So you’ve been asked to moderate a virtual event. Great!
Do you know what to do next?
There are so many benefits to moderating a virtual event, from endless networking opportunities to the social media oomph, to the elevated exposure. It’s a chance to really put your best face forward and show the world (or a limited audience) what you’re really made of.
So jumped at the opportunity—good for you.
Here’s a rundown of what a virtual event moderator does, and a few tips to do the best job you can possibly do.
What does a virtual event moderator do?
Well, during live events, a moderator is responsible for upholding the theme of the event and making sure that the message doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Through involvement and keeping the conversation going, she keeps attendants engaged, excited, and glad to be there. She keeps things moving smoothly from speaker to speaker and workshop to workshop. She makes sure everyone knows what’s going on.
She’s the point person for the whole event.
All these points are still true when you moderate a virtual event, except all of that movement and communication is done online.
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Know your technology
So, it goes without saying, if you want to moderate a virtual event successfully, it is vital that you master the platform that the event is hosted on.
You have to know all the ins and outs of the platform and various other media the event is occurring on, including the social media channels.
If the event has a dedicated tech person, you should at least know how to communicate with them quickly and effectively. And yes, you still need to know how to use the technology yourself. If the face of the event doesn’t appear to know what she’s doing and fumbles in front of the audience, it will make the whole thing look bad.
And of course, always test everything in advance.
Know your tools…and use them
Different virtual event hosting platforms, such as Hopin and Whova, have various in-app tools you can use to engage your audience. Use them! If your attendees are able to chat and meet with each other (and you) they will be much more invested in your event. Therefore, when you moderate a virtual event, it’s important to provide spaces for this networking and connection to happen.
Allow for 15 minutes before each session to allow guests to connect and chat. This will make for a more congenial, comfortable vibe.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
When you moderate a virtual event, it might be tempting to go with the flow and try to be natural for the camera.
In fact, your mistakes and stumbles will be even more evident and awkward without a huge room to hide behind. So rehearse all your presentations and talks beforehand so all you have to concentrate on is the connection you’re establishing with your audience.
Promote, promote, promote!
You can’t moderate a virtual event without being a master marketer. Get out there and let everyone know about the amazing event you’re moderating.
Go beyond just social media. Use email marketing, guest blogging, video promotion, mailouts….anything you can do to get the word out.
If you need help with your marketing plan for your virtual event, check out this post.
Prepare your audience
Before your virtual event begins, host an orientation talk for your attendees, letting them know how to navigate your event, what they will need technology-wise, and what they can expect. Go over timelines and encourage them to engage with each other in the spaces you’ve provided.
Let the world know
Just because your event is underway, doesn’t mean your marketing job is done. Now is actually the best time to get the word out across social media about what exciting things are happening in your event. Tweet about it, share stories on Instagram…whatever you do, make sure to use hashtags, and involve the attendees inside the event.
Now that it’s all over and the dust has settled, don’t just walk away! Check back in with your attendees in an email blast, inviting them to provide valuable feedback. This will help to make sure that you see their faces at your next event!
It doesn’t need to be intimidating to moderate a virtual event. Just prepare, communicate, use your tools, and follow up. With these simple points in mind, you are on your way to hosting a virtual event to remember.
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