The emergence of virtual events during the COVID-19 pandemic has lead to the development of new and unexpected roles on an event team. For an event planner, hosting a successful virtual event takes more than just finding the right virtual platform and using the proper marketing tactics. It also means assembling a team that will assist in setting up an effective event strategy and one that supports your participants and attendees in getting the most value from their experience. While some of these roles may look similar to those roles needed at a physical event, there are some major differences in the skills required to perform their duties in a virtual space. Unlike in a traditional event team, a virtual event team will need the following:
[embed]https://youtu.be/6rcHAZP8ceU[/embed] Here is our breakdown of these 6 unexpected roles you’ll need on your virtual event team:
The virtual event manager is someone who understands the virtual experience and is able to bring virtual components together to produce a cohesive and valuable event experience for all participants. This individual will have a profound understanding of how to optimize your event for the online format. Until virtual events become more commonplace, it is likely that a traditional event manager will fit the bill. If this person does not have a firm understanding of the technologies being used, it might be helpful to fill this role with a team of people that have collective experience and understanding. The virtual event manager will be responsible for making sure all set up and testing has been performed in advance of the event. They are the ones who will be in charge of the event checklist and will be responsible for its completion. Placing one person in charge of event management means there will be no confusion with who is responsible for what. In this way, everyone knows where to turn for direction when in need of help and support. It is this kind of accountability that will help ensure your event success.
Most events require an audience-facing organizing voice and virtual events are no different. An emcee or moderator can act as the host and connecting piece between the audience and the keynote speakers or presenters. The person(s) in this role will gather the questions and comments from the session live chat, the event’s social media channels, and private messages. This role helps to promote attendee engagement by ensuring that they are involved in the session and getting as much information and understanding as they possibly can. Instead of just being talked at, an emcee can create a more interactive and useful experience.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, are powerful marketing tools and they present a number of ways that your event can generate event brand recognition and excitement. But, they are also a way to engage more deeply with a virtual audience. If you are going to live-tweet the event, stream a segment from a keynote speaker or share panelist discussions, you need to have someone (or a team) available to connect the virtual world and your event. Social media moderators will act similarly to virtual emcees by monitoring online chats and comments and relaying this information back to the emcee. This role can also try to improve audience engagement by asking leading prompt questions or posting materials that will make people think a little and engage more deeply with the subject matter. Using social media can help you better reach your target audience and it can also go a long way to helping you recreate the back and forth that naturally exists at a live event.
As event technology continues to grow and develop, an event technologist is becoming an increasingly important figure. The role of the event technologist is to source and implement the technology that will be used during the course of your virtual programming. An event technologist needs to be familiar with the virtual event platforms that are available, but they should have the technical skills and understanding to choose and apply the right tools and systems for your specific event needs. As an event planner or organizer, you might have enough experiential knowledge to perform this role yourself. However, given the significance of event technology in digital environments and the role that they are playing the event space currently, it is advisable that a specific team member takes responsibility for these elements so that no detail gets lost in the shuffle.
When hosting a virtual conference or event, attendee experience needs to be top of mind. One of the ways to make sure it’s a positive event is to focus on the technical production. A technical producer is someone that has experience with the audio and video equipment and can help you put together high-quality live or prerecorded presentations. The person in this role will make sure that your presenters understand the equipment and are familiar with the event platform being used. This person direct camera placement, lighting, and the optimal audio set up. They will also perform sound and visual checks before you go live and work with the team to ensure smooth, seamless, professional-looking sessions.
Whenever you are relying on technology, there exists the potential for glitches and failures. If you are planning to run a successful virtual event, you will need to have some level of technical support in place. Your entire event hinges on event technology so if you cannot address issues skillfully, and immediately, you run the risk of the whole thing falling apart. Your event platform is likely to have some form of support in place. Many offer 24/7 live chat and support resources but you will need to go a step further. Assemble a team to manage problems in-house. Make sure that your team is fully versed in your platform and technology tools being used. From there, they can develop a comprehensive support plan that can be deployed in real-time. Let all attendees know where they can contact your support team if they are experiencing a problem. Your tech support team should be actively monitoring each session, chat, video stream, virtual meeting rooms, and exhibition booths so potential problems can be addressed as soon as they pop up. ---In recent months, many event organizers have struggled to transition away from in-person events to virtual ones. What has quickly emerged is the need for new event strategies and new or specific roles on an event team. It is likely that virtual and hybrid events will be the “new normal” for the industry so identifying these roles now will help prepare for the future in a way that sets you, and your virtual events, up for true and measurable success. When you have assembled your team and are ready to move forward in your event execution, reach to Accelevents to learn how our platform can best support your virtual event.
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