April 6

video: misconceptions about online seminars/webinars. Technically its easier than you think, content wise more challenging

event planning tip


With all live events cancelled I get clients asking whether they should convert their live event into an online seminar? Well if that is good idea or not depends, as I discussed in my previous vlog. But I see two common misconceptions about online events. People tend to overestimated the technicalities, but underestimate the preparation.

First the technicalities. That is much more simple than you might think. There are specialized companies for recording and broadcasting, on location or in their studio’s. You don’t have to worry about sound, visuals and broadcasting. Having a multi-camera setup that looks like a tv show is much cheaper than you think. Especially compared to renting a big venue and buying everybody lunch and drinks. Want to keep it even simpler? I even create pretty reasonable content live from my living room, with pretty basic gear. Also your participants are more tech savvy than you think. If they were able to navigate to your venue, they can figure out how to watch you and interact. Especially now everybody learned to work remotely.

But don’t underestimate the content. “well just have peter present his power point and then take some questions from the audience”. You shouldn’t get away with that in a live event, but you surely don’t get away with that online.

Firstly: Peoples attention spans are even shorter. Live they would take out their phone, online they click you away. They have children running around and other screens open. Live you get away with a 20 minute presentation, online 5 minutes is an eternity. Hack, if you still watching this video, you are a survivor. So your content needs to be dense, attractive and short.

Secondly: If you do not build in a critical note, it quickly feels like a propaganda or sales show. So next to your own experts, bring a critical guest, critical remarks from your audience or let your moderator be the devils advocate.

Thirdly: designing interaction needs to be done even more carefull. It takes more effort to make people sitting at home feel engaged, heard and catered for. That requires that you bring in their questions, remarks and opinions. Yet at the same time for people watching the recording, that should feel like added value, not a moment to disconnect.

So don’t worry about the technicalities. The real work needs to be done before the technicians come in.

About the author 

Rogier Elshout

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