Our top 5 tips to creating engaging virtual events.
Like it or loathe it, virtual events are here to stay. They will only replace live events in the short to medium term. Even then, they will still be a real part of the event landscape going forward.
Many sectors have been using virtual as an event platform for a long while and this will be be an easier step into the "new normal." But for those who see this as a whole new exciting but scary world, here are a few of our top 5 tips to consider.
It goes without saying that technology is going to play a key part in your virtual event. So it is essential you have the right infrastructure in place, be it in house or if you are using a venue to deliver your event. A likely problem will be the dreaded blackout, where the system goes down or freezes. Make sure you have a blackout plan to ensure that you get back online as quickly as possible, but you also interact with your delegates to keep them engaged with the event.
Have your tech team assembled to work out any drop out issues. But also have your team ready to work with delegates to keep them informed of any issues or delays. Maybe use this to play a pre-recorded video or start an at destination Q&A session?
The game may have changed, but the basics remain the same. What are you looking to achieve with this event, what are the objectives? The need is still there to create an engaging, memorable event experience. It's not enough to put people in a room with a screen and present. This will drive a drop in attendees and interest and will not promote your brand, business of product in the manner you set out to achieve. Treat your virtual event with the same care, detail and focus as you would any other event.
Time to get creative, as we have all likely witnessed or even done ourselves that drop out of an online event to look at emails or social media etc. Find new ideas to promote your product and brand to drive interest and engagement. Storytelling is essential, so look at themes (destination based, fun, interactive, even a celebrity host?) Rather than get goodies delivered pre event, do it during the event? Can you learn more from your delegates or team by speaking with them in a home environment and bringing out more of their personality?
More than ever we need to look beyond our own boundaries. As mentioned earlier, to some the idea or virtual is not a new concept. So look at others, communicate with your network to see their ideas and opinions. From our perspective as an event agency, we work across a multitude of industries. Lean on us for ideas on what works with these events and what doesn't. At the same time we need to be offering this advice to our clients and recognise we need to communicate more than ever to inspire confidence.
Accepting that the new normal will rely heavily on virtual and hybrid. It will only replace live face to face events in the short to medium term. But even then it will still be put within marketing and event plans more than before. Make sure you and your team really have the right mindset and skill set to make this work for you. Having a successful virtual event is great right? It wont mean that by making it a success people wont attend you live events anymore. Look at concerts and sporting events, even though you can readily access these via online, they still get large live attendances.
You have an opportunity within your virtual event that you may not have had before. It allows you to broadcast your message, brand or product to a worldwide audience. So bigger reach, higher attendance and at a time and place that really works for you and your business.
You can find out more on all things events including more on virtual and hybrid through our blog page here. Or simply get in touch with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help you with your next event.