Since the lockdown started due to Covid-19, I have been keeping an eye out for experiences, best practice and pitfalls when it comes to remote collaboration and online events. In this post I have listed some key points I have picked up so far and you can find a resource list at the end of the post for further reading. I hope this helps you think how to adjust to the new remote collaboration environment. If you find useful resources, let me know and I will add them to the post!
Don’t forget that I’m here to help with visuals should you need them. I can do remote visual summaries, graphic recording, visual tools and templates to help you focus your work, events and projects. I can also create illustrated assets for social media and promotions, get in touch to have a chat about what you might need.
After reading online articles, spending some time practicing remote live capture and also taking part in training from more experienced professionals in my field I have learned the following tips for remote online events:
- Digital graphic recording works best as snippets or smaller sections instead of one big visual. Think about: quick to digest morsels of information, short presentations.
- Visuals can help in different ways – live capture, visual summaries, visual templates or other prepared visuals. Think about: what your aims are and what could be useful to help with them. Prepared templates can help with gathering feedback or explain decisions that need to be made. A roadmap helps focus the team efforts and a visual summary can be shared afterwards as a follow up. Live stream of a visual capture can be engaging but also a risk as it can distract from the proceedings.
- Preparation is crucial for online events – have a plan A, B and C! Things can go wrong in many ways and it takes more time and effort to prepare for online sessions.
- Test in advance – gather a small group to test different platforms and tools to see what works and what doesn’t. Think: what are the key things that need to work and what is the backup? What are the parts that can take too long and what happens if you overrun?
- Allocate roles to different people: lead facilitator, co-hosts, technical supporters, chat moderators, breakout group facilitators, notetakers, visualisers. Think: What needs to happen in order for you to fulfil your aims and what roles do you need for this?
Your content is competing with more distractions when participants are separated and at home: different access levels to technology and broadband speeds, tech issues and app notifications, children and pets, deliveries and door bells. To help focus your sessions and keep people engaged there are things you can do:
- Keep it brief – Reduce content and simplify your key points! Use clear visuals instead of lots of text on a slide (hint hint).
- Make it interactive – ask for reactions to questions (thumbs up/down), use interactive solutions like Zoom whiteboard or Mural to get feedback, do check ins, brainstorm, review and collaborate.
- Keep it moving – Maintain focus and keep people engaged by changing slides often, using animation or moving transitions, show videos and use interactions as mentioned above. Make sure you don’t just deliver static, content heavy slides and talk at your audience!
- Have a back up in case technology fails: audio only, chat reaction buttons, pen and paper to scribble notes on, advance guidance on how to use the technology, what participants need to prepare for a good experience (a charged and connected device, a notebook and a cup of coffee is a good start).
Harvard Business Review - Short summary of tips
What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting
Open Data Institute - Massive Google Document with links and resources
Resources to support working, collaborating and training remotely
CMX Hub – Tools for event organisers and examples for great virtual events
Tips and Tools for Event Organisers During the Coronavirus Outbreak