A virtual event is a digital event where people meet online using electronic devices such as desktops or mobiles. These meetings can typically range from thirty minutes to day-long conferences. Virtual events were increasingly gaining popularity before the pandemic.
However, throughout 2020, most businesses opted to conduct and host events digitally with the outbreak of Covid-19 and discovered that virtual meetings could be cost-effective ways and an easy means to connect virtually and handle all the professional meetings.
Virtual events can deliver crucial content at relatively lower costs for the businesses, thereby eliminating the travel costs for the audience and space rental costs for the hosts. This is the reason why more businesses are now considering to opt for virtual events as long-term investments, even as the pandemic subsides.
The advancement in technology has also resulted in the increasing demand for virtual meetings. Emerging tools are making virtual events a better alternative option to in-person meetings and conferences. Virtual events can also create immersive experiences for attendees with virtual reality, augmented reality, live streaming and video. This has enabled businesses to engage with audiences in creative ways.
Types Of Virtual Events
Virtual events are online events organized on various platforms, where participants or hosts can interact with attendees or an audience.
A virtual event can be:
- a webinar,
- a behind-the-scenes tour of your brand,
- Employee events
- Investor events
- Hybrid events
They can be anything else that connects participants over a virtual medium. It can also include a live-tweeting a product reveal or hosting a multi-person webinar panel with a Q&A.
Tips To Host Virtual Events More Effectively
From forming strategies to planning, marketing, hosting, and presenting, the following tips and tricks will help businesses create and host incredible virtual events:
Have A Clear Understanding Of Audience
Before organizing and hosting a virtual event, careful planning is required. It is always essential to have a clear idea about who your target audience is, who and how many people will be attending the event, the challenges they are facing, and how to address them.
Understanding your audience goals and problems will help organizations lay out a strong foundation for organizing a successful virtual event.
Optimize Your Event For A Mobile Experience
Most of your attendees will tend to watch your event on their phones. Therefore, it is essential to optimize for a mobile experience when creating your materials.
If you’re using slides, it is imperative to keep the text on each slide to a minimum and increase the font size, so it is easily readable from a pocket-sized screen. Businesses should also consider choosing a platform with interactive features that support mobile devices so the attendees can access the event from anywhere.
Be Consistent With Visual Branding
Another crucial tip for conducting an effective virtual meeting is to align your online event materials with your brand’s aesthetic. It is always better to use the same logo, colours, fonts and other graphic elements that match your brand’s overall style. This step helps you create a consistent experience for your attendees, thereby making your brand more recognizable.
Choose An Engaging Topic
When deciding your topic, it is always important to remember that content is crucial to hosting a virtual meeting. Your attendees are participating in order to learn something. Therefore, businesses need to prioritize picking topics that the audience may find interesting.
The audience enjoys attending events that are more interactive and carry some value in them. Therefore, it is always crucial to develop topics that help keep your attendees engaged throughout the event to be successful hosts.
Pick Your Format
Once you choose your topic, the next step is to choose the virtual format you will use. Test out few formats you’re interested in or even try different combinations until you find the one that works well for your audience and is most effortless for you to implement.
Some popular formats to host a virtual event include Q&A sessions, interview format, product demo, Ask Me Anything (AMA), and hosting with single or dual presenters. It is best to choose the format that works better for your audience and requirements.
Always Choose The Right Platform
When researching the right platform to use for your event, look at the pros and cons of each platform, compare them and Consider various factors such as your budget, the platform’s features, including recording capabilities and the number of attendees permitted.
Few popular Platform options include Zoom, GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, Google Hangouts, ON24, Webex, and Test Your Tech.
It is always better to set up a test once you’ve picked your platform. It is better to try out every feature you want to use prior to the event and make sure you check on your sound, video quality, backdrop, and anything else that will optimize your event.
Promote Your Event To Increase Awareness
Write and share a blog post to promote your event in advance on social media to boost attendance. It is important to Introduce your inspiration for the event and why it is relevant to your audience and mention what can they learn from attending it.
It is imperative to use an email list and email campaign to promote your event to your subscribers. Sending email reminders to attendees who have already registered can be the best way to keep them informed about your event.
It is also vital to start the event at the right time, as mentioned to the audience. It is also crucial to enable the attendees to take action by including a compelling call to action at the end of every meeting. Building visually attractive slides and using questions to engage the audience can be more effective to make your virtual event more successful and impactful.
Businesses should also remember to track their results by analyzing how many attendees registered to the event, How many attended, and how many minutes they spent watching your event. Conducting a post-event survey through an email campaign can be helpful to get insights from the audience, and analyzing this data is key to making your future online events even better.
Virtual events are fun and effective means for businesses to reach people all over the world. However, using strategic thinking, proper planning, and marketing skills while utilizing the right event management tools is necessary to maximize your success. Following specific strategies and using few tactics enables businesses to develop creative ideas to draft and host an online event.