Running Your Event

ENCOURAGING ATTENDANCE

Precedent says that people a more likely to drop out of an online event than a face to face one, especially when there is a time lag between booking and attending. To ensure your guests attend here are a few tips.

  • Arrange to meet them on the platform before Meet the Author
  • Use WhatsApp to remind people, or call a day in advance
  • Offer a lucky draw [champagne/beers] to attendees
  • Buddy up
  • Establish group accountability
  • Ask drop-outs to let you know in enough time to re-allocate their ticket. Don’t offer them a refund
  • Suggest they send a stand-in to Meet the Author

And tips for after the event:

  • Follow up non-attendees

FACILITATING

As an experienced facilitator, what is covered below will be old-hat to you. Hopefully you find it useful as a prompt.

Prior to the author interview you have the opportunity to welcome your guests and start them thinking about how to get the most from the event. This is also a chance for your guests to meet each other which means the conversation that follows will flow more easily. You don’t want to waste time with introductions when you’re keen to get in to adding value. 
The purpose of the private table is to provide a forum for peers to reflect on the author interview, discuss and debate the content and consider how they might apply their insights to their own team, business or wider world. 
Of course, how you structure these two sessions is up to you. The following is for guidance only. 

IN ADVANCE OF MEETING THE AUTHOR

Welcome guests as they arrive. You may want them to think about what they are hoping to get from today’s speaker  – they can be thinking about their answer to this question while your other guests are arriving. Start introductions when you have a critical mass. Name, job title, and the answer to the first question is enough. Time will be limited. Explain or remind your guests how the author interview is going to work. Encourage them to post questions to the Author in the chat. The moderator will pick up on this and try to get some deeper insight for your table from the author. The more interaction the moderator and the author get the more they can target the interview on to topics that your guests are interested in. The moderator will refer to questions and comments throughout the interview, not just towards the end.

Encourage also, chat to each other in the Review with Your Host session.  

In good time encourage your guests to join the main stage. Keep discussions going in the chat during the interview. 

YOUR GROUP SESSION

Once the author interview has finished you will have a private table session with your guests to reflect on what you heard and consider how to apply your insights to your own businesses and beyond. You may find the conversation flows easily and doesn’t need much encouragement from you. 
However, if your group needs a prompt, these questions might help – 

  • What business challenges are you experiencing right now that would benefit from some of these ideas? 
  • What key messages really stood out for you as being most relevant to your situation?
  • What made you uncomfortable/made you bristle/made you want to object? 
  • The interview covered a wide range of areas. Which shall we discuss first?
  • How could you apply these ideas to your business? 

As you can see, these questions start with the words “what” and “how” and are wide open! Feel free to express your own opinion, just remember that this might stifle the conversation if you do this too much or take it in the direction that’s valuable for you but not necessarily your guests. 
The author may also provide some talking points and these will be sent to you prior to the event. 

FINAL TIPS

  • Prepare for the pre- and post-author interview sessions with a few questions to spark discussion
  • Kick things off but then get out of the way and encourage your guests to talk to each other
  • Feel free to express your opinion
  • Encourage debate. There are no right answers
  • Towards the end, ask each guest to share what they are taking away from today and what they are going to do as a result of the session

The more your guests take away the more enthusiastic they will be to come back time and again and the greater the trust they will build with you. 

Requirements

  • Connection Online
    • Upload Speed
      • Minimum of 2mbps
      • Ideal of 5mbps, or more
      • Have a back-up location
    • Preferably use an ethernet cable to your modem as it is less inclined to be intermittent
    • Allow no other internet users during the event
    • Turn off all smart devices, mobiles, Alexa, etc.
  • Browser
    • Use Chrome or Firefox
    • Safari and IE are not fully supported. Edge does not work for attendees.
    • Ensure it is up to date
  • Camera
    • Use an HD webcam
    • Position the camera at eye height, or just below, on a stable surface that will not move during the event.
    • Look directly into the camera
    • Match these framing guidelines. Aim for your camera shot to be of head and shoulders
  • Microphone
    • Use an external, professional microphone
  • Headphones
    • Use discreet headphones. In-ear wireless headphones are best.
  • Lighting
    • Have no light source behind (such as a window)
    • Please do not rely on your computer or phone internal microphone and lights.
  • Background
    • Set up a sensible background
      • Ensure your background is not distracting, the less there is on show the better
      • No branding
    • Ensure good acoustic qualities, not an echoey room with hard surfaces
    • Ensure no disturbances

Testing

Run internet connection speed tests well in advance of the event, we recommend https://www.speedtest.net/