Virtual Guest Speakers for Online Events and Meetings

COVID-19 has changed most every aspect of life for the foreseeable future, including the way we communicate. Many organizations have been forced to cancel or postpone their events due to the pandemic and are looking at other ways to reach their audience, thus the rise in popularity of virtual meeting and events. Whether you’re looking to engage your clients, motivate your sales team or raise money for a non-profit, Sports Speakers 360 can advise you on how to effectively organize a virtual event and incorporate virtual speakers who will entertain, motivate and inspire your audience.

Simply put, a virtual event is livestreamed over the internet where attendees can participate without being together in-person. All that’s needed to get started besides an internet connection along with audio and a webcam is access to a video conferencing platform such as Zoom, WebEx, ON24 and Go-To-Meetings.

The Advantages of a Virtual Event

There are several advantages to livestreaming a virtual event that features a keynote speaker. Firstly, most virtual guest speakers are willing to participate in a virtual event for quite a bit less than they would normally charge for an in-person engagement. Since travel is not required, their time commitment is less and as a result the savings are passed along to you.

Secondly, attendees won’t have to worry about being exposed to COVID-19 either by traveling to the event or attending it as they won’t be in proximity to others. As for the organization, it won’t have to worry about implementing social distancing guidelines and cleaning measures.

Thirdly, the cost of hosting a virtual meeting or event is relatively small compared to holding a live event. Aside from the cost of licensing a video conferencing platform, which many organizations already have, there won’t be expenses associated with renting a venue, hospitality, food, travel, etc.

Lastly, many video conferencing platforms offer a feature that enables the host to record the speaker’s presentation, so as long as the speaker grants permission, you can offer added value to the attendees by giving them the ability to view the presentation for a period of time after the event.

Maximizing the Speaker Experience

Virtual events obviously have a different feel than being in-person but there are ways to maximize the experience and get the most out of hiring a virtual event speaker. Virtual meetings and events in particular benefit from having a moderator. Not only can this person dictate the flow but they can introduce the speaker and ask pertinent questions. Additionally, a virtual event lends itself well to audience interaction so the moderator can also field questions from the audience.

It’s also imperative that the technology work properly so we’ll be happy to schedule a test with the speaker prior to the event to confirm that the videoconferencing platform is working and that the speaker’s internet connection is strong, audio is clear and lighting is good.

Case Studies

  • U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team captain Christie Rampone participated in a virtual sports awards ceremony. The event, which honored high school students in Pennsylvania who excelled both on and off the field, was initially cancelled but the organizer still wanted to do something special for the kids, including many who were high school seniors. PFP compiled an extensive list of virtual motivational speakers and, after reviewing the list of options along with speaking clips, they hired Christie to deliver an inspirational message.
  • Retired baseball star Darryl Strawberry participated in a moderated interview with a church in Arizona. Since the church was not holding worship services in-person, the interview was livestreamed to its congregants as part of a Sunday morning service. Darryl talked about his baseball career and relationship with Christ.
  • Kansas City All-Star second baseman Whit Merrifield participated in a virtual “Guest Teacher” event on Facebook Live that was sponsored by Proctor & Gamble. Students in the Kansas City area were invited to participate as the event was intended to boost morale for kids who were distance learning. Whit answered questions about his baseball career and what he’s been doing to stay healthy and in shape during the pandemic.
  • Super Bowl champion and Fox Sports NFL analyst Mark Schlereth participated in a combination in-person/virtual fundraising event for a Catholic school in Wyoming. Following social distancing practices, Mark was on-hand to distribute meals to attendees who then ate at home while Mark delivered a keynote speech that was livestreamed.

Sports Speakers 360 would love the opportunity to speak with you about hiring speakers for virtual events. Please call us today at (303)-747-4087 or fill out our contact form to find out more information about our virtual keynote speakers.