"We're not trying to replicate what we did in person, we're trying to reimagine it using all the tools available to us." - Robbie Samuels, Author of “Break Out of Boredom: Low-Tech Solutions for Highly Engaging Zoom Events”
Find out More and Get a copy of Robbie's latest book at:
Hello hello, it's your host Dan Keldsen, Chief Evangelist for PlexiCam.com, and I have to say, even with years of experience running events with thousands of people and small-scale in-person workshops as well as virtual events of many sizes, I still found plenty to learn from this interview with Robbie Samuels.
Robbie has a unique ability to surface extremely valuable yet easy to understand tips for how to make virtual and in-person events far more engaging for attendees.
In this interview, we discuss the importance of creating a welcoming environment and how to grab people's attention, whether online or in-person. Robbie emphasizes the need to interrupt quiet time and create connections, especially since people's intentions around events and networking are high, but follow-through is low.
Virtual events can be used to enhance in-person experiences, increase retention, and provide value to members who cannot attend in-person.
Breakout rooms are a valuable resource for any virtual facilitator, and in this video, Robbie explains how purposeful design can transform the virtual experience.
The conversation covers a range of topics, from the challenges of virtual presentations to the power of engagement through digital tools.
I believe this video will be valuable for anyone looking to improve their virtual facilitation skills.
The conversation covers many other useful insights and tips, including how to make breakout rooms engaging, why we should focus on getting 5% better, and the importance of setting expectations and norms for events.
And you may be asking yourself, who is Robbie?
Robbie Samuels is a keynote speaker, TEDx speaker, and author of "Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences." His YouTube channel covers topics related to event engagement and networking, and his website provides access to a range of resources, including his book and a certification program for virtual event professionals.
- Creating a welcoming environment and grabbing people's attention are crucial for engaging attendees, whether online or in-person.
- Virtual events can be used to enhance in-person experiences, increase retention, and provide value to members who cannot attend in-person.
- Breakout rooms can be made engaging by using low-tech solutions, setting expectations, and providing clear instructions.
- Breakout rooms are a valuable resource for virtual facilitators, but their success depends on purposeful design.
- Purposeful design means reimagining the virtual experience using all the tools available, both digital and analog.
- Engagement is key to successful virtual facilitation, and purposeful design can help facilitate engagement.
- Create a welcoming environment and grab people's attention by interrupting quiet time and providing greeters at the door.
- Use virtual events to enhance in-person experiences, increase retention, and provide value to members who cannot attend in-person.
- Make breakout rooms engaging by using low-tech solutions, setting expectations, and providing clear instructions.
- Start by setting clear goals and objectives for your virtual meeting.
- Choose the right breakout room format for your goals, such as brainstorming or discussion.
- Provide clear instructions and guidelines for the breakout rooms.
- Use digital tools such as chat threads or pause-and-post to facilitate engagement.
- Debrief the breakout rooms and provide opportunities for participants to connect.
Q: What are some common mistakes virtual facilitators make in breakout rooms?
A: One common mistake is not providing clear instructions or guidelines for the breakout rooms. Another is not using digital tools effectively to facilitate engagement. There's more to engagement than having people say where they're located or asking for a hand wave.
Q: How can I ensure participants are engaged during breakout rooms?
A: Use digital tools such as chat threads or pause-and-post to facilitate engagement. Also, debrief the breakout rooms and provide opportunities for participants to connect.
Q: Can purposeful design be applied to in-person meetings as well?
A: Yes, purposeful design can be applied to any type of meeting, virtual or in-person.
Q: What is the benefit of using analog tools in virtual meetings?
A: Analog tools can provide a break from digital overload and allow for more thoughtful, focused engagement.
Q: How can I improve my virtual facilitation skills?
A: Practice purposeful design, use digital tools effectively, and seek feedback from participants to continually improve.
Q: How can virtual events be used to enhance in-person experiences?
A: Virtual events can be used to provide value to attendees who cannot attend in-person, increase retention, and create connections leading up to or after an in-person event.
Q: How can breakout rooms be made engaging?
A: Breakout rooms can be made engaging by using low-tech solutions, setting expectations, and providing clear instructions.
Q: What is Croissants vs. Bagels?
A: Croissants vs. Bagels is a book by Robbie Samuels that provides strategies for strategic, effective, and inclusive networking at conferences.
Q: What is Kaizen?
A: Kaizen is a Japanese term for continuous improvement.