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5 Tech Issues That Can Ruin a Virtual Event & How to Prevent Them

2020 may have forced a pivot from live to virtual events, but as many event organizers have discovered, virtual events bring a lot to the table. Despite all they offer, the fact that they’re purely digital might be throwing you off. What about tech troubles? Like any event, a virtual event requires careful planning and may have surprise problems crop up. But while virtual events may be more vulnerable to technical problems than traditional events, for every potential issue, there are one or more ways to prevent it.

1. Too Many Attendee Tech Issues

It’s all but guaranteed that some attendees will have technical difficulties that don’t have anything to do with the event itself. Whether they’re problems using cameras and mics or issues accessing event content, it’s unlikely that everyone who attends will have a flawless experience. But if you find that lots of people are having problems and that the same problems keep cropping up, it may be that you haven’t clearly communicated what attendees need to do to join in and take part.

The Fix

To minimize client-side tech problems, send out an email blast the day before the event. Offer some simple tips to help them enjoy a great experience, and remind attendees where they can find troubleshooting information. For instance:

  • Remind attendees to make sure they have the latest version of the internet browser they’ll be using.
  • Provide links to information on how to set up a camera and microphone on both Windows and Mac computers.
  • Give a quick rundown on where attendees need to login to enter the event.
  • Add contact information for whatever tech support system you’re using for the event.

2. Not Enough Bandwidth

If there’s one thing that can rapidly bring down a virtual event, it’s lack of bandwidth. And if you’re hosting your first virtual event, it might be a little difficult to get an accurate estimate of your bandwidth needs. But it’s vital to get this right—the last thing you want is for your event site to overload and crash at a critical time.

The Fix

Avoid this issue by budgeting for plenty of bandwidth. Even if you spend a little more than you’re expecting, it’s better to have more bandwidth than you need than to have too little. If you’re using a virtual event platform, choose one with a good tech support system, so you can easily arrange for more bandwidth if you need it.

3. Device Compatibility Issues

Your attendees may use a wide range of devices to connect to your online event, from desktop and laptop computers to notebooks and tablets. If your content—and your presenters’ content—doesn’t take this into account, it could mean some users won’t be able to interact fully with your event.

The Fix

Of course, for some events this is by design. If yours takes place within a virtual environment, then attendees will likely be connecting on a computer rather than a mobile device such as a tablet. But for smaller events, it’s worth taking the trouble to ensure that your content is viable on a wide range of devices.

4. Poor Sound Quality

You booked an amazing, in-demand speaker, but when they start their presentation, the sound is so poor that attendees can barely hear them. This kind of error is incredibly frustrating for everyone, including attendees, planners, and the speakers themselves. Everyone has to wait while the issue is resolved, and if you don’t have a backup plan, then people are waiting for something to happen.

The Fix

Luckily, poor sound quality is easily prevented: Simply run a soundcheck with each of your presenters before the event. This will ensure you pick up any sound problems that might be caused by low-quality microphones, poor connectivity, or the wrong audio settings. Any one of these issues can keep your speaker from being heard, but running a soundcheck before your virtual event will prevent this technical problem from causing frustration.

5. No Backup Plan

If your guest speakers are the big draw at your event, then it’s worth taking the time to establish a backup plan if the worst should happen. If one of your speakers has a major technical issue and can’t make it, you’ll be running dead air—unless you have a backup plan.

The Fix

One simple remedy for this issue is to have each of your speakers record themselves giving the presentation. They can then send you the file, so you have a backup. If they have a tech issue that prevents them from presenting live, then you can play the recorded version. The pre-recorded version may not have the interactive elements of the live presentation, but it’s better than playing a blank screen for half an hour.

This principle works for most matters relating to virtual events. It’s always good to have a backup plan, in case you encounter any hiccups. Whether it’s backup equipment or pre-recorded presentations, you can never be too prepared.

For Virtual Events, Preventing Technical Problems Is Better Than Fixing Them

When you rely fully on technology to power your event, a few simple rules go a long way. Always check your tech before the big day, have a backup plan in place, and aim to prevent problems rather than fix them when they happen. An organized, detail-oriented team, like the people at XtendLive, can put these preventative measure in action. Contact XtendLive today to hear more.

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