Due to current restrictions all in-person events have to be cancelled. At the moment it’s not clear how long the social isolation is going to be in place. I like many other event organisers have to find alternative ways to deliver our previously planned in person events.
One of the reasons why people choose to attend these events is because of personal connection with people in the room. There is this special feeling of magic happening in the room.
Is it possible to recreate that feeling via the computer screen?
Today I took part in the event which was supposed to be delivered in the beautiful venue but instead we connected through Zoom at home.
Karen Skidmore and her team were exceptionally well prepared and very efficient delivering the content and holding the space for all breakthroughs and aha moments.
Based on my today’s experience I would like to share my recommendations on
how to get the best experience as an attendee of the virtual event.
Before the event
If the organiser has sent you instructions how to prepare for the event make sure that you find time and implement them.
One of the benefits of attending the event on Zoom is to avoid travelling hassle. It doesn’t mean that you wake up 5 minutes before the event and show up half asleep.
Give yourself plenty of time to get ready in the morning, as if you have go out – means you have enough time to put decent clothes and makeup on.
Make sure that you communicate with your family members that you need to have uninterrupted time for this event and it is important with you, share with them your agenda so they know when you have breaks and can attend their needs if necessary.
I asked my son to supply me with coffee so I can focus solely on the content, and I was impressed how supportive he was.
If you are not familiar with the technology make sure that you spend some time to familiarise yourself with it.
Set intentions what you would like to achieve by the end of the event.
During the event
Show up on time or even earlier. I loved how Karen’s team gave everyone time to come earlier, get comfortable with the technology for those who used it for the first time and created a really welcoming atmosphere.
To attend the meeting from the comfort of your own home is very convenient but there is a temptation to multitask and to keep a Facebook tab open. Resist the temptation and focus solely on the event.
Zoom has a chat option, and I find it’s a huge advantage over the live event. All attendees can instantly react to the trainer’s presentation by commenting along the way. It’s impossible to do when you are at the live event because you would be distracting the speaker with your comments or questions, but in the chat it adds additional value because you can bounce your ideas with other participants and it turns out to be a very lively discussion.
Breakout rooms gave an opportunity to work in smaller groups. If you want to benefit even more from this work make sure that you follow up with people with whom you connected during the event. It’s your responsibility.
Networking opportunities at virtual events.
We had an option to stay online during coffee breaks and have lunch together,but I loved the opportunity to disconnect from the meeting and spend time alone integrating information.
As a result my energy levels remained high till the very end.
What I loved especially about this event was that it didn’t feel like a webinar, and I really appreciate the effort Karen and her team made to organise it the way they did.
Karen has set the bar high for other event organisers, me including, as I am delivering my live event virtually in May. I am very grateful for this opportunity.
Inga, what a fantastic write-up. Having being involved in making the day extra special for you it’s so wonderful to hear your insights – and fantastic tips on how to get the most from it.
As with everything there are things as organisors we would do differently but it was such a high vibe event – and there were parts of it that were way better than being live in the room.
The big downside however was that I couldn’t give you a hug.
It was a really great event, thank you for your work Melina!
Thank you Inga for your insights. I have an virtual retreat I will be attending in July and I have put the time in my diary to do some prep this week. I am going to ask my family to support me during the 2 days as they will be on holidays.