Updated on July 27, 2021
As video conferencing technology becomes more readily available, many people are opting to host virtual events that allow family members and friends who live far away to connect without the hassle or expense of traveling.
In addition to more easily bringing people together, online events also offer budget-friendly ways to gather. While you might need a paid subscription to video conferencing software, there are plenty of free versions available, too. Plus, since you’re not hosting a large group of people, you don’t have to rent a venue or provide meals.
If you find yourself in a position to host a virtual event, you’ll need to approach planning a bit differently than you would an in-person gathering. We’ve compiled some tips below to help you make your online event enjoyable for all.
1. Pick an Activity
When hosting a successful virtual event, try to choose an activity to serve as the focal point. Otherwise, attendees might end up staring at their laptop monitors, wondering if it’s their turn to speak.
What you do depends on the type of event you’re hosting. For more formal events, such as book readings hosted by your local library or board meetings for a nonprofit, there are likely controls in place to determine who can speak at what times and possibly an agenda to follow. But if you’re holding a more personal event, it’ll take a bit more planning.
If you’re hosting a party online, such as a bridal shower, baby shower, or milestone birthday celebration, pick a game to play to keep people engaged. Some options that work well in an online setting include:
- Trivia games
- Word scrambles
- Two Truths and a Lie
The activities you choose should fit the audience and theme of the event. For example, at a wedding shower, the questions can be about the couple, how they met, what they like or dislike, and what they plan on doing in the future.
2. Plan for Technical Difficulties
Even with a tech-savvy crowd, there might be technical issues during an online event. Try to anticipate any potential problems, such as your Internet connection going out or your microphone shutting off.
Also keep in mind that you may need to mute noisy guests or make sure screen sharing or speaking transitions seamlessly over the course of an event with a more formal agenda.
3. Set a Time Limit for the Event
In-person events can comfortably stretch on for hours and hours, but it’s usually a different story with virtual programming. To give your guests peace of mind, and to increase the likelihood of filling the entire schedule, set a time limit for your online event, such as an hour or an hour and a half.
To help you stick to your time limit, create an agenda and ask a co-host or other attendee to help keep track of time. Encourage people to use the chat feature to interact with each other in cases when it’s not possible for everyone to participate verbally in the allocated time.
Save Time by Managing Your Money Online
Whether you’re tasked with planning an event or just juggling the busy-ness of everyday life, managing your money online can provide you with time and money savings, as well. Our digital banking services allow you to control your finances anytime, anywhere that’s convenient for you, without having to worry about squeezing in trips to a branch or ATM.