resource for presenters about presenting online workshops.
Do a trial run to ensure success on the day of your event and to reduce everyone’s stress levels. Make sure that your presenters, cohosts, and tech support know how to access and start an online session.
Presenters are already anxious about their presentation and attendees may encounter difficulties using technology so be prepared and available by staffing a help desk. Learn more about offering online help.
Even a great presenter cannot present well and keep up with: who would like access into the room, the chat, operate the polls and break rooms, toggle multiple camera views, etc. so a cohost or moderator is critical to a smoothly running session. Ask presenters if they have a cohost that they would like to work with and if they don’t seek volunteers from those who are already planning on attending the session.
Request that your presenters log into their online meeting room 10-15 minutes before their session and get set-up. Then have a member of your tech support team check-in with every presenter to ensure that they are ready to go.
Who’s your tech support team? They are volunteer teachers, high school students, and/or teacher candidates who jump into 3-5 sessions before they begin and quickly complete a simple checklist with the presenter and cohost to ensure that they are ready to go. If the tech helper has encountered a problem that they don’t know how to solve have a plan ready for how to escalate problems like who do they contact for additional help.
One last tip: Get presenters and cohosts to open the meeting room to attendees 5 minutes early so that the session can start on time.