You can replicate a surprisingly high percentage of your traditional in-person meeting online, but like most things, it all comes down to planning. The absolute biggest mistake most people make when transitioning to an online meeting, is failing to break-down the specific needs and features of each event on the schedule. I know it sounds like common sense, but you can’t replicate something online if you don’t take the time to look under the hood and see what makes it run.
Our first step in any online transition is to view the existing schedule, and identify what features/interactions are required for each event to serve its purpose? Don’t worry so much about what you think is possible virtually, but instead concentrate on how each event would operate in a traditional, in-person setting.
Every meeting is different, but we’ve found the following series of questions to be invaluable. For each and every event on your meeting’s schedule, ask yourself:
- How many people are presenting?
- What media or materials do they need to share during their presentations?
- Do multiple people need to be on stage simultaneously? If so, how many?
- In what ways do the presenters interact with the attendees?
- In what ways do the presenters interact with each other?
- Does this event include any judging or voting?
- Do attendees require any materials/instructions before or after the presentation?
- Are there any CE requirements?
- If so, how is this traditionally tracked?
The answer to any one of those questions can completely change the tools and strategies we use to bring your meeting online, and knowing them upfront can save a great deal of time, money, and frustration.