As the industry pivots to virtual events during this time, there are many things we must keep in mind during that process. We have laid out a few tips to keep you on track and to keep at the top of your list.
1. Re-define Event Strategy
Defining your strategy is imperative when hosting a virtual event. Goals for hosting an event online rather than in person will require a different approach. For example, you may need to revise the content, shorten sessions, and create more impactful moments to keep your attendees engaged in that shorter time frame. Keep in mind that taking an event virtual means you will have the ability to scale your event with little to no capacity rules which allows you to reach a broader audience. This should be taken into consideration when defining your new goals.
2. Know Your Audience
One of the key components to a successful online event is to make sure you know your audience. Who are they? Where are they located? What are their challenges? How can they benefit from your product or service? Knowing your audience is very critical because once you get to know them, you can tailor your event content to support their needs and interests. Tailoring your content to your audience generates satisfied customers which is most important to your success and bottom line. Make sure you conduct surveys prior to and during the event, monitoring attendee feedback and engagement to determine what does and does not work well.
3. Pick the Right Platform
There is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to event platforms. Having a clear strategy and knowing your audience will allow you to determine what sort of tools you will need to deliver content and engage your attendees. Some platforms are focused heavily on networking activity, while others focus on flawless presentations in a webinar style format. Sure, some will have a little bit of everything, just make sure you do your homework when picking a platform right for you.
4. Attendee Experience: Engage & Network
Events thrive on person to person interaction, connecting with peers, and collaborating to reach a common goal. While we are currently not able to be in person, it is more important than ever to ensure that attendee engagement is at the forefront of our planning. Every aspect of the event (from start to finish) should be filled with innovative ways for people to connect, stay engaged and participate. Be sure to provide interaction through gamification, keep presentations conversational, utilize live polling during breakout sessions, and allow time for Q&A. Interactive elements paired with compelling content will be sure to create a successful virtual experience.
5. Keep it Fun
You can plug in fun to any topic! Looking at the entire attendee experience is key. Ask playful registration questions that allow you to curate your guest’s profiles with unique twists. Start your meeting with a countdown and fun playlist (playlist should be upbeat and diverse). Create a big “big bang” to open sessions and captivate your audience from the get-go. You can schedule breaks and fun activities for people to engage in throughout the day. Example; how to take the best selfie and share them to a social feed, yoga/stretch break from your sponsor, or a sweet treat delivered to their doorstep. There should never be a blank screen or silence. You can incorporate sponsor videos, how to demos, or live polling during breaks or transitions. Make sure you have an emcee to introduce speakers, topics and then wrap up at the end of the meeting. Encourage your emcee to change clothes, characters and voices to keep it interesting.
We miss the live events, just like everyone else. But in the meantime, let MFactor help you keep your audience engaged and on track with virtual events. We look forward to hearing from you and saving your events, there is no need to cancel, we got you.