Part 3: Understanding Constraints
Managing a remote workforce has never been a more pressing concern and managing client relationships from a distance is a new challenge for many businesses as well. Understandably, many companies and teams were simply unprepared for an entire organizational shift to virtual meetings and distance work. And the options abound for how to navigate the seemingly endless choices – how do you find what works best for you?
With several high-profile solutions gaining traction, from Zoom to GoToMeeting, to Google Hangouts and more, you might have jumped into whichever you had existing access to, or heard others using. However, many organizations have needed to backtrack out of their platforms, forgoing Zoom for security reasons – even after the company updated its security measures. Many are unexpectedly left wondering – where do I go now?
Virtual events, like live, in-person events, require a lot of preparation to come off exactly as planned, and just like in the traditional event environment, technology is key to things going well. Unlike the in-person event world, in the virtual event space, there are no backups for ineffective technology. The IT staff at the conference center or hotel are not on call to bring in a new microphone, supply additional power cord extenders, or assist with Internet access.
If possible, your organization should designate an IT troubleshooter to assist presenters and attendees; even if you don’t have a dedicated IT person on staff, someone familiar with the tool you are using, who is available to train presenters ahead of time, and be on call for questions and assistance throughout, is critical to ensure a smoothly functioning event. The top three constraints this person should be prepared to handle are bandwidth, security and encryption, and stable network connections.
If you are using an existing, off-the-shelf tool, you will want to ensure that it can handle audio and video for the number of participants you are planning for, that it has security features available such as password access for privacy if you need it, and that you are hosting from a location with a stable and strong internet connection.
If these things are not accounted for, participants may have trouble logging in, and participating in a seamless manner once in the event. Bandwidth on existing tools is not yet ideal for large events, although it may work fine for smaller audiences.
Additionally, some companies experienced privacy concerns and breaches in the early days of the mass movement to virtual platforms, because proper measures were not put into place. If your event is meant for public consumption, and does not contain proprietary information, you may not need or wish to add security measures that could complicate participation; however, if you do need your information to remain private or within your corporation only (e.g. presentations of products and services that haven’t been officially launched yet) aside from those invited to attend, this is a concern worth looking into further. A custom solution may offer you more of the reassurance you need in all of these areas and can be developed in accordance with your IT security protocols.
As with in-person events, there are multiple ways to approach a successful event. From finding the right platform, to ensuring your events are secure, reliable, and that you have the best practices in place to make them successful, we are here to help you devise a solution for your needs, whether that is an existing solution, or building your own tool for use. Our team can help you determine if you have the necessary infrastructure in place for the audience size you need to reach, and what technology you may need to do these things with greater ease and reliability. Contact us to set up a consultation.
This is part 3 of a 5 part series.