Many of our interactions have moved online. We have to schedule our meetings online and have online events.
And I see a lot of things that we can do better!
1. Online is not the same as offline but with a computer
Offline appointments require a higher commitment. You have to go to the meeting place, and you have to face the people at the event. How you dress, how you take care of your hygiene, and how well you have prepared to be here-now will be very obvious.
The online environment allows people to hide. They may even forget about the event while they do something else at the computer. Unlike a real-life event, there is no pre-event time when people get together in the same place to get ready, decide where they will sit, striking up conversations.
As an event organized and participant, you should be mindful of these differences.
2. Send a clear announcement
I often see event invitations where the date and time are buried somewhere at the end of the email. And the timezone is not very clear either.
If you want to increase the attendance numbers, ensure that the vital information is communicated first and in a crystal clear way!
Use a date format that is easy to understand for all the participants, even if they are from different countries. “05/04” could be the 4th of May or the 5th of April, depending on where you are from. Use long-format instead and say Tuesday, 5th of April, 2021.
For the event time, use the AM/PM format and always add your time zone.
Do not use relative dates. Don’t say: “See you tomorrow at 2!” – depending on when the user is reading that email, both “tomorrow” and “2” can mean wildly different things.
If your audience is across multiple time zones, don’t do the math by hand. Use a service like timeanddate.com event announcer to create a link that will show the event’s time in the user’s local time! No more math, no more confusion.
Be mindful of daylight savings. Not everyone makes the switch simultaneously, and you risk having your participants miss the meeting. Add a special warning to your email if you’re close to a time where daylight savings may be an issue. Also, use the service above to convert the time correctly for your users.
3. Followup with reminders
Since online events do not require travel, it is very easy for people to miss them.
Everyone would know how to manage their calendar and get reminders as needed in an ideal world, but we don’t live in that world.
To make sure people don’t miss the event, send two reminders: twenty-four hours before the event and 1 hour before the event. The very last reminder should have clear instructions on where to click to access the event.
4. Use a headset
As an event organizer, use a headset and instruct your participants to have one as well. It will make for a much more clear sound and better experience for everyone involved.
5. Mind your energy and your space
While it’s easy to jump into an online event, it will show if you take some time to prepare for it. Dress appropriately. Stretch for a bit to feel open and relaxed. Do your best to be rested. Have enough clean air in the room.
Also, prepare your space. Since you don’t have to travel, it may be easy to forget this step. But it helps you to get into an “event energy” if you clean up your desk, have pen and paper ready, and use good lighting (do not have your back to a light source).
6. Record the event
Record the event and send the recording to your participants. It allows your participants to review the information. And it’s a nice thing to do for those who could not make it live.
If you follow these tips, the event’s energy will be more vibrant, and everyone will feel it. The fact that you are making special preparations will make it special.
Make your next event awesome!