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How to Host Your Health and Safety Conference Online

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on November 6, 2020 at 4:30 PM

In the year of the coronavirus pandemic, online isn’t just a matter of convenience. It’s a matter of safety. And as the pandemic continues to wear on, that concern isn’t going away anytime soon.

But that doesn’t mean you should stop holding health and safety events. If anything, now is the perfect time to talk about health and safety concerns. It just means your health and safety conference will look a bit different this year. More to the point, learning how to do a conference virtually will serve you well in the future, when many events remain digital.

Here are a few basic ideas to host your health and safety conference online–and do it well.

Find Your Hosting Software/Platform

First and foremost, when you’re hosting a health and safety conference online, you need the right platform for the occasion.

When looking at an event platform, think about:

  • Audio and video recording
  • High maximum number of attendees
  • Audience engagement tools
  • Live and pre-recorded video streaming
  • Breakout rooms
  • Virtual waiting room
  • App integration
  • Q&A tools
  • Backgrounds to create a branded virtual environment
  • Pass presenter tools
  • Polling tools

Some of the most popular virtual event platforms include:

  • Cisco WebEx Events
  • GoToWebinar
  • WorkCast
  • Zoom Video Webinars
  • ClickMeeting
  • BigMarker

When looking at a platform, don’t just think about the features. You don’t need all the bells and whistles – focus on the ones you need most.

Add Context

At the face of it, a virtual conference sounds easy enough. And it is relatively easy to round up a roster of good presenters, point a camera at them, create a schedule over a couple of days, and call it a virtual conference.

But if you want a truly worthwhile health and safety conference, you’re going to have to do a lot better than that.

The issue with the approach outlined above is that speakers are usually only loosely related to each other, and they usually don’t build off one another, especially if they’re using pre-recorded sessions. Once attendees notice this trend, they usually cherry-pick, and it’s all downhill from there.

Instead, you need to treat your virtual conference with the same care and attention you would treat an in-person conference. That means curating the lineup and themes of the talks to create a connecting thread through the whole experience. That way, attendees get a cumulative learning experience, and they’re more likely to stick around for the whole thing.

This also makes it more meaningful as a conference, since it allows you to spend quality time with a critical safety message.

Adapting Your Health and Safety Conference for the Times

Unfortunately, the times remain complicated, but that does not need to hold your health and safety conference back. If anything, it’s an opportunity for you to learn how to be better as a conference – to the benefit of the attendees seeking to learn from you.

And if you’re looking for more resources to help your workplace continue to adapt to the coronavirus, make sure to check out our blog for more great posts.

Topics: Events, Workplace Health and Safety, EHS Management, Safety Management

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