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Running Remote Events: Best Practices for Success

In a crowded sea of remote events, it’s more important than ever to make yours stand out.
But not only do you want it to be memorable, you want attendees to remember your event for all the right reasons.

We’ve got all the tips and tricks (and tech!) you need to help your next remote event run smoothly and capture attendees’ attention throughout.
But first, let’s talk about some of the benefits of running virtual events in the first place.

Running Remote Events- Best Practices for Success

Remote event benefits

In many cases, remote events aren’t only beneficial, but they’re entirely necessary. As much of the world adapts to doing more business online, they’re also more popular than ever.

Let’s break down some of the biggest benefits of hosting virtual events rather than their in-person counterparts.

Efficiency

With the right tools on your side, you can make your virtual event a lot more efficient than an in-person event.

Think of the time it takes to set up a traditional conference. Place settings, snacks and refreshments, audio, video, location…the list goes on.

While there’s still some technical set up required for a virtual event, it’s dramatically less than what’s required for an in-person event.

Rather than finding the time to set up for an event or conference, you can use that time to focus on your presentation.

Cost

A lot of the elements of a virtual event that save time compared to an in-person event also have cost-saving benefits.

From the money you save renting a venue to catering the event and flying speakers out to present, it’s a lot more cost-effective to run remote events.

Safety

It’s pretty tough to run an in-person event with a venue big enough to accommodate for appropriate social distancing.

But with virtual events, your attendees are kept safe and sound while they attend your event from the comfort of their own home or office.

Virtual collaboration

If you work with or present to people from all over the world, you already know how difficult it can be to bring everyone together.

It’s not always realistic for someone to fly across the world to attend your event. But remote events allow you to collaborate with people from wherever they are without the worry of travel costs, time, and other logistics.

Feedback

From the moment you start running a remote event, you’ll see how much easier it is to collect feedback electronically than it is in person.

If you’re presenting live to 100 people and 20 hands are raised, it’s going to take a lot of valuable time answering all of those questions. But with a remote event, you can organize and group audience questions to make collecting feedback a lot simpler.

Best practices for running remote events

Now that we’ve touched on some of the benefits of remote events, let’s go over our best practices for making sure they’re a success.

Timing

When you present in-person, you might notice when your audience starts to look restless, bored, or distracted. You can take these cues to adjust your presentation timing accordingly and know when to wrap things up.

For remote events, it’s just as important to keep an eye on timing. If your presentation goes too long, you risk losing your audiences’ attention and your message will get lost.

Here are some general guidelines for optimal presentation lengths for remote events:

  • Limit the entire event to no more than three hours
  • Ask speakers to keep their keynotes half an hour or less
  • Allot for regular 15-minute breaks
  • Keep question and answer periods to 20 minutes or less

Goals

You also need to get really clear on your goals for a virtual event before it begins. Once you’ve got this vision in mind, you can craft a remote event that’s built around reaching these goals.

These are just a few examples of your optimal outcome for a remote event:

  • You want your audience to come away with plenty of new knowledge (i.e., a remote training event)
  • You want to hear from attendees and collect feedback so you can use this data for moving your organization forward and making the best next steps. (By the way, we talk more about collecting valuable employee feedback in this post)
  • Attendee collaboration: You’re hoping to facilitate discussion and collaboration between audience members to build bonds, brainstorm, and motivate.

Audience engagement

A remote event needs to be engaging to be successful. Otherwise, your message gets lost in the shuffle. Not to mention, your audience is left with a bad taste in their mouth and they wouldn’t dream of attending your next event.

An engaging event is one that keeps your audiences’ attention on the content, rather than the errands they need to run, the work tasks they need to complete, or anything else than what you have to say.

To keep your remote event engaging, focus on:

Interaction: How can you interact with your audience while you present? Calling for audience responses and interactions works wonders for keeping their attention.

Collaboration: How can your audience collaborate with you (and each other) during a remote event?

Discussion: Can your audience discuss event content with one another without disrupting the presentation? Can they talk to you, the presenter, and know they’ll have a chance to speak up and have their opinion heard?

Tools and tech

Timing, goal reaching, and audience engagement during remote events simply isn’t possible without the right tools and technology behind it.

Sure, your audience needs smartphones or computers to tune in.

But as the presenter or host, you also need software that allows you to engage your audience, collect real-time feedback and data, run virtual quizzes and polls, and whatever else it takes to make your event stand out for the right reason.

At the same time, you also need these tools to be reliable and secure. When you know you’ve got powerful, secure technology backing you, you can focus on your presentation rather than stressing about all the other details.

Successful remote events

Let’s recap our best practice for running remote events: They need to be appropriately timed, aligned with your goals, engaging, and backed by the right tools.

Now we want to hear from you. Think about the remote events you’ve attended. What made the best ones stand out from the rest? Comment below and let’s chat!

Or, if you want to hear about how Swift Polling can help your next remote event be your best yet, take a look at how we can help engage your audience, get real-time data, and move your organization forward.

Do you have questions or comments about real-time SMS and text polling? Let’s talk!