As habits are shifting and more and more events are happening online, we will guide you through 7 best practices to make your online event a success.
It may seem paradoxical to want to offer a shared experience to employees who are alone in front of their screens. However, digital events can offer an infinite array of possibilities. They decrease the logistics costs and the carbon footprint, and they also remove all the location constraints.
They probably give us a glimpse of what events will look like in the future. Events that mix online and offline, that can benefit from the advantages of both digital tools and in person events.
It is therefore important to adopt best practices when implementing internal digital events, to get the employees on board, and maintain their level of engagement and motivation when working remotely…
7 best practices to adopt for your internal digital event
1) Have a specific goal for your digital event
This also applied to in person events of course. But it takes another dimension when talking about digital events. As the attendees are all at home, it is a challenge to get their attention, and keep it.
When in person, you can always make unexpected encounters, discover a new place… or even enjoy the buffet. All this is impossible during digital events. Online, it is all about the content, and the surprises that the organizers have prepared.
It is therefore important to make sure that this event answers a clear objective, and that the employees know what they will take away from it. Having these defined goals will also help you to prepare relevant content.
2) Do not try to copy the codes of physical events
Maybe you were used to organize the annual seminar with the same formula? There is little chance that it will completely adapt to an online event. So instead of trying to adjust the different sides of your event to make them fit into a digital format, it is probably best to start again from scratch.
So start again by writing down your objectives, define your target audience, and from there you can build an original experience for the employees- The format of the presentations, their length, the personalization of the event… Every aspect can be reinvented.
In parallel to this, keep in mind that the experience of the employees will also be very different. They won’t need to travel to get to the event location, they will have the possibility to leave the conference discreetly if it gets too boring… All this must be taken into account when crafting your virtual event.
3) Editorialization is a best practice you can’t miss for a digital event
Editorializing your content is a very good way to keep the attention of your audience on the long term. This avoids making your event into just a long video conference.
Éditorialiser les contenus est justement une bonne manière de conserver dans la durée l’attention des participants. Cela permet d’éviter que l’événement ne soit qu’une longue visioconférence.
You should therefore pay attention to the quality and the consistency of your content, and organize them according to a detailed program. Even more than during a physical event, the speakers must be briefed on that. You may even want to check the content of all the interventions, including that of the top management.
Editorializing content also means organizing your topics according to the most appropriate formats. In parallel, think about how they will be aired, and available before and after your D day.
4) Find the right rhythm for your internal digital event
With an audience that is physically distant, the rhythm of the speaking interventions can not be the same as during an in person event. The employees will have more trouble staying focused, especially if they are asked to stay in front of their screens for several hours.
So it is best to reduce the length of all the speeches and presentations. You can also include some live quizzes or surveys. Do not forget to plan regular breaks, even more than you would do for a physical event. Alternating the formats is also a way to make the event more dynamic.
5) Use different formats, suited to a digital event
An internal digital event can be organized around conferences, but not only! It can also include videos, podcasts, live interviews, quizzes, even “serious games”… It can be done in a very immersive environment or not, depending on your objectives, and your budget of course.
Play with those different formats to spread your content, and you will make your event more lively and fun.
This will even be more true if you give an important role to interactive tools, in order to engage your internal audience even more. Think about including some networking moments as well. For example, you can gather small groups in virtual rooms.
6) Choose your speakers wisely
Depending on the structure of your event, several people may have to speak. You could also name a host who will help make the transitions between the different parts of the event and make it more dynamic…
Keep in mind though that those speakers will most probably be also alone in front of their cameras. So it will be a different setup than speaking on a stage, in front of an audience. They will need to speak clearly, and keep in mind the time constraints.
So they will need to be briefed beforehand, and coached! This great article summarizes all the best tips to be a great virtual event speaker. Make sure you do a rehearsal with everyone before the D-day as well.
7) Analyse the performance of your event to prepare your next internal event online
This part cannot be avoided when we deal with internal communications: you must measure your performance. Look for the number of pages that were viewed if applicable, the number of participants at each stage and especially during interactive sessions, get the overall feeling of the crowd… And analyse this data to see if you have reached your goals.
In parallel, don’t forget to gather feedback from the employees, the speakers and the staff who have helped you organize the event. By combining those qualitative data with the analytics figures, you will have the necessary tools to improve your next internal event.