How to Find the Right Moderator for Your Virtual Event

Post by 
Karen Ashwin
Published 
August 25, 2020

You’ve decided to host an online event, you have a phenomenal keynote speaker, clear goals and objectives, and you are ready to start marketing…almost. There are just a few more decisions to make, such as: who’s going to moderate the event? A virtual event moderator is a crucial part of any virtual or hybrid event, but how do you find the right person?

Here are some of the things you need to know about virtual event moderators and how to find the best one for your next event:

The Importance and Role of a Moderator

Not every virtual event is going to go perfectly. However, by using moderators, you’ve got a better chance of success. For example, moderators can help with coordinating speakers. Without effective coordination from moderators, it’s less likely your audience will be engaged and interested in your event.

In fact, there are three constant demands that audiences have during an event. For the content to be valuable, to be engaged throughout the event, and to be entertained in some form. While the moderator won’t be able to deliver on all of these factors themselves, they certainly help by leading the event in the right direction and help with the “human connection” element—even though it’s a virtual event, there’s still a need for proper connection and communication.  

Moderators can help to build a human connection during virtual events by encouraging and enabling back-and-forth conversation between the audience and the speaker. They can also use communication tools to ensure that the speakers get questions from audience members. Moderators are also responsible for ensuring that the audience gets a chance to ask questions or give opinions regarding the content. Essentially, the moderator helps in facilitating communication between the audience and the speaker. To do this successfully, they must have several key qualities.

Important Qualities in a Successful Moderator

Organization

Your moderator needs to have strong organizational skills. This is because they need to be adept at organizing the presentations by your speakers that the entire event, including the Q&A section, flows seamlessly. Think of this person as your safeguard against problems because they’ll be the one fixing them to help your event be a success. These organizational skills help the moderator keep the event on time, in the right tone, and on the right topic, leading to a positive outcome.

While moderators should ensure that the event runs within the time limit, they need to be able to promote interactions that will help propel the event on the path it should go. This includes ensuring that audience participation is accounted for and encouraged from the beginning of the event and observing appropriate comments and behavior during participation.

Knowledgeable About the Topic

Your moderator doesn’t have to be an expert on the topic, but they should know something about it. It doesn’t matter if they research it before the event or if they already possessed the knowledge. Either way, they have to be able to oversee the virtual event and sound like they know what’s going on, even if the topic isn’t very familiar. A well-prepared moderator is key for a successful event.

Listens

Listening goes two ways. As a result, your moderator needs to know when to listen and when to speak. Throughout the event, it’s vital that the moderator listens, reacts appropriately, and doesn’t try to take the spotlight. The moderator is there to support your event, not be your event.

Gives a Good First Impression

Your moderator has to give a good first impression. It’s a good idea to arrange a meeting with the moderator and speaker(s) in order to see how their personalities complement each other. It may be that the moderator you want is great, but their personality is too bubbly for the serious speaker. This direct clash could be good, or not, depending on how they can use it to make the event a success. Therefore, not only should you find out your impression of the moderator, but you should also see how they interact with the speaker.

Key Takeaways

You’ve got the virtual event of the year planned and you need a moderator. This person will help ensure that your event goes off without any massive problems. To recap, here are some of the things you need to keep in mind when deciding what moderator to select:

  • The moderator needs to be instrumental in keeping the audience engaged. This involves being able to run the event from beginning to end and helping to keep it on track.
  • The moderator needs to be organized. By being organized, the moderator will be able to help ensure the virtual event is successful and that the audience gets what they need or want from the event. This will help you be sure that you will meet your own goals for the event.
  • The moderator needs to be knowledgeable about the topic of the virtual event. This doesn’t mean they have to be an expert, but it does mean being able to hold a conversation about the topic of interest with ease.
  • The moderator needs to have strong communication skills.
  • The moderator and speaker(s) must have complementing personalities.

We know it’s important to you that your virtual event goes smoothly. Can we help you develop a plan to find a moderator? Want to learn more? Check out our new guide on using virtual events for maximum ROI. If you have questions or want to schedule a consultation with The Event Production Company, please contact us today.

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