BlueJeans Blog

BlueJeans Quick Tips: The Keys to Hosting Virtual Events

Over the past month, organizations of all kinds have been forced to reshuffle their events calendar as large in-person gatherings continue to get nixed or postponed.  
 
For marketing departments, widespread cancellations of industry exhibitions have hit the brakes on road show plans for Q2. Similarly, by eliminating the opportunity to host all-company meetings in the same physical space, more businesses are learning the ropes when it comes to internal broadcast technology. Between February and March 2020, attendees joining BlueJeans Events has increased 5x. 
 
The alternative? Hosting these critical presentations online while offering the same degree of interactivity as if the masses assembled in the same place. If you’re new to the world of live streaming for all-hands, training, marketing webinars, or conferences, these are the keys to virtual event success.  
 
Watch the Clock 
 
There’s a fine line between the perfect event length and one that drones on for too long. The opposite is also true for webcasts that don’t include time for audience participation and end shorter than they should. Although there will be occasional deviations from this general guide, here are best practices for total run time based on event type. 
 
  • Marketing Webinars: 30 minutes devoted to content, 30 minutes reserved for audience Q&A 
  • Department All-Hands: 60 minutes for content and discussion 
  • Company Town Hall: Depending upon your company size and breadth of updates from each department, these commonly go over one hour. For example, BlueJeans typically hosts quarterly town halls that last 2–2.5 hours 
  • Trade Shows and Large Conferences: There are two approaches to this type of live stream. If one stage will be used for back-to-back keynote presentations, a single join link for the live stream can be used. However, keep in mind that promotion of each individual keynote may be easier if all speakers have their own individual event link with time slot. Given the assortment of subject matter and multitude of product demonstrations, trade shows and industry summits often last several hours and days.   

Deliver Content Variety

Slide share alone doesn’t cut it anymore. Your audience has the expectation for live video, presentation content, media playback, and multiple presenters. Regardless of event type, capturing and retaining attendee attention takes a concerted effort. If event organizers and moderators stagger slideshows with pre-uploaded video and commentary from different speakers, they’re more likely to make a lasting connection with the audience.   

Keep it Engaging

Much like the above section, attendees need the ability to ask presenters and moderators questions to stay engaged. By including interactivity options for the speakers and audience, two-way communication creates a highly dynamic atmosphere for any streaming event. The following tools are built into BlueJeans Events to improve focus and engagement. 

  • Group Chat: Presenters, moderators, and attendees can quickly share thoughts and ideas on a public message board. 
  • Private Moderator Chat: All moderators can communicate privately via chat. Attendees and moderators can participate in private chat.   
  • Polling: Moderators can create polls within scheduling or create while an event is taking place. Polls are pushed live upon command with audience results displayed in real time as answers are submitted. Moderators can end polls at any time. 
  • Q&A: Participants can send questions to moderators and presenters via dialogue box. Questions are auto approved by default, but manual approval option can be selected during event scheduling. If approved, all participants can see the question and answer. Once answered, other participants can “like” the post for additional engagement. Attendees can also submit anonymous questions if this prompt is selected in scheduling. Moderators can facilitate the Q&A by disabling auto-approval. Within moderator view, user has option to display all questions, only answered questions, or only unanswered questions. Questions can also be sorted according to most recent or by number of likes.  
  • Raise Hand: This feature allows audience members to raise hand and be promoted from Attendee to Presenter role. 

Leverage Different Participant Roles 

Enterprise-grade streaming solutions like BlueJeans Events divide event invitations into three groups: Attendees, Presenters, and Moderators. Each have their own unique join link and set of features specific to the needs and experience of individual roles.

For example, event Moderators need complete visibility and management of all presenters and audience members. They have the ability to control the full control over the event flow, including: Start and pause the broadcast, mute/un-mute presenters, push polls live, answer Q&A, chat, promote or demote attendees to presenters, and remove individual presenters or attendees from the event. Moderators can also provide audio and video for the event.   

Presenters have the ability to provide audio and video into the event. They can also share video or their entire screen to walk through slide presentations or other documents. Attendees watch and listen. They cannot be seen or heard unless they “raise their hand” and are accepted by the moderator to join as presenters.

Have an important virtual event coming up? Try BlueJeans Events and stream it live for any audience in the world!