7 Steps To Enhance Online Events By The Art of Gathering Author Priya Parker

March 7, 2024
virtual meeting

Online events are here to stay, so how do event organizers and exhibitors make them more effective and enjoyable? Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering, published the Virtual Gathering Guide, which offers seven steps for meeting hosts to create moments of connection in the online event space.

Here are excerpts from the guide that are most relevant for corporate event and exhibit managers.

1. Clarify the purpose of your virtual gathering. “Don’t assume your digital gathering shares the same purpose as your in-person one,” she advised. Ask: “What is the most important need for this group and how might I design the experience online to match that need?”

2. Use everyone’s environment to fill the context-lessness of virtual gatherings. “Virtual gatherings suffer, in part, because there’s almost no inherited context to set up ‘the room.’ invite people to help co-create the room by sitting and placing their cameras in front of spots that have meaning for them, or that adds beauty or color to the many frames everyone else will be looking at,” Parker suggested.

3. Have a clear host who knows how to use the mute button. “A good host is a deft traffic cop, especially for online gatherings that are clunkier by nature. A good host orients their guests to the gathering’s purpose, and connects, protects and equalizes their guests,” she said.

Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering

4. Create an opening ritual. Parker suggested: “Don’t hesitate to use the chat box. For larger groups, drop a question into the chatbox to have people answer, ‘Where are you dialing in from?’”

5. Make space for informal connections. One suggestion: Open your meeting with a digital coffee line. Before the meeting starts, put everyone into a five-minute breakout room to just chat.

Break it up: Host different conversations in different rooms. “In a conference, if there’s a new session, we move to another room,” she said. “To break up different sessions of your call, have people change rooms or even just camera angles.”

7. Don’t ditch the cocktail hour. “Make time for toasts and chit chat,” she advised. “It will help close your offsite/meeting/virtual summit. It gives a sense of camaraderie. And it is a moment to make meaning.”

Download the free guide here.


Partner Voices
For the past 18 years, BlueHive Exhibits has been a steadfast partner for both national and international companies, catering to their trade show and event needs.