I’m all for openness and transparency. That’s why I love participating in group chats at virtual events. Everything is out there in the open and all participants can be “seen” and heard from. That being said, there are scenarios in which some structure (moderation) needs to be placed around the chat.
When to Use Chat Moderation
Oftentimes, your virtual event program will include scheduled chats with a featured guest (host). In this scenario, there’s a high ratio between the number of guests (question askers) and the host (question taker). The ratio could be 100:1, or it could get as high as 5,000:1.
When the ratio gets large, chat moderation is a great way to maintain order within the chat session. If all 5,000 guests were permitted to type away, everyone would be “lost” in a stream of questions and comments. Worst of all, the host’s answers could get lost in the noise.
How Chat Moderation Works
We recommend that one or more “question queue managers” be assigned to work with the featured host. The queue managers should have subject matter knowledge of the chat topic, as their job is to prioritize the set of questions coming in from the audience.
The moderators can mark a question “high”, “medium” or “low” and the host can then see a dynamically sorted set of questions, with the “high” priority questions listed first.
Attendees will then see a dynamically updated stream of question-and-answer pairs, as the host answers each question.
Use Case: Corporate Town Hall Meeting
Imagine an internal, company-wide meeting that begins with a live video address from company executives. Immediately after the video broadcast, there’s an “Ask the CEO” session, done via moderated chat.
In a “conventional” town hall meeting, a microphone is passed from one question-asker to the next. The process is sequential. In a digital setting, the CEO views a “dashboard” of all submitted questions and can provide answers in a prioritized manner (i.e. the most relevant and important questions get answered first). Neat, right?
Use Case: Keynote Presenter at a Hybrid Event
All too often, the keynote presenter at a trade show provides a great session and then walks off the stage, never to be heard from again until next year’s conference. With a hybrid event, the keynote presenter can be escorted from the main stage to the digital stage, where s/he can host a moderated chat with the digital (virtual) audience.
Here, presenters can answer questions they were not able to address during the session – and, be able to connect directly with the digital audience.
Use Case: Press Conference at Product Launch Event
If you’re using a digital platform to launch a new product, you’ve likely invited members of the press and related media outlets. After your VP Products gives an overview of your latest product offering, use moderated chats as a “digital press conference.”
You can directly answer questions and leverage the moderated chat capability to provide some structure around the session. By providing media outlets with immediate answers to their questions, you’ll have a better chance of securing more timely and favorable media coverage.
Moderated chats are a great solution for interactions between a large audience and invited guests (hosts). Leave us a comment below and let us know whether you plan to use moderated chats at your next virtual event!
- Our white paper on Hybrid Events Best Practices.
- Our product page on Virtual Offices & Environments.
- Contact me via email if you have further questions about moderated chats.
Post contributed by Dennis Shiao