Many of us are going through a difficult time at the moment; working from home, avoiding social situations, envying those with gardens. But being the resourceful species that we are, we’ve adapted our behaviours and moved our world online.

More and more, we’re turning to teleconferencing, webinars and online meetings. Here are our top tips to help you make sure that your online event is as successful as a physical one.

Plan your content in advance

Just like physical meetings, it’s important to set an agenda beforehand.

Agree on key talking points and set times when:

  • Speakers present
  • You have Q&As
  • You launch polls

It helps keep the online meeting together. Everyone knows their role and when they should speak. Finally, brief your team on the agenda, their roles and the timings to help them prepare. Have look at this template for online agendas.

Set up a small team

You’ll want help with your online meeting. You need people to take on the different roles:

  • The organiser: sets key messages, drafts agenda, and picks the speakers.
  • The live moderator: opens the meeting, asks audience questions and launches polls.
  • The presenter(s): speaks with energy and is concise.
  • The panellist(s): focuses on specific topics and answers questions.
  • The chat moderator: makes the audience feel welcome and keeps track of questions.

The number of people you need will depend on the size of your online meeting. For example, when we organise our own online meetings at the joint secretariat (a team of 30 people), we usually have one organiser, one live moderator, one presenter and one chat moderator.

Be prepared for the unforeseen

What should you do if there is a technical error?

First check if more than one participant is experiencing the technical problem, because the issue might be coming from your side. Always have messages ready to go out to your participants in case you are having technical problems.

If the problem is with the individual, then ask them to:

  • Test their audio and sound
  • Test their internet connection (use Ethernet cable instead or reboot box)
  • Leave the meeting and relaunch the tool
  • Restart their computer

Use the tool that is right for you

There are many tools available on the market to help you with your online meeting. They vary in cost and number of attendees, and they offer various interactive elements.

Although we can’t recommend any one particular online tool, we’ve put together a list of common ones with the help of our projects. Feel free to add your own tools too! Don’t forget to contact your Finance Officer to find out if the costs for the tool are eligible.

So go ahead. Compare. And choose the one that’s right for you.

Want to share your experience?

We know that some of you have already had plenty of experience with online meetings. If you’re interested in sharing your experience with others, please contact your Communication Officer to let them know. We’d love to have you as a panellist for our next webinar!

More information

For more tips on hosting online events, watch our webinar from 25 March 2020 or download the presentation.