Blog – Hosting an online event

Blog – Hosting an online event

Everyone is now trying to stay connected with their family, friends, colleagues, customers and suppliers through technology. Whether it’s a Facetime call with loved ones, Microsoft Teams daily check-in or a Zoom video call with a large group of people, the support that voice calls and video conferencing has given us during this period has allowed us to feel connected and allowed many of us to continue operating our businesses remotely.

At Sandstar Communications, our processes and systems have always been set up in a way that allowed us to work remotely. Since we started working from home, the team connects through Microsoft Teams, where we can share updates and files, chat and have a daily video catch-up.

One of the biggest challenges faced by many of our clients has been the cancellation of key meetings and events. Some of the events are large scale, bringing together hundreds of people. With the uncertainty of when life will go ‘back to normal’, we decided to look into options to host events online through existing video conferencing services. We looked into options so that our clients can continue to host a conference online, provide training and celebrate and commemorate special dates in their diaries.

There are many platforms that exist, some offer free services for a limited period and for a limited number of people, other platforms offer interactive features including screen sharing, a drawing board and the ability to mute and unmute viewers.

So, in our search for a platform that would work for us in hosting online events we researched and have shortlisted the following;
Zoom
Cisco Webex
Go to Webinar
On24
Google Hangouts Meet
Easy Webinar
WebinarJam
Hopin

See our online research comparison here …

Click here to see a summary of the specification and details on each. Please note the information on all the above platforms is subject to change as regular updates are being made to cater for the rapid increase in video conferencing.

The Delegate Wranglers is a network of event professionals, suppliers, venues and generally anyone involved in the events industry. The team at Delegate Wranglers have also produced a matrix of video conferencing platforms and apps to help the events industry in their search to connect with their audiences.

 

Some top tips when planning your next online event

Pre-event:
• Identify which platform will work for you
• Define you audience reach, the pricing differs for the number of people you invite to your event
• Identify the content, duration and select tools which will make your online event memorable –polls, survey, handouts and drawing boards
• Promote your online event and get your attendees to register, building excitement and interest before your event
• Pre-record interviews and talks
• Test out your technology before the event to ensure everything will run smoothly on the day
• Brief everyone involved so they know what to expect from your online event

Event
• If you have done all the pre-event actions, follow the instructions on making your event ‘live’ based on the platform you decide to use

Post-event:
• Thank your speakers, guests and attendees
• Ask for feedback – so that you can take these into consideration for your next event

Good luck with your online event and if you do find a video conferencing platform that has worked well for your events, please do share it on our social media.

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