Back in March, no one could have predicted how different our daily lives would be more than six months later. While some places in the country are beginning to look more familiar, there also are cities and states where we need to continue to adjust.
Social distancing is likely to stay around for a while and that means we need to master how to interact with customers digitally – now more than ever before. Many companies are switching from in-person events to virtual as they begin to see their events canceled or postponed.
Sometimes this shift can be difficult and we’re here to show you a few ways to make the transition to a successful virtual event as smooth as possible.
1. Review Virtual Tools
First, take a look at the different virtual options for hosting your event. There are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself before selecting a platform. Are you looking to broadcast something live or pre-recorded? Are you hoping to have more than one person present during the event? Do you plan to interact with the guests? Do you need more than one content track? All of these factors play into which platform you choose. If you flag these types of preferences early, you can ensure your event will include all of the most important pieces to your company and most importantly – that the event will run smoothly.
2. Keep Viewers Engaged
Once you’ve selected your platform and begin to build out your content, it’s more important than with previous in-person events to keep your viewers engaged. It’s more likely that guests will become distracted during a remote event and while you can’t control the environment your viewers are in, you can control the content.
Different engaging elements include utilizing virtual chat rooms, asking interactive questions throughout a presentation, polls, question and answer breaks, or breakout sessions. These types of activities can break up long stretches of presentations when a viewer’s mind might start to wander.
3. Test and Prep
Run through each element of your event – from presentations to playing videos to transitioning speakers. You’ll want to understand where each button lives on your platform and work out any glitches before the event day. This will help to ensure everything runs smoothly and there won’t be any surprises.
One of the great things about a virtual event is that you aren’t limited by location. Anyone from across the world is able to attend and therefore you may need to shake up your acquisition strategy. Being able to network and present to a larger audience in various cities may be a great way for your company to grow it’s network and service range. If you do end up promoting to a larger audience than you have previously, remember to not forget your key audiences and current customers who also are interested in your event.
5. Continue to Engage
Promotion isn’t finished after the event has wrapped. Don’t forget to send recaps to attendees or, if possible, you may be able to share a copy of the presentation video with those who would like to have it on-hand as a refresher. Now that you’ve made these connections, be sure to stay engaged with them as you already know they are interested in your work.
The popularity of virtual events may have grown over the last few months out of necessity, but they are likely to stick around now that we are more familiar with how they operate. In today’s world, cutting travel expenses and producing a cost effective event are key factors to companies. Become an expert at setting up virtual events now, and you’ll be able to continue utilizing these skills for years to come.
A recent survey from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research found that among organizers forced to cancel their event entirely in 2020, 81% plan to pivot to a digital format in the future.
Do you need help creating engaging content for your brand, but don’t know where to start? Our team works as an extension of your team to craft fully developed content marketing campaigns that will keep your fans engaged.
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