If you want to convince at a digital event, you have to pay attention to something else than a face-to-face event. A guide for companies and customers. […]
After more than a year of digital encounters, the parameters for successful communication have shifted. Whereas it used to be possible to reinforce one’s statements in a personal interview with facial expressions and gestures, this is only possible to a limited extent in times of video conferences and digital collaboration platforms: Digital communication is sometimes asynchronous, it irritates the counterpart when the sound arrives later than the lip movements. The facial expressions can be blurry or barely noticeable due to too bright a background or camera quality.
“Digital communication is very susceptible to misunderstandings due to its asynchronicity,” says Melanie Vogel, coach and expert in female recruiting. When Europe’s largest career fair for women opens its virtual doors on 29 May with its “women&work”, good advice will be needed to ensure that the communication between the more than 70 companies seeking personnel and the thousands of applicants is successful.
In advance, Melanie Vogel showed HR managers in a webinar what to do before, on and after a digital trade fair, so that the spark of enthusiasm also jumps digitally.
In order to compensate for missing or limited gestures and facial expressions, one should pay attention to voice, intonation, sentence melody, speech tempo, rhythm and pauses or consciously work with these. “Talk with a smile on your lips, which signals a completely different mood to the brain,” Vogel appeals. “Then you do not run the risk of falling into a monotonous mode of speech or give the other the feeling that you are more likely to speak to yourself.”A singsong is the goal, the breaks should be deliberately set.
“In order to see your facial expressions well, there should be no window or other light source in your back,” recommends career expert Vogel. If this cannot be avoided, the light source can be illuminated with a lamp in front of the screen. But the face should not be in the shade.
The, whether integrated in the laptop or plugged on the screen, should always be at eye level. When talking, it is important not to look at the screen, but directly into the camera. “If it doesn’t work, you have to say that you look at the video image of the other person, then the person on the other end knows why there is no eye contact,” says Vogel.
As for clothes, Melanie Vogel advises against bright white, pure black or very bright tones, as this will unnaturally change the color of the face. More suitable are gentle colors, a bright blue, but also dark blue. Also, strong patterned tops or jackets with pinstripes, houndstooth or herringbone patterns should rather hang in the closet, as they could create a flicker in front of the.
A digital trade fair requires at least as careful preparation as a face-to-face event. Among other things, one should practice the planned in a dress rehearsal. Companies should be clear about the following issues:
- What do we want to offer for which target groups?
- Do we have different contact persons for the different topics?
- What do we want to achieve with the digital event, when was the event successful for us?
- Which trade fair offers fit our orientation, strategy and message?
- What do we want to encourage visitors to Click?
“You always have to keep in mind at a digital event: The entry threshold is low, just one click, but you can also get out just as quickly,” warns Vogel. For the upcoming women&work, some companies are planning digital appetizers such as a scavenger hunt, sweepstakes or yoga sessions to generate curiosity.
It is also important to pick up the target group digitally on social media, in particular Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Vogel recommends that exhibiting companies start communication with an elevator pitch after the welcome. So to be able to say what the company is doing in a maximum of 30 seconds. After the digital business card exchange, it is important to ask specific questions and knock off goals of the trade fair visit. “Shy visitors can activate them with an introductory question,” Vogel recommends. “Like: Should I explain to you what you can do with us?“
It is also advisable to show a certain commitment at the digital trade fair stand. For this, companies would have to consider how they deal with potential job candidates: If you transfer them into a face-to-face conversation, what are the next concrete steps in the (recruiting) process?
Six hours on the screen is at least as exhausting as six hours in crowded, noisy exhibition halls. That’s why everyone should plan short breaks for relaxation, ventilate again and again in the home office, set up the workplace pleasantly, enough to drink and keep nerve food at the desk.
“And, crucially, get down to business with humour and fun. People with needs come to you, respond to them!”, so Melanie Vogel’s appeal.
There it is important not only to process all contacts, but to network more deeply. Be it that you set up appropriate groups on LinkedIn with candidates, send newsletters and of course post impressions from the digital trade fair day.
* Alexandra Mesmer: Career and management in IT is her favorite topic – and has been for over 20 years. Boring? No, she is always discovering new facets in the IT world of work and in her own job. She researches, writes, edits, moderates, plans and organizes.