Transferring from F2F to Virtual
Shifting an event from Face to Face to online – can it be done?
As business travel has come to a standstill since the spread of the Corona virus, many events such as conferences, workshops and meetings have been cancelled or postponed. But we also witness an enormous creativity in transferring these events online, using popular tools such as Teams, Hangout, WebEx, Zoom and Bluejeans, to name a few. Some of these attempts are highly successful and some fail miserably.
Here’s an example from Nomadic’s practice: a pharmaceutical company who had planned a classic conference on Friday and Saturday in a large hotel, with 500 participants, decided to go online. The new design stretches the programme from Tuesday till Saturday with the parallel workshops spread out and social online events in between. The advantage? Delegates can now attend more workshops of their choice instead of having to choose between 5 parallel sessions on just 2 days.
What’s the key to success in transferring a F2F event to an online one?
We have defined 10 design principles for virtual facilitation.
- Mind-set: the most important one: work from the strengths of virtual communication, not its shortcomings. Start by seeing virtual facilitation not as second best, but as a powerful tool with its own strengths and advantages.
- Audio quality: set a high standard for audio quality and help your participants before the event to set up their audio connection and test it.
- Technical producer: work as a delivery team with a dedicated producer, who takes care of all technical aspects such as login issues, audio quality and breakout rooms management, ensuring a smooth experience for participants. As a facilitator, you will be able to devote your full attention to the group instead of the technology.
- Creative designs: Surprise your audience, who are used to uninspiring webinars, with clever programme designs, using activities that easily mirror a face to face setting.
- 5-Minute Rule: Attention span is much shorter in virtual space, so limit presentations and lectures to 4-5 minutes. Then engage the audience by making them active.
- Change gears: For the sake of engagement, variety is important. Design longer sessions with a mix of activity in plenary, small group work in breakouts and individual activity, such as reading.
- Concentration and Focus: Start sessions with a focus activity that help participants to be fully present in the ‘here and now’.
- Virtual closeness: To create online sessions with impact, you need more than content. Building a human connection with and within your group is paramount if you want to go beyond simple information download.
- Turn the rules upside down: Create an open atmosphere where people can engage in spontaneous conversation, have fun and create together. High impact online sessions offer a degree of looseness.
- Energy breaks: after 60 minutes, insert a 5 -minute break and ask the delegates to get up from their chair and move around. The engagement level will get a boost for the next hour of the session.
Can we help you with moving your F2F events into the virtual space?
Why choose Nomadic?
- Cutting edge content and knowledge when it comes to virtual teamwork
- Completely online programmes (or a combination of virtual and f2f delivery)
- Business school quality at half the price
- Cross cultural knowledge on over 20 countries and services offered in over 20 languages