More than ever, businesses are exploring virtual communication alternatives as the COVID-19 pandemic transforms their daily processes. For companies that are not accustomed to conducting business remotely, it can be a daunting adjustment to make, even more so under pressure. However, knowing how to approach this process can at least help make this transition a little less intimidating.
From choosing the best technology for your needs to establishing proper video conferencing etiquette, there’s much to consider before diving headfirst into a virtual setting. We’re here to give you some informed advice about hosting video conferences and webinars in a work-from-home setting.
Show Yourself: Video vs. Audio Calls
You might find yourself tempted to simply pick up the phone and call your contacts instead of going through the trouble of scheduling and setting up a video call. We challenge you to go out of your way to use video conferencing instead of an audio-only call, especially during quarantine. Here’s why:
Video calls establish a closer connection with your client. A phone call leaves a lot to the imagination. Is the person on the other end distracted or multitasking? Are they focused and paying attention to the conversation? Being on video holds participants accountable for their undivided attention and engagement. Even if you client cannot reciprocate, allowing them to observe you as you speak with them matches a face to your name, which can put you in a better position to win your client’s trust and satisfaction.
Video calls invoke the senses. A video call puts you at an advantage over audio-only because it requires more than your voice alone to persuade or sell a message. When a client can see you—and, more importantly, when you can see your client—body language becomes a key player in your conversation. It’s much easier to gauge the confusion or dissatisfaction of a client if you can spot their grimace or crossed arms. Conversely, positive actions such as nodding their head and keeping eyes focused on the screen can indicate understanding and an interest in your topic. Being able to recognize and respond to these indicators can change the course of your conversation.
When it comes to selecting which video conferencing platform to use, the OBO team can always depend on Google Meet or Zoom to handle the job. Both of these options have simple, dependable functionality, with easy sharing capabilities to get your call rolling.
If your tradeshows and expos have been cancelled, don’t hang up the towel—your clients are eager to hear from you, and your experts have valuable information to share. Just because you can’t speak at a conference in person doesn’t mean you need to postpone your seminar. Hosting a webinar is an excellent alternative to canceling an event.
Webinars are online events that engage mass audiences by using a mix of video, audio, messaging, and more. You can give presentations, perform product demonstrations, conduct Q&As, and deliver any other messages in a virtual setting.
Half of the battle is the preparatory work. You’ll need to give ample notice about your event, select an appropriate topic, and ensure that your presentation will translate over effectively to a digital setting. Before you set your heart on hosting a webinar, take the following into consideration:
- Choosing a date and time. Can you accommodate the schedules of your target audience? You’ll need to consider their working hours and time zones to determine the best time for your webinar.
- Understanding the technical requirements. Hosting a webinar puts you front and center. It’s imperative that your technology be able to support the content you’re sharing. Consider your audio and video quality, and perform a test run of your webinar before going live to avoid unforeseen difficulties.
- Preparing a post-webinar strategy. Your webinar doesn’t end once the camera turns off. Once of the best ways to conclude your overall experience is to follow up with your audience to ensure that you satisfied all of their questions and requests.
Tackling Technical Difficulties
Poor connection. Dropped callers. Delayed start times. These kinds of technical difficulties are bound to happen every now and then. A scheduled meeting can descend into chaos when your technology acts up. How do you handle the situation in the heat of an awkward moment?
Technical difficulties aren’t fatal—they happen to everyone and shouldn’t dissuade you from ever trying a video conference or webinar. Having a good approach can help diffuse the situation and get you and your clients back on topic. Remember to:
- Be proactive. Test your connection and prepare the right equipment before your call begins. Be aware of the space you’ve chosen for your call. Will there be any disruptive background noise?
- Be professional. Communicate any technical difficulties once they arise, and be ready to present alternative solutions if need be (rescheduling, trying a different platform, etc.)
- Be patient. Oftentimes, these bugs work themselves out. Being patient and conscious of lag, volume issues, and other inconsistencies in your call can help you better navigate them.
Keep the Conversation Going
Communicating virtually doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, mastering it can make a huge difference in your client retention and customer relationships. As the entire world undergoes significant changes to its usual way of business, keeping your clients informed and connected is more important than ever.
Need a hand with hosting your first webinar or virtual conference? Connect with us today for a consultation.