Deciding on your event format

Unsure whether to run an online or in-person Victorian Law Week event? This section sets out some things you may want to think about when making your decision.

When deciding on your event format, it’s always essential to consider your target audience’s needs and capabilities.

What format works for your audience?

Your target audience is the most important factor to consider when choosing an event format. What type of event is the most suitable for them? It might be helpful to consider:

  • How does your target audience like to receive information?
  • What is an appropriate setting or location for them?
  • Are they comfortable attending online events?
  • What type of event works with their daily lives (location, time, duration)?

Here is some information about different specific event formats to help you make your decision.

In-person events

In-person events will be more likely to attract your target audience if held at locations that the target audience frequents (such as a libraries, neighbourhood centres, community groups) – go to where your audience is, rather than expecting them to come to you.

If you would like to run an in-person event, it might be helpful to consider:

  • Will your event be held at a location that is convenient for your target audience?
  • Will your target audience will feel comfortable gathering in a group?
  • Is the venue accessible? Are there any additional measures you can put in place to increase accessibility?
  • Are there public transport links and parking?

Make sure you have a back-up plan in place, in case the rules about public gatherings change and your event cannot proceed in-person.

Live online events

Live online events can be a cost effective way to reach a wide audience. You may want to consider running an online event because they allow you to:

  • Protect the privacy of your audience – If your event deals with a sensitive topic, privacy may be very important to your target audience. Online events allow you to control privacy settings, so that attendees are not publicly visible.
  • Easily record your event for lasting impact – Most platforms allow you to easily record your online event, and you can share the recording to extend its reach.
  • It’s easy to collaborate – Online events allow you to use multiple speakers in different locations. This is a great opportunity to collaborate with other organisations, incorporating speakers with different expertise or perspectives.
  • Make use of accessibility features – Some online platforms have accessibility features such as captioning and audio description. Are you making a recording of your event available? This will enable people to view the event at their own pace and will allow you to provide further accessibility measures, such as transcripts. Always let people know in advance about the accessibility measures you are providing.
  • Get detailed data about your event – Analysing viewing and engagement data will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your event. This data is easy to access for online events.

It’s important to consider your target audience, and whether a live online event meets their needs. Some limitations of online events include:

  • Technological challenges – Online technology has made life easier in recent times, but it’s not without its challenges. It is a good idea to have a dedicated person who is not participating in the event to manage the streaming technology and brief your speakers.
  • Less interaction – There is no getting around the fact that online events are less interactive than in-person events. Consider using live chat, live Q&A and polls to engage with your audience.
  • Distractions – One advantage of a live event is that, once people are at the venue, they are focussed on the event. When people attend an online event from home, they often have other things competing for their attention.
  • Accessibility – Online events are not accessible for everyone. Is your target audience computer literate? Do they have access to the internet? Are there specific login requirements that might be difficult for some people to navigate? If you are relying on attendees reading supporting materials, are they accessible?

For more information about running a live online event watch our webinar below:

Pre-recorded online content

We do not recommend submitting pre-recorded online content for Victorian Law Week, although we recognise that this may be appropriate in some instances.

In general, live online events attract larger audiences because they create a sense of urgency. It’s easy for people to put off watching on-demand content if it’s accessible at any time.

You might want to consider a hybrid approach: running a live event and uploading the recording to the Victorian Law Week website afterwards to extend the reach of your event.

Got any questions?

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for guidance on planning your event.