I n the event world it s simply part of life if things don t work out as planned At physical events you can often fix things with a few simple hacks and a bit of im provisation If a microphone fails you can simply replace it by a back up without fur ther ado But in the digital world the dam age can be much greater At a virtual event similar difficulties could mean having to ditch the presentation completely But be it online or offline a professional response will keep your audience happy Stay calm We know it s easy to say but it s still a very valuable tip If getting upset helped solve problems I d get upset is a famous quote attributed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel But once you are in a state of panic you can no longer think clearly and find new solutions You just start behaving instinctive ly and emotionally You cannot solve prob lems when you are paralysed with shock like a rabbit in the headlights nor by a fight or flight response but only by calm analytical thinking Try to get to the root of the matter The question is What actually went wrong This is not about laying blame but about taking the first step towards finding a solu tion For example if you haven t ordered enough bandwidth for a virtual event you may still be able to fix things For example you can redirect to a public livestreaming platform opening a second channel in this manner or you can simply refer to the recordings Explain and apologise For the vast majority of event mishaps there is a Plan B But what if it doesn t work Then there s only one thing left to do explain with a lot of empathy what happened and apolo gise Sometimes a bit of humour helps it s worth taking example of some of the delay announcements on planes trains or buses Communicate before on site and afterwards Communicate before a malfunction Yes things that could go wrong should be com municated in advance If it is your very first digital event for example you should defi nitely point this out It s a good idea to ex plain up front what Plan B looks like for dif ferent scenarios For example an organiser could point to the recordings or public streaming via YouTube as happened at the re publica 2020 digital conference when the website servers were overloaded It is always a good idea to have contacts for attendees who are seeking help be it at the informa tion desk on site or on the event platform Likewise a few well prepared emergency documents and phrases will help A set of slides with We re experiencing technical glitches and will be right back would be a good stop gap solution for problems at virtu al events It s also essential to brief modera tors on how to react in the event of a break down But the most important thing is to keep communicating A five minute break in communication can be an eternity for people who are waiting So you should communi cate what is happening at regular intervals even if there is nothing new to report Com munication is also necessary afterwards ex plaining again how the crash occurred apol ogising and pointing out what will be done to prevent it from happening again Of course you should not make a mountain out of a molehill But keeping sh tum and hoping that no body will remember won t help either Even in this case depending on your target audience a touch of humour might be appropriate Manage the community The important thing is to keep an eye on your own community and respond before you come under fire For virtual events it would be a good idea to schedule a host for the session chat He or she can instantly respond to comments such as poor sound quality so that everyone can see announcing that this will be handled promptly by a technician The other online guests will no longer need to comment on the sound and can concentrate on the con tent of the online session again If critical comments are posted on publicly visible plat forms such as Facebook YouTube the Xing group or on other portals you should re spond and make an effort to communicate directly with the person in question as quick ly as possible It s a good idea to offer a di rect chat a telephone call or communication by e mail This will move attackers out of the public space and into one to one communi cation Making complaint discussions less harmful and the critic can respond to argu ments and offers without losing face In one to one communication people often state their viewpoints and criticism more clearly and empathically 23TradeFairs Internation al 4 2021 TFI KNOW HOW Expert Bettina Strohm Knauer Senior Content Marketing PR Manager Xing Events Contact bettina knauer xing com What to do when things go wrong at virtual or in person events Wichtig ist es die eigene Community im Blick zu haben und im Fall des Falles zu reagieren The important thing is to keep an eye on your own community and respond if it comes to the worst Ph ot o g et ty im ag es Xi ng E ve nt s

Vorschau TFI Trade-Fairs-International 04/2021 Seite 23
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