The No. 1 question on speakers’ minds today: How do I pivot to virtual?

Start your pivot by becoming a Certified Virtual Presenter, a new certification administered by eSpeakers. It’s a great way to let your customers know you’ve got the equipment, environment, and skill to deliver a great remote presentation.
Event organizers are looking for speakers who can present virtually. There’s a growing need for experts who can deliver their message remotely, with impact. Make it easy for them to hire you by proudly displaying the Certified Virtual Presenter badge on your website, email signature, online profile, and other marketing material.

LEARN ABOUT CERTIFYING


HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Learn more about the certification.

When you’re ready, schedule your appointment. 
 
Prepare for your certification assessment.


THE CERTIFICATION
You will spend 30 minutes in a live meeting with one of our certifiers, answering questions, and demonstrating. The assessment ends with a recording of you giving a 30 to 60 second virtual proof video.

Once certified, you will receive an email with instructions for adding the Certified Virtual Presenter badge to your website, email signature, and other marketing material. The badge will be added to your eSpeakers profile automatically.

The Certified Virtual Presenter standard has support from leading industry organizations.


CERTIFICATION FEE
FREE: Any eSpeakers customer who has had a paid eSpeakers account (PRO or PLUS, excludes Try4Ten promotion) for at least 2 months prior to certifying will have the $85 fee waived completely. It’s one way we can give back to our loyal friends. 
$49 USD: All other members, including free accounts through an association, can certify for a discounted rate of $49 USD through August 31, 2020. After that, the normal fee of $85 USD applies.


If you have any questions, learn how to prepare for your certification assessment. You can also send an email to  support@espeakers.com for help.

We hope this certification will help speakers and event organizers in our industry pivot to the new business landscape. 
Wishing you the best at this time! 

– The eSpeakers team

Why I’m Still Happy with Jim Cathcart CSP, CPAE

Jim Cathcart CSP, CPAE: a hall of fame speaker known for teaching others how to improve communication, build confidence, and focus on what matters most. Especially during tough times!

Jim shares why he’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” He also shares how being an optimist during tough times can help make you happy. He encourages everyone to take control of what goes into our minds and our hearts, especially as we try to get going after the COVID-19 pandemic.

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy#TogetherAtHome

Virtual Event Planning: 8 Tips to Help You Move An Event Online at the Last Minute

Special Announcement:  
With all of the unrest and uncertainty in the world because of Covid-19, we chose to publish this article on event planning burnout to help you. Event planners and speakers alike, are facing a huge downturn because of canceled or postponed events, and here at eSpeakers we are no different. If you are struggling with how to approach the coming months, you should also read our article about how to move your speaking career to the virtual sphere.

There is no question that COVID-19 has shaken up the events industry and has planners scrambling to adapt to this new environment. 

Virtual event planning used to be a sideline. Now it’s the main event.

Even seasoned veterans are suddenly having to learn new skills on the fly as technology and online platforms become the modus operandi. 

So if you’re a planner with one or several events on the go, you may be finding yourself needing to move one or all of them online. And you may be panicking!

The good news is, it’s not as complicated as you think. If you can handle putting on a live event, virtual event planning is well within your capabilities. A lot of the basics of virtual event planning are the same as with live events—it’s all connecting people and finding ways to engage with them. It’s just slightly different and there are some technical basics you need to get a grasp of. 

But if you take the following steps, you can be on your way to virtual event planning like a pro. 

Don’t cancel that meeting! Speakers and experts can present virtually.

Virtual Event Planning: 8 Tips to Help You Move An Event Online at the Last Minute

1. Recalibrate.

It’s important with virtual event planning to be sure that your event makes sense for online venues. Take a look at your event, all its components, and figure out which will work in an online environment and which won’t. If there are any elements of the event that won’t shift online easily, switch them out with something else or lose them altogether—don’t waste time trying to shoehorn something in that just won’t fit. For example, a workshop type breakout session with lots of hands-on interaction might not work. But a seminar can easily be adapted to a webinar with a few tweaks.

2. Grab a platform.

Next, you need to choose your platform based on what your event’s needs are. There are countless options of software available that can include live streaming, real-time interaction, polls, question-and-answer functions, and event registration. Here is a link to some options. You can also use social media to live stream your event on platforms such as YouTube Live and Facebook Live. These options have the benefit of a built-in audience and are easy to use.

3. Figure out your venue(s).

Planning a virtual event might seem easier when it comes to venue arranging. But you can’t just host it in your various presenters’ living rooms. That will look unprofessional and will cheapen the look of your event. So organize venues that still have presentation value, such as boardrooms or other event spaces.

