6 Steps to Flawless Web Conferencing
When you perform a web conferencing event that entails connecting multiple off-site locations with a live attendee audience, I have a list of tips to help you make your online presentation a success.
This document is written for Event Coordinators or Web Conference Moderators and the following recommended steps start after the event venue has been determined and the web conference registration is available for people to register.
Step 1: Designate Facilitators & Conduct a Dry Run of the Web Conference
Designate a facilitator for each location and conduct a dry run web conference before the main event. This will help you make sure that facilitators know how to connect to the web conference and it will give you a chance to test the online viewing and audio broadcasting for the event from each location. This is particularly helpful for designated facilitators who have never used web conferencing tools before.
Step 2: Designate an Emergency Technical Contact
For emergency questions or issues during the web conference, designate a technical contact to assist with any connection or audio issues for facilitators to call or text.
Step 3: Provide Instructions to the Facilitators
During the dry run and also before the web conference, send facilitators instructions on tasks to perform for the event. Below is an example list of responsibilities to share with your off-site facilitators.
- Location Signage. Put up signage outside the facility and within the facility so people can find the location of the event easily.
- Location Check-In. Knowing that some people show up early, report at each off-site location 1 hour early.
- Web Conference Start Time. Connect to the web conference at least 15 minutes before the event starts to ensure the meeting starts on time.
- Greet attendees. Greet attendees and insure their names, addresses, phone, and email are collected using the designated sign in sheet at each location.
- Distribute Materials. Distribute the presentation handouts received in advance from speakers. The easiest way is to email the files and have some printed. Also, make copies of the event evaluation form to collect attendees’ comments on evaluating the event/program.
- Make introductions. Welcome and greet attendees, introduce who you are and your organization that is conducting the program on site, and introduce the presenters.
- Take Questions from the Audience. Explain to attendees that they will be able to ask questions via having the questions typed into the Chat function of the web conference. There will only be one-way communication. The main Event Coordinator or Web Conference Moderator will provide the questions to the presenters. Facilitators might want to have 3 x 5 cards available for attendees to write questions to hand in, or you may want to write them down. If we don’t get around to answering all the questions, we’ll follow up with a Question and Answer document to insure that their questions are answered. .
- Collect Evaluation Forms. Collect evaluation forms and US postal mail or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the attendance sheet.
Step 4: Email Documents and the Attendee List to All Facilitators
Email the following materials to your facilitators:
- Instructions for connecting to the web conference – link and emergency technical contact information.
- List of preregistered attendees one day in advance to your facilitators. Each facilitator will then know how many attendees to expect at each of their locations.
- Sign in sheet with Name, Address, Phone and Email for attendees.
- Presentation files and handouts received in advance of the presentation.
- Presentation evaluation form for collecting feedback on the presentation.
Step 5: Send Thank You Message to Speakers and Attendees
After the web conference, send a personal thank you message to speakers and a separate thank you to attendees either via email or US Postal Mail.
Step 6: Evaluation Feedback Review and Meeting with Facilitators
Compile and review the evaluation feedback from the web conference. Then, conduct a follow up meeting (web conference, teleconference or in-person meeting) with facilitators to share and review the feedback from attendees and also to receive the feedback from facilitators on the web conference. This will help you to receive feedback from all stakeholders and help you improve future web conferences.
Author: Michelle Le Feve, Executive Director at Courtland Consulting