The pandemic has sparked a change in how businesses carry out everyday activities, including the way seminars and events are held. Most of these areas are now online, and while this may be an excellent solution to allow everyone the chance to carry on with work and life as usual, it can prove challenging for those that have accessibility needs.
Over 5% of the world’s population has hearing loss, and this is one of the many ways people struggle with virtual events. It’s also not surprising that around 71% of people with a disability move away from a website because it is not immediately accessible.
So how can you improve this and make your online event engaging for everyone? Take a look at some of the ways below to increase engagement:
1. Use captioning
Captioning is a useful tool on video and live-streamed events to ensure everyone can understand the content. With more real-time meetings and webinars taking place, the need for live captioning software has never been more important. Closed captioning is typically available on pre-recorded videos. Still, live streams require a solution that relies on useful software and businesses to provide accurate transcription while the event takes place.
2. Use a best practice method for presenting
Presenting a live event should follow a consistent and guided technique to communicate effectively. There are a few things to consider, such as:
Describe your slides and content – if you have graphs and illustrations, be sure to describe them. Some people may not be able to interpret them well against your discussion.
Check the color contrast – some colors do not work well together on presentations and will be hard to interpret. Make sure the words and images do not merge into the background and are always clear to read in any font.
Make your slides accessible – it can be helpful to make your slides accessible before the live event so everyone knows what is coming up. This helps people to engage more with the discussion instead of writing it all down and not fully taking the information in.
Ask questions – just like a presenter asks questions at live events, do the same on virtual events. Some video conferencing software enables you to turn on a messenger feature to ask questions within a given timeslot. This allows the event to be interactive. If someone has a burning question, it can be answered without waiting for the presenter to email back after the session.
3. Transcribe the session
If attendees miss the event or you want to make it available after the session, don’t forget to transcribe it. Some people prefer to read an article rather than sit through a video. Plus, transcribing the content gives your website some new and fresh content to accompany the video. This helps with SEO and making the topic accessible to even more people over time.
Accessible events are the most successful, and prioritizing this aspect will help you reach more people and build an inclusive reputation.
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