For meeting planners, this past year has been all about learning to run virtual events, getting to know the various platform options and helping attendees get up to speed so gatherings still can go on while we're all stuck at home.
Harder to learn is how to make digital meetings engaging and interactive, to grab the viewer's attention and hang on to it. Now that you've mastered the logistics of going virtual, it's time to switch your focus.
Roy Sheppard, a former BBC-TV presenter and conference host, says virtual events are not about the technology anymore. Planners, he says, need to get more involved in the meeting's design, content and objectives, and help contributors look and sound more professional — while helping them be more relevant to their audiences.
Digital meetings can be much quicker and simpler to set up — no hotels to book, group travel to arrange, etc. — allowing planners to focus more on the format and achieving the goals of the gathering. Sheppard suggests approaching the process as if you are producing a live TV show, with a solid structure and format in order to keep the audience "hooked" and interested.
Read more on this topic from our sister publication, Association Meetings International. Find Sheppard's take on virtual-meetings etiquette, below.