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If you’re an online experience host open to private bookings, you might come across a guest looking for an experience for a group of friends, family, or colleagues. How do experience hosts with great reviews prepare for large groups (10 or more people attending) like these? We’ve gathered their best practices for you to review. 

Preparing an online experience for a large group 

Here are a few best practices that can help you get ready to host a large group. 

1. Consider your agenda 

    • Introductions: Some elements of an online experience may take more time with a large group. For example, you may need to reconsider how your guests introduce themselves so this part of the experience can be kept short, so you don’t cut too much time from the main activity. 
    • Q & A: You may also need more time to take questions from the group. It’s often helpful to take regular breaks to ask and answer questions. 

2. A co-host, with a defined role, can help manage large groups

Many online experience hosts have a co-host to help them manage a large group experience. If you decide to add a co-host, here are some things to consider:  

    • How you and the co-host will manage your guests, chat, and questions
    • How your co-host will communicate feedback or needs of the guests
    • What your expectations are for your co-host and their role in your experience 

Learn more about adding and managing co-hosts.

 

3. Get to know your future guests

Many positive guest reviews mention the host’s ability to create an experience that feels customized to their group.  Reaching out to your guest a few days prior to the event can help you gather preferences and set the right expectations. This message could include: 

    • Questions to help you understand the group’s interest and dynamics, this can help modify your experience for this special group
    • Questions that help you understand what the group would not respond well to (i.e. foul language, inappropriate music, etc.) 
    • Reminder of the date and time of the experience
    • Clear instructions on how to join the experience
    • A note to forward to the group that includes helpful information about the host and experience

4. Prepare for a smooth audio and visual experience for your guests 

When online experience guests share how hosts might improve their experience, they often mention technical issues, like the host’s video or sound quality.  Here are some resources to help you set up for success: 

 

Hosting a large group experience

Running a 5-star experience for a large group often takes a few adjustments. In addition to these tips for creating transformational moments, here are some optional best practices: 

  1. Get there early: Allocate 10-15 minutes before the event to get set up. You might use this time to sync with the guest that booked the experience for their group. 
  2. Share your passion: Hosts of 5-star experiences often start by sharing their story and expertise. Strong storytelling and anecdotes can also help keep the audience engaged and excited. 
  3. Setting expectations: Guests often appreciate knowing when and how they’ll be asked to participate, when they’ll be asked to have their camera and mics on and off, and when they’ll be able to have questions answered. 
  4. Encouraging participation: Many hosts make their experience interactive to keep their guests engaged throughout the experience. Here are a few ways to do this: 
    • Checking-in and answering questions regularly throughout the experience, calling on guests by name and asking them to read any submitted questions aloud. 
    • Allowing time for the guests to interact with each other. 
    • Using Zoom features like polls and reactions can help guests stay engaged, and this can give hosts real-time feedback. 
    • Encouraging guests to turn on their cameras. 
    • While not every guest will be able to go on camera, it’s helpful to ask for a volunteer from the group to share how they are engaging in the activity with the group.
    • Encourage less active guests to participate by using the chat or reaction feature.
  5. Closing with a memorable moment: Many hosts with 5-star experiences find ways to surprise and delight with a noteworthy element.
  6. Following up: After the event, some hosts also send all the participants a thank you note, tips, and resources.

We hope these suggestions are helpful, as always, you’re free to prepare and host your online experience in the way that suits you best.