Top tips for planning virtual events
Here are our top tips for planning your virtual events…
1. Shout about it!
Good marketing is crucial for any event, including virtual ones. For optimum audience participation, make sure you promote your virtual event successfully. Use social media platforms (create a hashtag), blog posts, email and even direct marketing (we can show you how).
Be sure to make use of your online platforms before, during and after the event to get optimum engagement and feedback.
Send your attendees something tangible in the post prior to the event to make your event really stand out and grab their attention – a great way to get registrations too!
2. Consider your audience and their surroundings
Virtual events will be taking place in the home, and this brings with it a host of distractions. Children, naughty pets and even the doorbell will be competing for your delegates attention.
Be aware of mental fatigue also. For a virtual event, delivering 8 hours of live streaming will not provide a great user experience. Consider the different messages you want to get across, and how these can be delivered in a way that is digestible and appealing to your audience. Think bite sized chunks.
Having a strong awareness of your audience’s needs and expectations is key when planning any virtual event. Explain your goal without making the event an intense sales pitch. This will create a human connection for an audience that may be isolated in their homes.
3. Content is key
It is crucial to remember that the biggest difference between a live event and a virtual event is that the audience can simply log out of the event at any time, so you need to provide reasons for the attendees to stay engaged and participate throughout the course of the event.
Think about how your audience likes to consume content and plan how you deliver in a way that is fresh and engaging to them. It’s important to make your content stand out and resonate with your audience. Have a clear understanding of what the delegate wants to get from the content and ensure that it is included.
Don’t forget, virtual events need a host just like any other event. You could hire a professional speaker or use a member of your own team and remember that you may need more than one host depending on the format of your event.
4. Encourage and enable audience participation
Whether or not your audience plays a large or small role during your virtual event will all depend on the event goal and the platform/format you use.
Events that are consistently engaging, clear and easy to understand tend to have attendees that interact effectively and stay logged in during the entire event. Comprehensive event planning will ensure effective audience participation and engagement.
Providing delegates with the opportunity to network and interact with others is a key part of any event and virtual events should be no different. Think of clever ways to achieve this, such as gamification and live Q&A sessions.
5. Testing, Testing, Testing
For a truly engaging and enjoyable virtual event, testing is imperative. Arrange for tests of all equipment that will be used for the virtual event before it starts. Carry out sound and lighting checks as well as testing of all technical equipment. Make sure that you have at least one full rehearsal before the virtual event – just as you would a live event.
Be mindful of your timings as virtual events are typically shorter than live events.
7. And finally, get feedback
The best way to find out if your event was successful, is to ask those who attended.
Send a simple survey to attendees to ask questions, track how many people attended and to find out what your attendees thought about the content, delivery and results. Audience feedback can give you valuable insight into their experience on the day and what they think could be improved for your next event.
It’s also a great way to follow up on potential leads. Step this up a bit and follow up with a branded thankyou gift so that they have something tangible to remind them of you and your event.