Things have changed a lot due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Concerts and major events were canceled. Schools, malls, and other places where people used to gather were closed off.
Since then, many marketers, business owners, and even educators have turned to the Internet for a solution. This led to the emergence of online events.
Although initially used to manage the impact of the lockdown, virtual gatherings have evolved into something more.
Video calls made it possible for people to stay connected. But more importantly, they also opened opportunities to expand audience reach to people who wouldn’t be able to attend under normal circumstances.
With this kind of advantage, all that’s left is to maximize the impact of your online events. To start, here are six online event hosting tips Dubai presenters swear by:
1. Set the Stage.
Did you think that just because you’re doing an online presentation, you no longer need to prepare the venue? If you did, that’s the first thing you need to correct immediately.
Setting the stage for virtual events may be a bit different from prepping an actual event venue, but it still requires effort. From the background setup to the lights and sounds, below are the important things you can do to prepare your online event stage:
Choose an appropriate background.
Use a background that helps boost your professional image. It’s better if it reflects the message that you’re trying to send your audience.
If you’re hosting from your home, make sure that your background isn’t cluttered. Remove anything distracting from your audience’s view.
Also, consider using virtual background features in online meeting platforms. Some can even blur out whatever is behind you.
Check your lighting.
Lighting is crucial in live events, but it becomes even more vital in virtual ones where the audience relies on the image they see on their screen. As the host, people should be able to see you well.
Although having natural light is ideal, not all home offices have this. You’ll need to supplement with artificial lighting, so invest in a good ring light if you do a lot of online presentations.
Have good front light. If your computer or camera is positioned in a way that puts your back to a window, close the blinds so that you don’t appear washed out on your viewers’ screens. If possible, you should change your office arrangement as well.
Don’t forget the sound check.
Besides enhancing how you appear, setting the stage means optimizing how you sound during an online gathering. If they can’t understand what you’re saying, the audience will tune out of your virtual event.
Most people will forgive less-than-perfect video, but not garbled audio, so don’t forget to do a sound check beforehand. Work with someone to make sure that you can hear and be heard clearly.
In some cases, external microphones work better than the default computer audio, but there are also cases wherein it’s the other way around. Be sure to test out the platform you’re using beforehand.
You can also try out different technical configurations to find the best one and use that during your actual presentation.
2. Get the Timing Right.
Like live events, scheduling your online gatherings at the right moment ensures that more people are going to watch you. The timing also affects the span of time you can keep your audience tuned in.
That said, timing covers two things: when you should host the event and how long it should last.
When scheduling an online event, always consider your audience. Don’t do it too close to lunchtime, especially if you’re targeting parents. This will give them more time to get settled in front of their computers, with children fed and all.
Meanwhile, the ideal length of any event depends on your audience and the context of the gathering. If you’re looking for a general online gathering duration, one hour should be enough to keep people interested until the end of the online presentation.
3. Clarify Your Purpose.
Sure, you want to stay relevant to your target audience with virtual shows, but this doesn’t mean you no longer need to clarify your purpose. Your effort in planning the online event will be moot if you don’t have a clear goal.
What do you intend to provide your audience? How will you benefit from participating in the virtual gathering? Your answers to these questions should focus on your event marketing to make sure you’re reaching the right people.
Make it as specific as possible, as this will ensure that you attract niche audiences who are more likely to convert.
4. Get Familiar With the Technology You Need.
How many times have you hosted an online gathering? If this is your first time, you should learn how to use the technology first. After all, there’s nothing worse than a presenter who fumbles with the tools he needs for a presentation.
Keep in mind that online presentations are still performances you need to prepare for. Conduct a dry run to see which platform features you can use. You should also look for tools you’re most comfortable with.
If possible, have a moderator, producer, or co-host to assist you with the technology so you can focus on presenting to the audience.
On the day of the event, use the same technical setup (presentation platform, computer, and Internet connection) you found most effective.
5.Present to the Camera.
Look directly at your computer’s camera, not at the participants or your face on the screen. This will make viewers feel like you’re looking at them during the presentation.
It might help to turn off the self-view so that you won’t get distracted by your own image.
Position the camera at eye level, not too high and not too low. If it’s too far down, you may risk creating a double chin. If it’s too far up, you may have difficulty keeping your eye on the camera and maintaining eye contact.
6.Manage Your Distance and Try to Stand.
One advantage of online events is that you can control how you’ll look in front of your audience. To make the most of it, maintain a good distance from the camera so that it frames your face, neck, and shoulders.
Faces draw people, so don’t stay too far away from the camera. Of course, you wouldn’t want your entire face to cover the whole screen because that simply looks weird.
If you have a standing desk, use that so you can stand at eye level with your laptop camera. This will leave you with a higher energy level and put you “in the zone.”
If you’re sitting, lean forward like you would during a meeting or as a TV anchor. Be sure you don’t slouch away as it may reflect disinterest and can cause your audience to feel disengaged.
Keep Up With Change
Changes happen all the time, so it’s up to you to keep up. Learning these hosting tips from expert presenters in Dubai use will help you keep pace with these new-age updates, such as virtual events.