The first-ever virtual event was held in 1993 where the world’s first live stream brought us webcam footage of a coffee maker. This video had garnered millions of views. Technological upgrades and social media has found new ways for us to connect from live Q&A sessions with astronauts in space to webinars.
Some of the largest events and conferences have gone online, either partially or fully. Moving events online has proved to be effective for the organisers and the attendees. It reduces costs and carbon footprints moreover makes it accessible to a wider audience.
Pallav Barah, CEO of Nunify believes – ‘the event industry is on the brink of a digital boom similar to what happened in retail, travel & hospitality, payments and social. We at Nunify are excited to be at the forefront of this evolution along with our clients. The need for physical events will continue, augmenting it with virtual is the next “norm”. We empathize with challenges we face today, but embrace the innovation for tomorrow. It is time to fight back together.’
Businesses and organisations have been staging virtual events. So our team at Nunify has put together a list of tips that can help organisers put together a successful virtual event. Whether you have an event in mind or are just looking for inspiration, this article will surely help you.
1. Host / Speaker room setup
Check the room’s lighting and acoustics. The room should be well-light and no reflective sources – during day time ensure the camera is pointing away from sunlight. Use a neutral color background and avoid bright colors behind yourself. (Pro tip: Use a green room backdrop and animate/3D your stream). Lastly try not to sit in an empty room that can create echo and/or use a microphone headset.
2. Introduce the virtual event venue to your audience
Making every step of the process easy for you attendees will benefit you. At Nunify, we understand that every virtual event is different and for this reason, it is designed to meet each of those needs. Nunify is flexible meaning you can even host hybrid events.
You can further aid your attendees by helping them get around Nunify. Written checklists and guides like the following will surely be appreciated –
In addition to this, you can send reminders and suggestions by asking them-
- To join from a compatible browser. Nunify is compatible with numerous browsers. You can check them out here – https://www.nunify.com/docs/nunify-system-requirements/
- Ensure you have a decent internet connection. We recommend a 6mpbs however a minimum 4mpbs download speed will be good enough. Check your internet bandwidth here – https://nunify.speedtestcustom.com/
- Make sure to be on time. Nunify allows you to push notifications at your will to remind the attendees about the event. If you are unable to attend the event, a recorded version will be available which can be viewed at a later time.
3. Rehearse the event
As a host, it is important to rehearse your event. Like a physical event, things can go wrong in an online event too. Ensure you have stable internet connections, your laptops or computers are functioning smoothly and most importantly make sure you are well versed with your content. This will ensure that your event goes smoothly without too many disturbances from the hosts’ side.
To make it easier for you we have a guide on how hosts can start streaming – https://www.nunify.com/docs/how-to-start-streaming/
4. Keep your audience engaged
Before you start the session take out around 10 mins for your participants to familiarise themselves with each other. Build some excitement around the event and allow your participants to introduce themselves. This will help create a sense of community, even though that particular group might just interact the one time, this will make them more comfortable with each other.
Make use of visual presentations to introduce your speakers and content. Remind your audience that communication is always open, they can ask doubts and express opinions.
Nunify has interactive rooms with chat and pre-moderated questions that can be upvoted. We also have popup polls and provide support of dynamic content like GIFs and carousels. Remember to provide ample time in breakout rooms and to conduct Q&As.
Emphasize on that fact that networking is open as this will give participants an opportunity to create new connections. Nunify offers private and public chat options for 1-on-1, session-level, event-level or chat with exhibitor booths. Attendees can also search and browse profiles based on their interests at the “discover attendees lounge”.
5. Take breaks!
Taking breaks are incredibly important for both the audience and the speaker. One of the disadvantages of attending events from home and on devices is that participants can easily get distracted. In order to keep your audience focused and awake, it is important to integrate micro-breaks between your sessions.
Taking regular 10-minute breaks where your attendees can leave the platform if necessary will benefit you. You can also use this time to check in on your audience by asking questions such as “are you following what I’m saying?” or “Am I going too fast, would you like me to repeat something”.
6. Make use of exclusive private sessions
You can create a private session for your team members and VIPs. This will help them network with fellow speakers and will also make it easier for them to collaborate throughout the session.
This tip is especially useful if you have multiple speakers conducting a session. Such a private session of maybe 10-15 minutes will make it easier for them to communicate and coordinate with each other. But when you do so, ensure that the visibility is restricted only to the VIPs or the people concerned. It will be like a green room for them.
7. Mix up your content for better engagement
There’s no better way to lose the interest of your audience than to have lengthy sessions in a repetitive format. It’s best to mix up your sessions by utilising live streaming sessions, pre-recorded video streams aka simulive, on demand video and regular breaks with the option to network using group or private video conferencing. Diverse and well planned content will keep your audience interested and vying for more.
8. Make use of Exhibitor booths
Nunify offers exclusive virtual booths for your sponsors and exhibitors to host videos, images, brochures and other offers.
These booths seamlessly compliment Modular exhibition stands in hybrid events.
These can be accessed by attendees at any point. Additionally, the Expo booth also has a chatbot that is open 24×7 where attendees can chat during and outside office hours. This can be used to interact and engage with the Sponsor’s representatives. An industry first, Nunify lets you control ads that are to be displayed.
As hosts, you can also monitor and track attendee-exhibitor interactions with analytical tools that showcase ROI.
9. Analyse data
Upon the end of any virtual event, you will have a lot of data. Make sure you go through all this data as this can prove to be very useful for your business. You can use data to enrich audience insights and to improve your next event. The received data can also be used to generate leads.
10. Send event recording
It is possible that some attendees might have missed out on the event due to various reasons. It is likely that they might have been looking forward to viewing the event. With nunify, all live broadcasts are recorded and saved for later viewing.
These are easy to access for both the organisers and the participants. These recordings can also be leveraged as sales assets and content marketing. These videos are a gold mine of information.
Don’t end the conversation
At the end of a successful event, there is a lot of energy and buzz. This is the best place to advertise and promote your next event. If the virtual event has been a success, it is highly likely that attendees will return for the next event as they liked what they saw.