1) Understand the size of your audience and anticipate what type of equipment you will need that will serve your audience well. Read, provide a good audio and video experience that will “wow” them and make sure your event is on their must attend list for next year.
2) Having high quality audio is one of the most important aspects of your event. This means your attendees aren’t deafened by the audio feed at the front and those in the back aren’t straining to hear what your speaker is saying. Talk to your hosting provider ahead of the event and do an “audio walkthrough” of the room to make sure there is no dead air in the room.
And, if you are going to do lots of Q&A during the event make sure you have a designated person and a mobile microphone to ensure everyone in the room can hear what is being asked.
3) Ensure you have sufficient bandwidth that will address the needs of and the size of your audience. If you are streaming multiple presentations during the event anticipate the number of attendees and “over estimate” usage to make sure you have sufficient bandwidth. And, remember not everyone has a provider that offers unlimited amounts of bandwidth via their personal smartphone or tablet – they are going to look to you to provide this during the event.
4) Anticipate you may have AV or bandwidth issues during your event. Make sure your facility provider can bring in more equipment if need be and your bandwidth provider can make adjustments in the bandwidth they are providing (you will be surprised how quickly some can increase bandwidth easily). Also, make sure your facility provider can easily swap out equipment that may malfunction during the event – underscore the importance of this with them verbally and/or have it referenced in your contract.
5) Brief your speakers ahead of time and make sure they understand how important it is to speak to the virtual conference attendees – this is a critical part of your presentations. If you are filming the event – do a video tutorial with the presenter if he/she has not worked extensively with video previously and/or may not be aware of how to address a virtual audience.
6) Understand what your meeting or event objectives are ahead of the time. This may sound simple; but, its not. Once you know what your specific objectives are then you can figure out what kind of audio and video equipment you will need and/of (small plug) if you want to use a mobile application that may enable your attendees to “participate” virtually with minimal usage of audio or video equipment.
7) If your event is being setup as a primary virtual event then don’t expect “participants” so spend eight hours in front of a computer viewing your event. Anticipate that people will spend a few minutes or an hour or two watching and engaging with your event – no one will spend eight solid hours watching your event in a continuous stream. Also, ensure your virtual reservation process is not cumbersome and one that requires participants to re-register over and over again.