Virtual events are here to stay for a while. Celebrate EDU has been running online classes for users with disabilities since 2015 but has never run more than we did in 2020! Here are some of our tips for a successful event!
Make it easy for users to sign up for the event, preferably with just one or two clicks and without jumping to another window. We use Calendly to register students for our online business education courses. They can click on a button, pick a course time, and add their registration info without ever leaving the page. There’s even a Zoom integration to automatically send out the meeting link!
Send tech instructions
Never assume that a participant has used your meeting, streaming, or webinar software before. Write up clear, simple instructions for logging onto the software and using the basic functions like video or text chat as relevant. Send these out before your event, and post them again at the very beginning of the meeting. Depending on the needs of your community, you may want to have instructions ready for adjusting font size or using the technology with a screen reader.
Designate someone for tech support
Speaking of tech, whenever possible, have someone who is not the presenter standing by to provide tech support. One participant’s tech issues can derail the whole group if the presenter has to stop and help someone with software. The tech support person can also help monitor the chat during the meeting.
Use different media
Avoid long meetings of “talking heads” by using slides and images when relevant. If your software has a chat or text announcement feature, you can also post key points there for participants to skim through.
Keep meetings brief
Zoom fatigue is real for participants and presenters! Keep meetings short and interactive. If you have large amounts of information to present, break it up with discussions, Q&A time, or consider sending pre-recorded segments out for participants to watch ahead of time.
We’re not experts but we’ve gotten a lot of practice teaching online during the pandemic. If your organization needs business education or self-advocacy training, we’d love to guest teach for you. Drop us a line and let’s talk about it!