How to host a Live Q&A virtual event

updated on 25 November 2020

There are multiple stages to planning your Live Q&A event. We'll discuss the following steps in readable chunks:

  • Planning
  • Choosing a good facilitator
  • Choosing the right platform for your virtual event
  • Deciding a live Q&A platform
  • Post Event Analysis - what have we learnt?

Planning

This is the most important part of the whole process. Ensuring that you have every aspect of the event planned out, helps you to establish a foundation above which you can perform on. I encourage you to plan all the way down to how long each member of the hosting team speaks. This allows no room for confusion and errors. Live events are not as forgiving as in-person events. Even with the smallest hiccups are visible in a virtual setting, this is why we suggest rehearsing as often as you can prior to the event starting.

Fail to plan , you plan to fail!

How do you plan a live Q&A virtual event?

The best resource for planning virtual events is using what is called a running order this document is a script detailing exactly how the event will play out. In this document, outline the following:

  • When does the event start?
  • Who is hosting the event?
  • Talking points for each host
  • Start time and length of each segment
  • Closing remarks

Email us at info@newny.io to request an example of a running order document. We'll happily send one over to you, free of charge.

Choosing a good facilitator

This point is often overlooked but the difference between a well received event and one that falls short of excellent is down to the skill of the facilitator. The facilitator's job is more than just hosting the event. Their job is to act as a buffer for when things don't go to plan. They'll have the experience and charm to woe the audience whilst things get back on track.

Choosing the right platform for your virtual event

This mainly depends on the size of your expected audience and budget. Zoom for example, has two products. Zoom meeting and Zoom webinar. Zoom webinar is a good tool to use for your long form panel discussions and Q&A sessions but Zoom meeting is better for a workshop or seminar. There are other tools such as Hopin who have created a bespoke conferencing platform that has many functionalities such as 1 to 1 networking (which is my favourite). This would be perfect if you are hosting a once a quarter conferencing event but for your live Q&A event Zoom might be a better option for you. If you're a podcast looking to host a Q&A event you should probably be using Riverside.fm - their platform has arguably the best Audio recording quality on the market right now.

Choosing a Live Q&A platform

Before choosing a Q&A platform for your event, you need to first know what your goals are for hosting this event. If you are a non-profit organisation then your reasons might be different to a for-profit company. Newny is a great tool to use alongside Zoom or other video conferencing platforms in any case to help you make the most from your Q&A session.

You can use Newny to crowdsource questions from all the platforms you are streaming on and manage them from one simple interface that you share with your stream. What makes Newny unique is it'll tell you more about how each attendee interacted in your Q&A segment than any other Q&A platform.

You can use Newny to learn about each audience members questions, feedback they've given you post Q&A and how well the content was perceived. Newny helps you with your post event analysis, to better understand the performance of the event you just hosted.

You can learn more here and join our waiting list.

Post Event Analysis

Why host a Q&A event if you are not trying to learn from it in some way. Use the data that you collected with Newny and start to piece together how the event played out. Send out a feedback form to your attendees and ask attendees to give an honest review. Make sure to include a Call-To-Action to help you hit your event KPIs and try to keep it shorter than 5 questions. Use the feedback you already received via Newny to give you an early indication of the success of the event. You can then follow up with your most engaged audience members.

The key take aways from this article is , make sure the event is well planned (every detail is accounted for) and try not to include any dead time or unnecessary segments that can make you lose the attention of the audience members.

If you want a good example of a live Q&A event, please check out this Backstage event we hosted in the summer.

I hope you found this article somewhat useful. If you want to check out Newny, then join our waiting list.

If you want us to send you the running order example, please drop us an email at info@newny.io

Take care and good luck!

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