Online compering and event hosting

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If your conference or event has moved online, or you’re looking to run webinars, panel debates or meetings, you need an experienced and capable compere to hold everything together, ensure the event runs smoothly and to time and that both speakers and audience members are relaxed, focused and engaged.

Over the years (but especially in the last few months) I’ve compered or hosted a number of different events online, alongside my work as a ‘live’ conference emcee and host. I’ve hosted webinars with hundreds of people online and asking questions; panel debates with MPs and activists; multi-room virtual conferences and numerous large-scale social events.

The skills required for hosting an online event are different to those needed for ‘in the room’ hosting as you have an added layer of complexity with technical issues, chat boxes and audio delays, to say nothing of audience members unfamiliar with the technology or etiquette of an online event. It’s trickier to engage with an audience when you can’t see them and they can only see you in a tiny box on their screen, and the usual fallbacks of humour and interaction don’t necessarily play well online.

If you’ve got an event coming up that would benefit from an experienced and engaging ‘safe pair of hands’, get in touch (link) to discuss how I may be able to help ensure your event is an online highlight rather than getting unplugged.

Here’s what a couple of my recent clients have said about my work as an online event host:

“Steve is a fabulous event host and facilitator. He has hosted a range of webinars for the tourism sector. Steve’s style and approach is highly professional and engaging, and easy to work with. He managed a panel of around 13 people with an audience of 200, all engaged in chat and Q&A. Steve’s insight into the sector issues and ability to make the debate flow effortless made the webinars a success. I would certainly use Steve again and happily recommend him for similar projects.”

Jo Williams, Head of Local authority funded tourism development partnership for West Sussex


“Steve did a fantastic job of hosting and moderating our first major online event, The Event Economy – following the recent lockdown. With his background in journalism and in the arts (as well as being a PLATF9RM member!) we knew Steve was well suited to the role, and we got together with him a few days before to plan things out. With a big panel for a Zoom call (12 including host), Steve did a terrific job keeping everybody contributing, while keeping an eye on all the questions that were coming through from the audience, as well as working with our production team throughout. It made for a very well received discussion with valuable outputs for the Event and Creative Economy – and we’re building on that going forward.”

Seb Royle, Founder and CEO at PLATF9RM

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“Steve Bustin was great to work with when I booked him to speak at my event, to see a true expert at work is fantastic. Steve was professional, … ”

Lee Jackson – PSA Yorkshire President 2014, Motivational speaker and author

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