In the new normal, along with virtual capabilities there is now no barriers to audience attendance other than internet access, and this means there’s capacity to invite way more people to your event. In the not-too-distant past, people who were time poor, who didn’t want to be away from their families overnight and whose work schedules were jam packed, can now attend your event and often in the comfort of their own home.
Tips to make your online event a success:
Below are some of the learnings that we have made a note of while working with our clients.
- Make it relevant: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to first ask yourself why you are planning on hosting this event – is it to communicate with your employees? Engage with your clients? For training purposes, or to mark a company celebration. Customers and employees will only engage if they know they will get something from the event.
- Timing of your event: How long should your event last? This will depend on the context and the audience, but in general, an hour is a good length. Any longer and people’s attention span start to go. You must also consider the time of day your audience will have to attend; morning, afternoon, or evening.
- Make your event stand out: Again, knowing your audience and know what they will engage with. What topics are currently relevant to your audience? Use videos and graphics to illustrate your viewpoints, this will stimulate the viewer throughout the event.
- Brief your speakers fully: A virtual event doesn’t have the natural flow of a live event, so it is important to keep your speakers brief and to the point. Just because people are good at speaking at physical events, this doesn’t always translate into virtual events. Practice, practice, and practice again. For Questions and Answer sessions, it is a good idea to have decided in advance who will answer different sections or types of questions, ideally have some questions chosen in advance with prepared answers.
- Choosing your platform: Before you decide on an off-the-shelf tech platform for your virtual event, pay close attention to your users and the devices that they are most likely to be using and already engaging with. As well as formal videoconferencing tools, social media platforms can also offer a great platform for hosting virtual events.
- How to make you audience feel involved: Presenting the right content is only one part of your event. If all you do is stream content in one direction, there’s no real incentive for people to keep watching, so you need to find ways to make people involved and engaged. Live Q&A sessions, polls, breakout rooms are some of the many ways you can keep your audience engaged. Social media can also help you engage your audience, offer them a prize for best Tweet. If you have the budget, send your customers a gift box in advance of your event.