With the advancement of technology, holding presentations, conferences, marketing campaigns, and other business events online has slowly gained popularity, and nearly became the new norm.
However, this year has seen an even more drastic increase in virtual events, as many companies were forced to move into the digital world after the COVID-19 closures and social distancing guidelines were set in place.
If these circumstances encouraged you to move your in-person event online as well, here are some helpful strategies for adjusting your event content and achieving virtual success:
Start by setting clear goals
Much like all other live events and outreach strategies you might have held, your virtual events should have clear goals set in place as well, in order to have concrete guidelines for the planning and the hosting phases.
By setting smart and intentional goals, you will be able to organize the ideal timeline and workflow, while optimizing your virtual event for the highest impact.
However, it’s important to remember that your strategy for online events might not be exactly the same as for your other live events, as priorities tend to change when we are presented with a different platform.
To that end, focus on your main objective, whether it’s improving sales, inspiring customer trust, or increasing brand awareness, and build your virtual event around this specific goal.
Define your new audience
Understanding your target audience is one of the most important aspects of event planning, as it allows you to create a more personal and specific approach, instead of opting for a generic strategy that isn’t likely to bring in customers.
For that reason, you need to research your audience carefully and devise an event strategy, complete with appealing formats and quality information, which will engage your demographic the most.
As virtual events give you the opportunity to expand your reach, you might want to consider adding new people, businesses, and industries to your list, in an effort to reach a wider audience and boost brand awareness.
Just don’t allow a larger target audience to prevent you from creating a targeted approach.
Focus on the production value
Considering the fact that professional virtual events have become more present than ever this year, improving your production value has become another vital aspect of event planning that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Holding conferences from smartphones with poor video quality and broken audio streams simply isn’t acceptable anymore.
Instead, you need to find a solution that provides quality graphics, clear audio, appealing presenters, as well as a production crew, to allow your audience to have the best possible experience during your online event.
When you make an effort to improve the production quality of your live streams, you might even be able to build customer trust and engagement, and thus expand your business.
Choose engaging tools
Unfortunately, reliable video interviewing software might not be enough. Having a good presenter that’s as knowledgeable of the topic at hand as they are interesting and engaging is essential for any virtual event.
Apart from introducing speakers and handing out valuable information, a great moderator will also be able to bring more life to your online event, helping to captivate and retain your audience.
If you want to increase attendee engagement even further, helpful features like chats, polls, and Q&A segments should also be integrated into your live stream.
You might also want to consider certain gamification techniques such as quizzes, trivia, and puzzles, or even including other tech like mobile applications, in order to promote interaction among your audience.
Promote your virtual event
Once all necessary aspects of your online event have been carefully planned out, the final step would be to create a buzz before the final event day, helping to build up anticipation and excitement.
Considering the fact that your event will be held virtually, it might be best to promote it online as well, whether through email lists, social media platforms, or targeted ads.
Consider creating a specific page or website for your virtual event, where you could post updates regularly during the weeks or even months leading up to your event.
It might also be a good idea to offer early access passes and special deals, and even encourage post-event engagement, in an effort to promote your online event in the most efficient way.
As conducting business online becomes the new normal, a simple change in strategy, some creative planning, as well as the support of professional platforms will allow you to hold a virtual event that is just as engaging and successful as any live event might be.
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