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As the world moves closer to smartphones and digital tools, more so due to the coronavirus pandemic in recent times, enterprises are finding innovative ways to go around the geographical distance between them and their target audience. Conferences are the best place to make connections. Even still organizers are moving physical conferences to virtual events for myriad reasons primarily the global lockdown which has made events going online by default than by choice. And the trend is only getting stronger.
Virtual events will grow from $14 billion in 2018 to $18 billion in 2023, reported Market Research Media. Besides being cost-effective, virtual events are the perfect way to combine brand experiences with attendee engagement to monetize events and make your presence known globally.
While virtual events can never beat the added value provided by physical events and conferences, it isn’t all that bad. A virtual event enables organizers to track and measure every move of the attendees during the event, as a result of which you have some highly qualified leads. Here are some powerful practices you should follow to make your virtual event a dashing success.
Table of Contents:
- Make Your Titles/Descriptions Crisp
- Get the Right MC for Your Event
- Keep Sessions Short
- Personalize the Virtual Experience - Incentivize
Make Your Titles/Descriptions Crisp
At a physical event, attendees navigate through sessions while relying on word-of-mouth to decide which session is worth attending for them and why. Virtual events don’t provide this liberty.
The information on various sessions is often sent to the attendees through emails, social media posts, etc. Since no guidance is available to help attendees understand and navigate through sessions of their interest, it is important tomake your event and session titles and descriptions more informative and compelling.
Get the Right Moderator for Your Event
Just as at a physical event, a moderator contextualizes the information presented throughout the event, keeping up the energy levels, and providing important information regarding attendee queries, a moderator is important for a virtual event.
Virtual events tend to produce a certain feeling of isolation for attendees. This can be alleviated by a voice that creates a consistent flow between the sessions while adding a much-needed familiarity and maintaining the energy levels. A moderator, like at a physical event, should open a virtual event, moderate questions from the attendees, and hold talks with them in-between sessions.
READ MORE:How to host a successful virtual event to help your business survive digitally
Keep Sessions Short
Usually, keynote presentation sessions last for less than an hour. At in-person events, attendees are surrounded by excitement and peers, watching a presentation that integrates music and inspiring speeches. Attending an event on screen at home is comparatively less exciting and attendees are sure to click away from a session that is too long.
Thus, keeping sessions short at an optimal length of 30 minutes during a virtual event will allow the attendees the time to browse around, answer an email, or go to the virtual exhibit hall. Attendees can be directly navigated to a sponsor’s booth after the completion of a session.
Personalize the Virtual Experience
Virtual events can be either live-streamed or pre-recorded, depending on the goals you have set or the scale of the event.
Adobe, for their recent summit, decided to go pre-recorded. Personalized video recommendations were part of Adobe’s event experience. Though your virtual event experience depends upon the platform you choose to set up, Adobe was able to create the ability to create high-end experiences thanks to their in-house development teams and custom platform. YouTube, for instance, used Adobe’s Sensei AI engine to incorporatecustom behavior-based content recommendations. Personalizing content delivery in a virtual format speaks to a much broader trend in events in general. Many are used to receiving personalized suggestions when consuming both content and products on the internet.
Though pre-recorded sessions may lack in real-time engagement, they make up for it in providing high-production value, as organizers are at liberty to edit or enhance the quality of the sessions. It also eliminates planning for live-streaming around different time zones and connectivity issues during the event.
Pre-recorded events also minimize the probability of attendees getting bored as they are free to tune out of the live stream, watch again anytime, and interact with the content that would bring them the most value, resulting in each attendee tailoring their personal experience.
If you do decide to go pre-recorded, don’t forget to establish a forum or live chat where attendees can ask questions, hold topic discussions, and network.
Though they are not as much fun during a virtual event as they are during in-person events, incentives are proven way to boost engagement during an event. Virtual prizes such as books, iPads, swag, etc., can be awarded to the winners or trophy can be mailed to the winning attendees.
Google SheetsCon, as part of their event, hosted a contest to win one of 25 company swag bags to winners who were supposed to share something about the event on social media using the dedicated event hashtag, or visit at least 5 of the sponsor booth pages during the event. Activities such as this increase attendee as well as brand awareness.
READ MORE:Best practices to create an ideal webinar