Boo boo, an ouchie, an oopsie daisy. All of these have become colloquial terms that we express when we realize that we’ve made mistakes.
And normally, mistakes aren’t necessarily bad to make. Because you can always learn from them going forward.
But if you really want your virtual events to go off without a hitch, you’ll definitely want to take note of these mistakes. Unless, of course, you’d like to make these mistakes and learn from them in the process?
Choosers choice. But here are our top tips for mistakes to avoid when hiring a virtual emcee.
See Related: How To Make Your Corporate Event Venue Stand Out
#1. Hiring a virtual emcee without a portfolio
You wouldn’t hire people without a portfolio, would you? Then why are virtual emcees any different?
You’ll want to make sure that they have hosted previous virtual events. And you could even reach out to that business for a solid recommendation.
Either way, seeing a full portfolio and assessing their skills from there is an important first step. The last thing you want is to hire someone on blind faith and have your event pay the price.
#2. Hiring an emcee who doesn’t do corporate comedy
If you’re hosting a virtual event for your office, you definitely don’t want to go with just any emcee. You’ll want a corporate entertainer who knows how to work a room.
And not rely on cheap or inappropriate jokes to get a laugh. Remember: your virtual emcee is really like a virtual assistant.
They’re here to provide you with whatever you need. Not to make the entire event a show all about them.
#3. Hiring somebody who has never been a host at a virtual event
Virtual events are not for the weak of heart. That’s why you’ll want to make sure that your virtual assistants know the drill.
With previous work experience, virtual events can seem like a piece of cake. But seasoned professionals know that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
You might find some virtual assistants who seem all gung-ho to get started. But you don’t want the blind leading the blind this time.
#4. Hiring virtual assistants straight from social media
Social media is deceiving. And it’s unfortunately became a kind of online resume for content creators and hosts.
But don’t think that you can judge a virtual event host by their Instagram. When it comes to finding virtual assistants and hosts, you’ll want more than just a congratulatory emoji to back you up on your choice.
Besides, people can make themselves out to be something entirely different online. But you’ll want the people that you end up working with to be trustworthy and reliable.
#5. Not specifying your business goals for the virtual event
Virtual events are a lot of work to put together. But the first thing you have to decide on before anything else is what you hope to achieve.
These goals will help guide your virtual event. And they’ll even help the virtual emcee to understand how exactly you want your virtual event to go.
So make sure that you offer your values up front. This will likely weed out the real emcees that can make your online event a smash.
#6. Not verifying their resume
Anyone can put anything on their resumes – especially a virtual assistant or host. So you’ll want to make sure you can verify the past events they claim to have worked.
We know this sounds like a lot of investigative work. But if you want the right people, you’ll have to investigate every channel.
But hey, if you don’t have time to do all of that, let us do that for you! Our Clean Comedians come with verified talent and pizzaz.
#7. Hiring a virtual emcee without audio production in mind
Let’s say you’ve spent hours trying to get your video on the call to look good. But what about the sound quality?
Some virtual comedians may come with their own equipment at their remote location. But others might not.
Either way, you’ll want to verify that your virtual event won’t just look good. But that it sounds great too!
#8. Not requiring the virtual assistant to be present for dress rehearsal
What’s the best way to guarantee disaster for your virtual event? Not running a rehearsal beforehand!
With virtual events, a myriad of things can go wrong. And we don’t say this to scare you. We just know from experience that the video could decide to stop working on the day of the event.
Or that the event website gets all haywire when people try to login. Either way, you’ll want to test everything out beforehand and make sure that your virtual event host is there for it too!
#9. Picking someone whose style is off brand for your business
If you’re hosting any virtual event, your target audience has to be at the forefront of your mind. So if you’re meeting with people whose humor and hosting gigs just don’t match the content you want, pick another.
That kind of virtual emcee may be able to get through an hour with your audience. But it’ll take quite a bit of work if they’re content isn’t what your target audience is after.
#10. Hiring a person who reads off a script
One of the most important skills a virtual emcee should have is improvisational skills. Like we said before, technology can be finicky.
But when it decides to go haywire, your emcee should have your back. And they can’t do that if they read off a script.
#11. Not having a digital marketing plan
Marketing is what’s going to boost your event. So make sure you have enough time to implement your promotions – and that your emcee is on board too!
Yeah, we’re not talking about starting your marketing plan hours before the event itself. We’re talking about doing it the right way – well in advance and with all things accounted for.
