The Event Experience
Below are the best practices and event design checklists we follow when creating a LexGo event.
To plan a great event, it's crucial to break bad habits created by people used to "events" in Zoom and Teams. LexGo makes it easy to establish new social norms that help an event flow better.
- Communicate how to connect in advance. In the communication to attendees, make sure to set expectations on how users should connect, e.g. "For the best experience, please use the latest desktop versions of Chrome or Edge. If possible, wear a headset with mic to reduce audio noise or feedback from your speakers." Because your LexGo event is available 24/7, attendees have the option of signing in early to test their audio and video.
- Open doors 15 to 30 minutes early. For a 1 p.m. Zoom call, people are used to dialing in at 1 p.m. (or later) because they don't want to be stuck waiting for the host. In LexGo, for a 1 p.m. event, we'll say something like "doors open at 12:30 p.m." or "event starts at 12:45 p.m." which gives people time to learn how to LexGo, move around the space and have conversations before the event begins.
- Greet in the lobby. One thing that will be different than Zoom or Teams is this idea of a greeter: One or two people that welcome people to your event. These people are usually prepared with a short script to onboard folks in 15 seconds or less (usually to show people how to show the map and direct them where to go next on the map). People who need more help can be asked (or escorted) to a "Tech Support" room (if having audio/video issues) or a "How to LexGo" room which will have a board showing how to use LexGo.
- Table topics. To encourage conversations, we'll sometimes name a table, e.g. "Topic: Your Pets" or "Topic: Gift Ideas" to show what people are expected to talk about while at a table. Alternatively, if the table is part of a broadcast, you can post a list of icebreakers in the subtitle or as a board so people can have conversation prompts prior to a presentation.
- Vote with your feet. Rather than be captive on a Zoom call, we create status tables such as "Stepped Away" or "AFK" that make it more socially acceptable to leave a presentation if someone needs to take a break. It helps others know that the person is still present at the event, but they just needed to be off camera for a moment.
- Self-managing table talk. During a stage presentation, people at an audience table can still talk to each other, which is great for spontaneous conversation. However, if specific people at the table are being disruptive, encourage attendees to speak up at their table, e.g. "Could you please move your conversation to another table?" or "Could everyone please mute? I can't hear the broadcast." People can also just move to another table as well.
- Instant conversations. When people join a table with an active conversation (indicated by the blue or red conversation icon in the upper left of a table) their audio and video will turn on automatically. This encourages people to have cameras on by default.
- Get feedback in the moment. Rather than wait until after the event to get people's feedback on the event, create a "Before You Go" room with an embedded form on a board (e.g. a Google Form). This helps people give quick feedback on your event in the moment and improves response rates. Make sure the form is quick and easy to complete. Here is an example we use for our events.
Before the Event
Prep for Success
Create a core team of people to plan and execute the event
Clearly assign checklist tasks to specific people to ensure nothing falls through the cracks
Make sure staff have admin permissions to edit rooms and/or manage user accounts
If needed, hire a producer and/or staff experienced with LexGo to support the core team
When designing spaces, it's helpful to get people get used to showing the map and moving around, rather than just sit at one table all day (in real life, that would be boring).
Establish how you want to welcome folks (e.g. greeter and/or sign/video in main lobby)
Figure out how you want people to flow through an event, so people know where to go
We recommend the creation of specific rooms that we've found helpful:
How to LexGo (with additional instructions describing how LexGo works)
Tech Support (staffed with either a chat box andor person monitoring folks
Before You Go (with a "Thanks for coming!" sign or feedback form)
Stepped Away or AFK (so folks have a place to leave without logging off)
Event Materials (if you have digital files you need people to review or download)
Backstage (if you need a room for speakers to hang out in before the event)
One or more Couches or Coffee Tables for ad hoc conversations outside the flow of the main event
Set up boards at tables as needed
Set up the stage and prep it with required board content
Create a "Presenter Speed Test" table with a board so presenters can check their internet speed and make sure it's fast enough for presenting
Encourage presenters to use quality headsets, video camera and microphones
If presenters will be screen sharing, make sure they have permission set up on their computer
Get them on stage and do a dry run
Show exhibitors where their booth(s) will be located and when to expect people to pop in
Place a board in the room with content the exhibitor wants to share, e.g. a video or web page
Exhibitor booths don't have to be staffed at all times during an event. That said, it may be helpful to post times on a board when an exhibitir will be at the booth (e.g. "I'll be back at 1 p.m. Central), for anyone who may want to ask questions or meet face to face.
Send an email that tells people about how they will access LexGo and why it's different that events that they may have attended in the past
After the Event
Schedule a post-event retrospective to see what worked and what didn't to help prepare for future events in LexGo
Review feedback from attendees if you had a feedback form
For multi-day events or conferences, we recommend scheduling end-of-day retrospectives, so that suggestions to make the next day better are implemented.