There are many positives related to digital events, but being aware of potential negatives and considering how to help mitigate the down-side can be valuable. The lack of human contact in real life may become more prevalent in future as we continue with the “new normal.”
- There is less excitement inherent in a virtual event. Some employees view attending events in the offline world as a kind of reward, but travel to a new city, nice hotels, and good restaurants is not included in cyberspace. What other ways can you reward participants of a virtual event?
- Distractions can be a problem as a virtual conference can’t guarantee the exclusive attention of the participants. You have to find a way for attendees not to be distracted by local activities. Short sessions with breaks could be one solution.
- The limits of technological literacy present a problem for those organizations dealing with a varied group of attendees. Not everyone is tech-savvy and may be intimidated by the new interface. Be sure your event website is as user-friendly as possible.
- Some say that people are getting ‘zoomed out’ – fatigue with on-line interactions. Adequate breaks and allowing for participant input in chat rooms and Q&A’s can help.
- Security online is always of concern. Hackers can exploit the information exchanged and misuse it. It’s important to ensure that high security is maintained on your platform.
- Virtual meetings can work well for small groups, but can be difficult to manage with large gatherings. In a group conference, too many participants can lead to a break-down in effective communication. Dividing the group into breakout rooms can be very useful in such situations. Individual groups can come to a consensus on a given topic and then re-meet with one spokesperson from each group speaking for them.