As the global pandemic has hit almost every nation in the world, the way of living has been completely changed. With the changing times, we have entered into a fast-paced digital era entirely. With the outbreak of unforecasted novel coronavirus pandemic, the event industry was left in the toughest spot. The event planned for the coming months of 2020 has either been postponed or canceled completely resulting in revenue losses. Being hit hardest by the wrath of the global pandemic, the event planners and marketers are the quickest to switch to the virtual alternatives like virtual events and hybrid events to keep the show going.
Virtual Events Technology
Digital marketers are coming up with creative and innovative virtual event ideas to deliver immersive virtual experiences to audiences globally. Hosting virtual events on an interactive virtual event platform has become the new trend to keep the business going. As technology has advanced, connecting, and networking with people remotely becomes quick and handy.
Ever before COVID-19 came into existence, many large-scale industries were benefiting from virtual event technology. A sudden spike in virtual event platforms has been witnessed recently in the past few months. Today, it has become the most powerful tool for event planners and marketers around the world.
Right from organising virtual meetings, conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, job & career fairs, webinars, a virtual event platform serves all. A virtual event enables you to connect with a larger segment and a diverse set of audiences at a single click. Attendees can simply access the event from the comfort of their own space from their device supported by an internet connection.
Challenges experienced while hosting an in-person event gets completely resolved with virtual events. Geographical constraints, space limitations, reduction in travel and accommodation expenses, etc. all the roadblocks considerably escalate with virtual events.
If you are new to hosting a virtual event, this article will help you. We have shared some virtual event tips to make your event successful and deliver seamless experiences.
Let’s get started!
#12 Best Practices for Hosting Successful Virtual & Hybrid Events
To deliver successful online events we have enumerated some best practices for virtual events that help in delivering exquisite experiences.
1. Determine the goals and objective of your virtual event
Firstly, determining the objective of your virtual or hybrid event is a must to achieve the desired outcome. Identify whether you want to reach a particular audience segment or your event is open for all. List out what you want to deliver to your audience. Whether you are hosting an event for boosting engagements, reach a wider segment, or simply make your existing audience aware of new offerings, the purpose of the event should be clearly laid. It is advised to create the game plan accordingly for a successful event. Make sure you have a dedicated team positioned for achieving the set goals.
2. Create a game virtual event strategy
Once you know the purpose of hosting a virtual event, next comes strategy and planning. Create a game plan by asking the following questions: whether your event will be live or on-demand or both? Will you charge attendees to attend an event or it’s free? How will you manage registrations? What engaging features would you like to incorporate in between your events? Will it be accessible to global audiences or restricted to regional ones? And so on. Figure out the answers to every possible question and plan out the virtual event strategy accordingly.
3. Create a well-curated content
Content is the king even in the video. Be clear and precise about the topic of your event to make it reach the right set of audiences and engage them seamlessly. Create a well-curated content that delivers value to your attendees and keep them engaged throughout.
4. Select the right virtual event technology
Today, the market is full of virtual event service providers. Pick the best that suits your business needs. A virtual event platform that offers engaging and interactive features is the best bet. Look for a platform that enables your attendees to interact in real-time via live audio, video & text chats. An engaging platform enables organisers to organise virtual event activities like live polls, Q&A sessions, games, etc to keep attendees engaged. You can even ask your service provider for social media integration to amplify your event reach.
5. Select the date and time for the event
While selecting the date and time of the event you simply need to keep your target audience in mind. If you are targeting global audiences, keep time zone considerations in mind to make your event reach a maximum audience.
Apart from it, you need to take out time to do a little research to see the date you decided on your event does not have competing events or holidays. It will directly hinder the attendance at your virtual event.
6. Promote your event
Promoting your event is the major virtual event tip to make sure your audience knows about your upcoming event. How well curated your event is, it’s of no use if your audience is not aware. Take advantage of social media platforms and company websites to promote your event. Social media tools such as twitter or social wall integration works well for promoting any event as it reaches a maximum number of audiences. If your event is only accessible to registered attendees, you can even share your event information via direct mails.
7. Run a test to check technical errors
As virtual events are hosted with the help of technology, being prepared for any sudden technical glitch is a must. Run a test to check out for any errors in advance and be prepared with a backup plan.
8. Send reminders to attendees
Every interested attendee is not tech-savvy. Whereas some due to busy schedules might miss the date of an event they are interested to attend. Keep it in mind to send reminders to event attendees along with a direct link 2-3 days before the event.
9. Boost better engagements
Once your attendees tune-in to access the event, engaging them is a must to ensure the success of the event. Organise live polls, surveys, quizzes, Q&A sessions, games to keep them hooked and gather their valuable opinions. Offer top 5 winners with virtual giveaways if they win any game as a token of appreciation. It makes them feel valued thus boosting engagement and relationships.
10. Enable two-way interactions
Allow your event attendees to interact with speakers, hosts, presenters as well as with other attendees in real-time. Live audio/video chat functionality offered by the platform enables attendees to have real-life event experiences.
11. Offer on-demand video content
Many times interested attendees miss out on attending a live virtual event. Record the video and allow them to have access to it in-demand, it helps in generating more qualified leads.
12. Gather attendee feedback
Motivate your attendees to share their valuable feedback. You can simply share a follow-up email along with a survey. You can ask attendees which part of the event they liked the most and which needs improvement. Feedback is a crucial part to measure the success of the event and make improvements in future events.
Earlier, shifting from conventional in-person events to virtual events seems to be a daunting task. But today as virtual has become the new normal taking your on-ground events online has become a part of every industry. Apart from increased reach, attendance, participation, virtual events serve several perks that generate better leads as well as revenues. If you are new to virtual events, we have mentioned some of the proven best virtual event practices in this article. Following the above-mentioned virtual event, tips help, get ready to take your in-person events online and embrace the virtual world!