Essential Event Communication

August 2, 2021

Unlike asynchronous courses where students study at their own pace, online learning programs with live programming like cohort-based courses or boot camps require instructors to coordinate various events. From live lectures to office hours, working groups, and masterminds, communicating with learners often, especially about upcoming events, is very important. We’ve broken down the essentials of communicating events with students into three main areas: establishing event information, setting reminders, and post-event communication. As a bonus, we've also included best practices for handling unexpected changes.

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Event Information

Set a date and time (note the time zone) and share the call access link. Include an event description that shares what learners will gain from the session and explain why it is worth their time to attend.

An event’s ‘why’ is hugely important, especially for non-mandatory events. When scheduling an event, the goal is to give learners as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

If there are any associated readings, assignments to complete, or forms that need to be filled out before the call, note that in the event description as well.

While you can share a calendar that lists all upcoming events via a pdf document or tools like Notion or even share a dedicated real-time calendar like Google Calendar, we also recommend adding each event to learner calendars. This way, learners can opt-in/out of events, have the event automatically added to their calendars, and send reminders.

Set Reminders

Automated reminders will ensure learners do not miss any planned events and eliminate the need to send out reminders manually. When creating the initial calendar invite, add notifications. One-hour, 30-minute, and 10-minute reminders are the most common.

Post Event Communication

After the live event, share the video recording and essential information like follow-up action items and resources mentioned in the call. You may also want to send out a survey for feedback. Take time to review the survey responses and make adjustments as necessary.

Handling Unexpected Changes

Throughout your program, plan for unexpected emergencies or last-minute changes. Just in case you cannot make an event, assign an alternative host to lead the call. If you need to update the event, share updates on all channels you communicate with learners, including email, Slack, or your LMS (learning management system).

How Virtually Helps

Virtually efficiently manages live events, sends reminders, and analyzes student engagement data all from one place. It integrates with Google Calendar, Zoom, Slack, and email to put event management on auto-pilot. Easily create one-off or recurring meetings and Virtually will send calendar invites, remind members when a session is about to start, and track attendance.

Trusted by educators, cohort-based courses, memberships, and communities, streamline and organize your live events by requesting early access to Virtually Calendar here.

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Danielle Desir

Danielle Desir is an author, freelance writer and the host of The Thought Card, an affordable-travel and personal finance podcast. ( Follow on Twitter: @thethoughtcard