4. Rally your audience.

If you’re moving your event online because of COVID-19 it’s likely your audience is already anticipating the change. But once you have your platform organized it’s time to email your attendees with detailed information such as when each event will take place, how to access it, and how to sign up and use it. Let them know how the event will maintain its value even though it’s online, and where there is lost value, be sure to let them know where there will be financial adjustments. Make sure you leave the lines open for them to ask questions if they are confused about how to proceed. You don’t want to lose your audience because they can’t figure out the technology.

5. Get the word out.

The awesome thing about virtual event planning is that the sky’s the limit when it comes to your audience! No longer limited by physical locations and travel/scheduling logistics, you can market your event all over the world to whomever you please, as long as they have an internet connection. So do some quick marketing on social media to get the word out to a larger audience. But, do be aware of time zones and how you should schedule your event accordingly.

6. Add interactivity.

Without a live presenter and audience, you lose out on a lot of interactivity when planning a virtual event. Luckily there are a host of options to keep your audience engaged and talking to each other and the presenters. Virtual lobbies, live chats, Q&A sessions, surveys, and contests are all ways to make your attendees feel like they’re part of a larger group. These features also add a ton of value to your event and will keep people talking about it even after it’s over.

7. Hire a crack emcee.

Your online event needs a strong host to hold it all together, to be the spokesperson who is visible across all the different aspects of the platform. As there are a lot of particulars involved in a virtual event that is different from live ones, including technological quirks that need to be figured out, it is best to hire an emcee who is familiar with online hosting. This person should not only be able to command an online audience, but they should also be familiar with online platforms and capable of handling any technical glitches that arise.

8. Get feedback.

Don’t forget to follow up with your attendees (and presenters) to find out exactly what worked for them and what didn’t. Send out a questionnaire with a small incentive to return, and use what you learn to make your next virtual event even better. 

Good luck with your virtual event planning! 

Looking for the perfect speakers for your virtual event? Search our speaker marketplace here—we’ve even added a new “Virtual Presentation” filter to our search criteria.

Did you find this article helpful? Here are three more you might enjoy:

Six steps for putting on a virtual event that works.
Why are these people (still) happy during a pandemic?
Ten event planning tips for absolute beginners.

Why I’m (Still) Happy with David Horsager CSP, CPAE

David Horsager CSP, CPAE: a speaker known for teaching others about trust, and how they can enjoy greater creativity, productivity, freedom as a result. Especially during tough times!

David shares why he’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” He also shares a story about riding his horse at age 12, and how he had to “Get back on the horse.” He encourages everyone to “Get back on the horse” as we try to get going after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome

Why I’m (Still) Happy with Sarah McVanel CSP

Sarah McVanel CSP: a speaker known for teaching others about the power of recognition when times are tough. 

Sarah shares why she’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” She also shares how people all over the world are using recognition to boost spirits and morale during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome

6 Steps For Putting On A Virtual Event That Works

You’ve been thinking about putting on a virtual event for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. 

Putting on a virtual event can seem really daunting if you’ve never done it before. The technology to learn, the different platforms, how to advertise to an online audience…there are a lot of questions and new things to learn that surround a virtual event. Even if you’re an experienced event planner, putting on a 100 percent virtual event presents a whole new set of issues and problems to troubleshoot and solve.

With current events keeping almost everyone at home to do most of their work and leisure activities online, now is the time to put on your first virtual event.

So, how does one actually put on a virtual event? If you go step by step, it’s not as complicated as you think. 

We’ve broken it down into steps for you, to help you put on your first virtual event without a hitch. 

6 Steps For Putting On A Virtual Event That Works

1. Assess your audience. 

Before you can do anything else you need to know who your audience is. Your audience will decide all the components of your event, from which platform to use, to what topics to focus on, to how to market most effectively. It all comes down to what your audience is so make sure you ask yourself a few questions about who they are, such as what are they interested in? How tech-savvy are they? And how do they interact online? This will help you figure out how to market to them and keep them interested once you have them at your event.

2. Figure out your format.

Just like live events, there are several different configurations to any virtual event so use your now defined audience to decide which one would be best for them. Are they a more passive audience or do they like to interact? Are they skills-based or experience-based? How much time do they have? Based on these and other questions, you can design your event’s format accordingly. Maybe your virtual event will be a single simple seminar with a question-and-answer session at the end. Maybe it will be a complicated multi-event format with plenty of real-time interaction, polling, and audience participation. Use your audience research to decide on what will keep them engaged.

As a professional in the event planning industry, you’re in the perfect position to help your colleagues find the right speakers to make their meetings great! Connect with our SpeakerShare program to learn how you can make a commission from referring speakers!

