Surrounded by the ever-changing state of business operations, planning a cyber security training or educational event can be complicated. One of the challenges you’ll face early on is deciding whether or not to host your next cyber security event in-person. Many individuals fear that a virtual cybersecurity presentation could never be as engaging as an event that’s face-to-face.
In reality, a cyber security virtual event can be incredibly interesting, educational, and entertaining. Here are a few ways to make your virtual event feel like it’s the in-person experience of a lifetime.
1. Get Creative With a Theme
Often, events that are in person have a theme that is appealing to the audience and inherently “fun”. Even though your event is virtual, you can still utilize an engaging theme that will translate online so you can captivate your cyber security event audience.
After you pick a theme, you can plan to:
- Play theme-aligned intro, outro, and interim music.
- Set the color scheme of the backgrounds to match your theme.
- Encourage individuals to dress the part.
- Do elaborate, theme-matched giveaways, if within your budget.
2. Have Games and Challenges Throughout
To prompt collaboration and communication, try including a few games or challenges in your cyber security event. You could take the time to split individuals into breakout rooms to work together on a larger challenge or you could have everyone answer a question by writing down the answer.
Another activity you can try is polling your audience ahead of time and sharing the information before or after your cyber security speakers have finished their presentations. This can help connect members of your audience, make them feel less nervous to share their answers, and encourage more participation. Plus, since they got to be a part of it, they’ll be more engaged when you reveal the answers!
No matter what type of entertainment you plan, games, polls, and questions can all help keep the event interesting and engaging. Try to space out your activities so that your audience can focus on the main topic while still having opportunities to participate in a fun way.
3. Allow Time for Q&A With Exceptional Cyber Security Keynote Speakers
If you’re lucky enough to have a social engineering expert who is both vibrant in personality and has expansive know-how as your speaker, take advantage of this opportunity by allowing direct interaction between your virtual speaker and your audience through Q&A sessions.
Similar to how games and challenges allow the audience to engage with both the speaker and one another, planned Q&A sessions can help keep interruptions to a minimum while providing a dedicated space for people to expand on the addressed topic.
One of the biggest challenges virtual events face is the inability to have one-on-one communication between an engaging cyber security speaker and individual event participants due to time restraints. Give your audience that in-person event experience by padding in time at the end of the cyber security event for Q&A.
This is a much better experience than ending the event by merely thanking everyone and closing the platform window. Time for questions spaced throughout the event, especially at the end, gives the audience a chance to show that they were engaged with the presentation and dive into the content with the professional speaker.
4. Ensure There Are Tangible Takeaways
A virtual event is a great space to get your audience together and helps promote solidarity through learning. To go the extra mile, and make sure that everyone remembers the new content and the event as a whole, offer tangible takeaways to your attendees.
Consider offering post-event materials such as:
- Follow-up emails. An email thanking your guest for attending as well as providing an opportunity for any questions they may have forgotten to ask is a great way to make each attendee feel appreciated and supported.
- Downloadables. Downloadable information such as additional tips or tricks would be useful and valuable for everyone. You could even send this material to those who couldn’t make the event, so they can still feel empowered.
- Recap notes. A quick recap or a link to rewatch the presentation may help any attendee who wishes to elaborate on what they learned with others. This would also help anyone who had to leave early feel included.
These post-event materials will put your virtual event on par with the takeaways that an in-person event may have provided, which means you will have succeeded in giving your event that personal touch and consideration.
Are You Ready To Plan Your Virtual Cyber Security Event?
Apart from these tips for making your virtual event feel more like an in-person one, there are more components of a good event to consider, such as booking a speaker and promoting the event. To get started planning your next virtual event, download The Ultimate Virtual Cyber Security Event Checklist now.