Events and travel cancellations are currently happening around the world. During these times, it is still important to connect with your customers and partners. While it’s not realistic to hold in-person events right now, virtual events offer a good alternative.

A virtual event occurs entirely online rather than in a physical location. Similar to live in-person events, they‘re very engaging and offer an effective way to connect and communicate with large audiences.

In addition to being more sustainable and accessible, a virtual event can grow your audience, allowing people to watch the event live or after the fact.

Today we’re focusing on the best way to host the event. As the event host, you set the tone. Whether you’re the only presenter or you’re bringing together a group of experts to deliver presentations that attendees can watch, we’ve compiled our best tips to make sure your next virtual event is a success:

1. Prepare beforehand.

Create an overall outline of the event including a timeline, any additional speakers, and the content they’ll be discussing. While you don’t want to read from an exact script (no one wants to listen to a robot!), having a list of bullet points will allow you to stay on track while you’re hosting.

In the name of preparation, do a dry run of the event. If possible, ask a couple of people to tune into the event virtually so you can test your Internet connection, sound quality, and lighting. Running through everything once will make you more confident when it’s time to go live.

Bonus tip: Hardwire your Internet connection so there’s no Wi-Fi issues on the day of the event.

If you’re in search of a tool to host your virtual event as well, we highly recommend Zoom (Not an ad). With an intuitive interface, Zoom provides an app, website, and phone number so your attendees can join in a variety of ways. Your event can also be broadcasted across social media channels with Facebook Live, Facebook Workplace, and YouTube Live, as well as a custom livestream integration. This allows participants to join via Zoom or watch on social media, so your content can reach a larger audience without any extra effort.

2. Minimize background noise.

Host your event in a quiet space, and use headphones with a mic to reduce the background noise. If an unexpected noise does occur, don’t stress! Everyone understands that life happens. Take a moment until it is quiet again, and continue on with the event.

Bonus tip: Make sure your lighting is set up properly so you event attendees can see you. Tech Smith has a great breakdown for all things lighting.

3. Dress to impress.

Remember, you’ll be on video so wear something appropriate for the event. We recommend solid colors as patterns can be distracting on camera. Also be mindful of any jewelry on your hands that may make noise.

4. Start on time.

Log on five minutes ahead of time, so you can be sure to avoid any technical issues and the event will start on time.

5. Set the tone.

Welcome your event attendees as they join the event. Start with an icebreaker question and ask attendees to send in their answers in the chat. Try something like: “Where are you joining from today?” Share some of the answers you see with the entire audience.

6. Provide time for Q&A.

Ask your audience to leave questions in the chat feature throughout the event. At the end of the event, allow 15–20 minutes so you can address the questions. If there are more questions than time allows, use that content to create a follow-up video, blog post, or podcast episode and share it with the event attendees.

Need more help with planning your event? At DoubleShot Creative, we believe your story matters. We’ll help it run faster, jump higher, and rise above the noise. Tell us where you want to go, and we’ll help you get there.