I found the article 18 Lessons We’ve Learned from a Year of Virtual Marketing Events on the Marketing Insider Group blog to be interesting. It says that having to hold more online marketing events has taught us to think outside the box and that it’s fine to make mistakes as long as we’re willing to learn from them.
Coming up with ‘compelling experiences’ for our online audience and providing clear expectations has proved to be critical. Holding a sales presentation online is perfectly justifiable if personal visits aren’t possible, but I think it can be irritating to the audience if they discover they’re one of many watching. Was the event set up for the vendor’s benefit, rather than theirs? On the other hand, a seminar where the audience will take away more than the presenter – that’s a whole different matter.
It’s important during online events to understand how people are engaging and whether they’re finding it useful, and participants are fine about being asked that. However, this might lead to them asking for breaks! My own experience is that meetings set up so that all the participants have to be seen on screen at all times can be very tiring – and may have the opposite effect on their attention span to what we might expect. Having multiple presenters is a very good way to break things up and make them less tiresome.