Virtual events may just look like a bunch of people sitting around on their webcams. And there definitely is some of that. But they are also a great way for presenters, organizers, and attendees to bring physical activity and movement into everyone’s day — all while keeping the webcam close, of course. We took a look at a few recent events, and made some notes and predictions about the best ways to get people moving at virtual events.
Panelists make it look cool to move around…Warm-up (for real), and inspire some outdoors time.
The get up and go!
Athleta’s (EM)POWER event, featuring Alison Felix (a 2x Olympic Champion), Glennon Doyle, Megan Roup, and Dyllan McGee, started off with a quick dance workout led by Megan Roup. The workout was energizing and fun, and set the tone perfectly before the panelists even started talking. Something like this could work at the beginning of almost any panel. Whether it’s dance, yoga, mediation, calisthenics, or 500 burpees… it just needs to be something to get the endorphins going and break the ice. And for the record, we don’t recommend doing 500 burpees. Maybe like 5 or 10 though ????
The walk and talk…
So this idea is more of a prediction… There’s been a video going around of a guy running into a mountain lion while he’s out for a walk. It’s totally crazy, and we hope that no one runs into a mountain lion on the trail. But it did make us think about an event speaker doing their talk while walking around outdoors. This could be filmed with a GoPro camera on the head, or an iPhone on a selfie stick. The lighting and cinematography would probably be better than if it was indoors. And attendees could also just listen to it as if it was a podcast; while out on a walk themselves. There may even be some wildlife sightings. But hopefully not any mountain lions!
Organizers keep everyone movin’
Fitness, DJs, and virtual competitions.
Get some movement on the schedule.
Microsoft’s virtual Build event, which was 48hrs of live, non-stop, developer focused content, predictably included no less than 5, 20-30min yoga sessions. (Even the most dedicated developer has to take a stretch break.) For organizers that are looking to fill some time, booking a full yoga or fitness session is one of the best ways to give your attendees an energy boost. It also creates a natural and productive break in your content. And it’s something that attendees can plan their day around. A fitness session may not be for everyone, but it might be something that a few people really appreciate. And that’s always a good thing.
Book that DJ you always wanted to book.
DJs literally cue people to get up and move around. The Virtual Democratic National Convention got Diplo to DJ their virtual after party. And DJ D-nice DJ’d the Virtual Emmys during the commercial breaks. A good DJ reminds us that there is more to life than just watching talking heads on a screen. They remind us to throw on some tunes and take a break. Or have a stretch. Or make a cup of coffee. Or clean our desk. Or put on a duvet cover. There’s all kinds of things we can go do on a music break.
The virtual competition…
For the first time ever, The Head of Charles rowing race will be held completely virtually. That means there will be thousands of boats, and thousands of rowers, all competing simultaneously on lakes and rivers across the world. While a virtual rowing race may not be the right for your event, organizers might want to consider planning some kind of virtual 5k run or walk. Competitors could be tracked through apps like Strava or Apple Fitness. And people that complete the event could get virtual merchandise — like a special virtual badge, or a one-on-one chat with a speaker, or even the opportunity to sit on a panel. The important thing is that it adds a healthy and fun layer to the event. And made even a dose of competition. Because why not?
Attendees can also head out at any time, and that’s a good thing!
Encourage attendees to hit pause and take a walk whenever it feels right. Most virtual event platforms also work on phone or tablet. Remind attendees that they can take the event with them as they head out the door. The goal is to create an event that feels like a break from the work desk. Something that complements and elevates the day. And the best way to do that is to just head out for a few minutes. And get a little exercise.
Any amount of movement goes a long way.
Whether it’s a quick stretch, or just watching someone take a nature walk, movement always refreshes the mind. It helps us think about things differently. It breaks up the monotony and helps us flow through the day. However you decide to bring movement into your event — any amount of movement goes a long way to keeping attendees happy and energized. And so that’s really the goal