Anyone who has attended a virtual event can attest to the fact that they are not always as inclusive as in-person events. In this blog post, we’ll explore some ways how to make virtual events more inclusive for everyone. By following these tips, you can create an online experience that is just as enriching as attending a live event. Let’s get started!
Virtual events are most commonly used to organize brainstorming about an issue or idea in order to share experiences and insights at the international level but also for training purposes or for online conferences. Virtual events can be organized by an individual or by a group of people working together on a collaborative project.
In today’s digital world, it’s easier than ever to host a virtual event. But while these online gatherings can be a great way to connect with people from all over the globe. They can also be unintentionally exclusionary. Here are 7 tips and one bonus tip on how to make virtual events more inclusive.
Have the virtual event somewhere accessible to all:
When planning a virtual event, be sure to choose a platform that is accessible to everyone. This means ensuring that the event is open to people of all abilities. And that it can be accessed through a range of devices and platforms.
In order for virtual events to be more inclusive, it’s important to make all participants feel welcome. This means taking steps to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and respected during the event. This includes using appropriate language. Avoiding discrimination or harassment, and providing opportunities for everyone to participate.
It’s also important to provide accessible event materials ahead of time. This includes making sure that all documents are available in alternate formats. Such as PDF, Word, or HTML. It’s also helpful to provide concise event summaries. It can be read by people who are unable to attend the live event.
It doesn’t require any special equipment or expensive software for participation:
Many virtual events require participants to have specific equipment, such as a webcam or microphone. While this may not be an issue for those who are already familiar with using these tools, it can be a barrier for those who are not. In order to make virtual events more inclusive, try to avoid requiring any special equipment or software that not everyone can either afford to own or any other factors. This will make it more comfortable for everyone to partake.
Design your website with accessibility in mind:
One of the best ways to make virtual events more inclusive is to design your website with accessibility in mind. This means ensuring that all users, regardless of their abilities, can access all of the content on your site. There are a number of things you can do to make your website more accessible, including:
- Using clear and concise language
- Using large fonts and easy-to-read colors
- Using headings and lists to organize information
- Adding captions and transcripts to videos
- Making sure all links are labeled properly
By following these tips, you can help ensure that everyone who visits your website has an equal opportunity to access its content.
Offer a range of price points for tickets, including free events:
Free social events can help more introverts and socially anxious people feel more comfortable attending a virtual event. It also helps anyone with a tight budget, single parents, students who have part-time jobs, etc.
Offer 2 types of support for those who are having issues with the event
Here at Chatterborg, we offer two services called In-event tech support, and Off-event Support. You might want to implement these yourself or contact us. Because when using different software that isn’t Zoom (This can be implemented on Zoom as well), speakers and attendees can get confused on how to log in, device requirements, and so on.
This is why in order to make the event more inclusive, we offer these two services. In-event support means that our agents will be inside of the event helping them with their PC issues to participate in the event or to act as guided tours and feedback collectors.
Off-event support is chat, ticketing, and phone support. When the speaker or attendee is not inside of the event, this support is offered outside of the event within a landing page or a website. These are also helpful when you want the agents to act the theme of the event as well.
Encourage attendees to invite their friends, family members, and other allies:
One way to make virtual events more inclusive is to encourage attendees to invite their friends, family members, and other allies. This can help create a more welcoming and supportive environment for all attendees. Additionally, it can help break down barriers and encourage networking among participants.
Provide a Q&A session after the event to make the audience feel more included:
A great way to make your virtual event feel more inclusive is to provide a Q&A session after the event. This will give attendees a chance to ask questions. And get clarification on anything they may have missed during the presentation. It also gives them the opportunity to connect with the presenter on a more personal level. By providing a Q&A session, you are giving your attendees the chance to feel like part of the event. Instead of feeling like an outsider watching it all godown.
You can also outsource customer service companies such as Chatterborg to answer the audiences’ questions. This can save you time and give you more time to prepare.
Making virtual events more inclusive can be a challenge, but it’s worth taking the time to do it right. By making small tweaks to your event planning process, you can ensure that everyone feels welcome and has an enjoyable experience. By following these tips, you can create a more inclusive virtual event that everyone can enjoy!
Bonus Tip – Have everything ready in advance:
Planning and preparing for potential emergencies is key to keeping everyone safe and accounted for. But what happens when something goes wrong during a virtual event? How can you make sure that everyone is included and feels comfortable?
Here is a faq:
What about the technical side of things for virtual events?
This may seem like an obvious point, but if your audio or video quality is poor, it will be difficult for participants to follow along. Test your equipment ahead of time and make sure you have enough bandwidth to support all of your attendees. You should add a testing area and be safe, hire companies such as Chatterborg to help with the IT issues in your virtual event with your speakers or attendees!
How should I communicate to our attendees and speakers?
Use clear language, always. Make sure your instructions are easy to understand so that everyone can participate. Use short sentences, simple words, and avoid technical jargon whenever possible. You should use a helpdesk tool to gather all communication channels in one, and for outbound, we highly suggest using a combination of email, social media, and SMS. For more personalized use cases, you can use physical mail!
What about community timing?
Prepare the script with your community or gather data. Plan ahead all the sections of your virtual event and what it is going to be about, study the speeches, and analyze how much time every section takes up. Once the event ends, send an email distribution list where people can go for further discussions after the event has ended to gather more data.