How to avoid virtual event calamity
Key points to help you sidestep the pitfalls of internet-based fundraising
While the internet may be fantastic for keeping us connected at a time we can’t so easily meet in person, it comes with its own set of challenges. Here are five ways to ensure your virtual events go off without a hitch…
Don’t depend on wifi
To maximise your chances of avoiding the possible pitfalls of online fundraising, the first thing you should do is maximise your chances of staying online if your connection goes wibbly. To make sure you get the best possible signal, ditch the wifi and plug your computer directly into the router: you just need an ethernet cable and, if your computer doesn’t have a special port, an adaptor. If your computer’s nowhere near the router don’t fear – bits of affordable tech like the TP Link power adaptor can turn your home’s electrical wiring into network cables, meaning you can get a strong, steady signal anywhere. It may also help to ask other members of your household to avoid using the internet for the duration of your event.
Check out the full range of features
Ensure you check out all the options on your virtual event platform to see whether it has some useful lesser-known gimmicks that could help you run your event. On Zoom, for example, there’s a little-used ‘breakout room’ button that enables you to split attendees into small groups in individual chat rooms, which is perfect for creating teams for your virtual pub quiz for example.
Use the mute button
One of the most-repeated phrases of the pandemic has been “You’re on mute!” But silencing non-speakers during an interactive session is absolutely essential to ensure there are no feedback loops with background noise being amplified from a dozen different laptops.
Get your timings straight
It’s really easy for virtual events to over- or under-run, but you can guard against either scenario by having a full run-through with a stopwatch in advance and by building in some extra content which you can bring out if the half hour of fun you had planned peters out after 30 seconds.
Beware children and animals
This one is self-explanatory: make sure that there’s no-one small or furry around to make an unscheduled – and potentially embarrassing – appearance in front of your web camera.