3. Pick a platform.

Based on your format, now is the time to research your platform options and decide on the one that will best optimize your virtual event, for yourself, your presenter(s) and your audience. Make a list of what you need to make your event a success, find the ones that meet those criteria, and utilize their free trial packages (most online platforms will offer this) to test them out and find which one fits best for you. Don’t forget to keep your audience in mind—will they adapt easily to a new platform, or would a familiar streaming service such as Facebook or Youtube be best for them?

4. Pick your presenters.

As in a live event, having a host and speakers who are engaging, knowledgeable, and quick-on-their-feet is essential. In the case of virtual events, it is also important that your speaker can adapt to an online audience and is tech-savvy enough to troubleshoot tech issues on the spot and engage seamlessly with a virtual audience. 

Are you a speaker? Read this post to learn how to let the world know you can present virtually.

5. Choose your “when and where”.

Just because your event won’t be with a live audience, doesn’t mean you don’t have to commit to a time and place—don’t think that these particulars don’t matter. You can have the most interesting virtual event in the world but it won’t do much good if half of your audience is asleep because you’ve scheduled it in the wrong time zone. So pay attention to your audience and what their needs are, time-wise. You can even poll them to figure out what their optimal time is to commit to an online event. And venue matters, as well. You might be tempted to host in your living room, but keep in mind that your background can make your event look cheaper than it is. Consider renting an office space or boardroom for a more professional presentation.

6. Let the world know!

Okay! You’ve finally got the basics of your virtual event figured out. Time to let the world know! Maximize social media and your mailing list to get the word out in as many ways as possible. Promote as many aspects of your event as you can, including your presenters, your venue and your themes/topics. Don’t forget to use hashtags to maximum effect, and if you’re using a social media platform to stream your event, use that platform for leverage as well.

Good luck with your virtual event! And happy planning.

Looking for the perfect speakers for your virtual event? Search our speaker marketplace here—we’ve even added a new “Virtual Presentation” filter to our search criteria.

Did you find this article helpful? Here are three more you might enjoy:

Corporate event planning: ten tips to make it unforgettable!
Why are these people (still) happy during a pandemic?
Developing the breakthrough mindset and succeeding.

Why I’m Still Happy with Marilyn Sherman CSP, CPAE

Marilyn Sherman CSP, CPAE: a hall of fame speaker known for inspiring people to have a positive mindset when times are tough.

Marilyn shares why she’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” She also shares a story about Lou Zamperini and encourages us to think of him when times are tough.

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome

Why I’m Still Happy with Tim Gard CSP, CPAE

Tim Gard CSP, CPAE: a hall of fame speaker known for using his humor to help people become more resilient when times are tough.

Tim shares why he’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” He also shares his famous bug glasses and professional nose flute playing skills.

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome

Why I’m Still Happy with Dr. Willie Jolley CSP, CPAE

Willie shares why he’s still happy and helps you reflect upon your “why” of “Why I’m (Still) Happy.” He also sings a song that he wrote to lift the spirits of the world during COVID-19.

Why I’m (Still) Happy with Willie Jolley CSP, CPAE: a hall of fame speaker known for motivating and inspiring others to achieve more.

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers, and share on your social media channels. Pass this “Why I’m (Still) Happy” video along because everybody can use some happy. Join the “Why I’m (Still) Happy” movement by subscribing to this channel and making an inspiring comment of hope and appreciation below. #WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome

Why are these people (still) happy during a pandemic?

Here at eSpeakers, we thought it would be nice to have a little break in the day to hear something that makes you feel good.

We talked to some of our friends (who happen to be the best motivating, inspiring speakers on the planet) to help us out with this project. Together, we’ve created a YouTube channel to share 5-10 minute stories that will make you laugh, give you hope, and encourage you to keep going during this tough time. Won’t that be a nice break?

Watch Jason Hewlett, CSP, CPAE explain why he’s (still) happy

On this YouTube channel, we’ll host live broadcasts on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:00 pm EST, as well as posting some pre-recorded videos. Just hit “subscribe” while you’re watching this video to be notified of the events and new videos when they’re up. Our hope is that these short, sincere thoughts from talented speakers will remind us of all the “whys” there are to be happy, no matter what else is going on around us.

GET YOUR FIRST 10 MINUTES OF HAPPY »

Our first video comes from Jason Hewlett, CSP, CPAE: a hall of fame speaker known for his heartfelt stories, musical talent, and crazy impressions. He shares a little incident he had with a dog that might make you think differently about your “why”.

So gather your family around, share this video with friends and co-workers and on your social media channels. Because everybody can use some happy.

#WhyImStillHappy #TogetherAtHome

Sincerely,

– Your friends at eSpeakers