#12. Hiring someone with potential rather than experience
Maybe you have a soft spot for people who seem genuine. But they don’t necessarily know much.
And while we’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, your money could be better spent towards someone who has done the job a couple hundred times. Trust us.
Your team will be better suited with a professional by their side. And you can focus on other things that need to be done.
Bonus: How To Transition From Live To Virtual
#13. Hiring someone with online content doesn’t match your values
We talked about social media, but this one is a little different. Let’s say you hire someone who seems great on paper and can deliver you the best results on the job.
But their online presence drastically differs from their in-person persona. It might work out.
But if people who are attending your event start to Google around, they may not like what they find. What can we say? People like to keep these squeaky clean.
#14. Hiring a person just because they cost less money
You might think that hosting an event is an easy job. But that’s only because good emcees make it look easy.
So if there’s one mistake we want you to avoid over everything else, it’s this. Use a comedian who knows what they’re doing, even if they’re not the cheapest hire.
Odds are you’ll end up avoiding further damage control from an inexperienced host. And your budget will even itself out.
#15. Hiring someone who doesn’t have time to meet with you
We get it. Time is the most valuable thing you have. But don’t trust an emcee who says they can’t meet with you before the event.
You’ll want to schedule out a time and place to meet. Just to get everyone on the same page.
If they claim their help only begins on the day of the event, then they’re not really there for you or your guests. So make sure you find someone who is willing to sit down with you and talk about how the live event will go.
#16. Hiring a person who isn’t team-oriented
Events like these could use all the help they can get. But if your emcee isn’t team-oriented, what’s the point?
Sure, they may start off the event with a bang. But you don’t want the start of the event to be the best part, right?
So avoid hiring an emcee whose material isn’t focused on your target audience. Then, it just turns into a show about them and not an event catered toward your company.
#17. Taking on too many tasks
This tip has more to do with trust. You may feel the need to control as many aspects of the event as you can.
But that’s the exact reason why you should hire an emcee in the first place! That way, you can keep your momentum up in other areas that need taking care.
And you won’t have to worry about the entertainment side of things. You’ve already got someone that can cover you!
#18. Not knowing when to ask for help
Have you ever heard of that phrase “share the burden”? Well, this is a great instance for you to put that sharing into action.
Maybe you find that you need a little more support in marketing. Or maybe there are too many tasks on the day of the event and you don’t know what to do.
Use your emcee and assistants to your advantage. They are there for a reason.
#19. Not looking into the other services your virtual emcee can provide
Most of the time, an emcee is not just a one-trick pony. They may have other things to offer that could greatly benefit your event.
So encourage them to share their other talents with you. And you may discover that you’ve got all the help you need to keep this train going forward!
#20. Sharing too much information
Okay, we know we mentioned that you should trust your emcees. But there is such a thing as sharing too much information.
Because the emcee will be interacting with members of your office, you don’t want them to know every small detail that goes around. Sure, you can share what your goals are for the office and why.
But the emcee isn’t going to need to know who isn’t friends with who in the office. Some things are best left alone.
#21. Looking only at the data
In marketing, data can be incredibly useful. But there has to be a balance between the hard skills and the soft skills.
A good emcee will know how to engage people over video. And that takes an element of personable traits, not just a track record of their former success.
#22. Hiring a virtual emcee who treats it like a live event
You should know well by now that virtual events cannot replicate live events. And they shouldn’t have to either!
A solid emcee will know the difference between in-person and virtual. So they should know how to better engage with folks depending on the setting they’re placed in.
#23. Choosing an emcee just to have one
Nowadays, you’re probably seeing other businesses bring in an emcee. And so you feel like you have to have one too.
But don’t let that be the guiding principle behind your hiring decision. You should go into the hiring process knowing what you want to gain, not what you want to prove.
#24. Working too closely with them
Everybody needs some space, right? Well, an emcee is no different.
It’s not your job to be writing the opening script with them unless they offer such collaboration. Otherwise, hiring them gives you the chance to focus on other details that need taking care of.
#25. Hiring someone who isn’t a people-person
Do we even have to say this one? Yes, we do.
This is why it’s particularly important to meet with your emcee before the event. You want to know what you’re in for!
If the last two years have been about shifting events online, then you should be a pro by now! But don’t mistake that with you being able to accomplish everything.
Everyone needs some help. And emcees are here to provide exactly that.
Keep Reading: How An Entertaining Emcee Can Overcome Awkwardness At Virtual Events
Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.