Webinars and video-conferences have been a part of corporate work culture for sometime now. However, with the pandemic forcing people to stay indoors for more than a year, and new strains emerging, virtual events are fast gaining popularity and are here to stay. As per a survey report by PCMA, 79% of event planners are now engaging clients through virtual events.
Besides webinars, the other formats of virtual events are virtual conferences, virtual trade shows, online product launches, virtual fireside chats, virtual job fairs, and lots more. The event industry has undergone a huge transformation and is now embracing new forms of event marketing and management technology. Recently, leading magazine “The Atlantic” too held it’s annual event “The Atlantic Festival” virtually.
However, this new shift to virtual events has its own challenges and benefits. When building a virtual event strategy, various parameters have to be taken into account such as, the right vitual event platform and audience engagement strategies. If you are considering hosting a virtual event, the following tips and tricks may be helpful in making it a success. So, dive in !!!
Here are some of the Tips To Host a Successful Virtual Event
Define your end goals
First things first. Before you plan your event agenda or pick a platform, know why
you want to conduct the event and know your audience. Set “SMART” S- Specific, M- Measurable, A- attainable R- relevant, T- time based goals and make sure the whole team is on the same page.
It might be one-on-one contact, a lecture, or a workshop, but the goal is to provide your audience with a positive experience. Know your goal, there are few questions you need to ask yourself before conducting an event and they are:
- Who is your target audience?
- Are the customers familiar with your presence ?
- What attracts the audience ?
Once you know your goal, it will be easy to run a successful event without any glitch.
Pick a platform that fits your event goals
There are plenty of platforms out there that offer diverse features, ranging from co-hosting to advanced moderation tools. Pick what fits your event philosophy. We have compiled a list of must-have features that you can check out.
Most of the virtual event platforms provide a free trial which helps you in performing a practice event before the actual one. This can actually be useful to get thorough with the platform and the technical support provided by the software.
The event timing has to be perfect
Take into account how many people will attend, what time zones they’re located in,and set aside enough time for post-session interactions like Q&A. Usually the best time to host an event is during weekends or early evenings.
You can do a survey and ask the audience to vote for the time they prefer and see when most people are available for the event. While conducting an event you should also consider overseas audiences to factor in the time difference. If they are not able to attend the event then you can always send out the recordings.
Engage your audience effectively
We all know how long lectures and conferences can be boring, So make sure your audience doesn’t always need to be lectured. Plan activities that involve
audience participation. Encourage conversations and make time for questions.
There are also few facilities to engage with your audience such as, using live video streams, audience polls, using event gamification, and creating virtual spaces for people to gather. It is also critical to provide video rooms for your attendees to network and help them discover others using speed networking and matchmaking.
Post an event take out time to connect with your team and track the performance indicators of your virtual event. It assists you in getting a better understanding of which aspects of the event did extraordinarily well and which hotspots have the highest levels of participation.You can also learn about the obstacles and shortcomings of the event that did not go as planned and which need to be addressed in future events.
A successful online or virtual event needs considerable planning and thought. You must ensure that you are offering content that the audience wants, as well as that the presentation of that content is exciting and enticing enough to keep the audience interested.
Choosing the right platform to host your event is also important because audience experience matters to maintain a long-term relationship with them and quickly adapt to meet your changing event demands.
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