Enterprise Estonia is a national foundation aimed to develop an Estonian economy. It provides companies with consultation services, practical training courses, and workshops. In addition, their export advisers help other companies to reach foreign markets successfully. Business events both in Estonia and in a target market are an essential part of these activities. It’s known, that physical events have been canceled globally since spring. Thus, Enterprise Estonia started to look for a virtual event solution to host in-person events to virtual. As a result of the platform research, Worksup has been chosen to enable online events with interaction and promotion tools.
Enterprise Estonia wanted to support Estonian electronics companies in attending the Electronica fair. The event was called “Innovating the Electronics Value Chain to Compete in a New World” and it had to be hosted in Munich in 2020. However, they had to cancel the in-person event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After that, they’ve got a challenge to find an alternative, efficient, and, most importantly, resultant virtual event solution to empower the electronics companies. Instead of becoming a part of some larger virtual event where the promoted companies could become unnoticed, Enterprise Estonia decided to organize their own well-targeted virtual event.
Together with Estonian Electronics companies, Enterprise Estonia organized a fast-paced event program. During the event, companies had a chance to pitch their solutions in a short time. Also, Meta Advisory did an excellent job onboarding the interested audience.
Meanwhile, Worksup was responsible for the smooth event delivery, and interaction tools to involve the audience. Including networking opportunities between the participants, and a virtual expo area that showcased the electronics solutions. Although the deadlines were tight, Worksup team delivered the virtual platform well in time.
The 2020 crisis has touched many businesses. At the same time, a lot of the Estonian Electronics companies experienced significant growth that year. Organizing such a high-level virtual events with excellent delivery has played a valuable role in it, for sure. Together with Worksup virtual event solution, Enterprise Estonia reached active audience involvement.
Furthermore, the solution let the participating companies generate new business contacts and set up meetings in a virtual event format. Enterprise Estonia achieved their goal thanks to the viable content, Worksup’s event delivery support, and moreover, easy interaction between the audience and participating companies.
Live streaming has always been one of the most vulnerable parts of any web conference. Set up, technology choice, sound & image quality – seems like a lot of stuff to be worried about. Let’s examine what risks you can face making a web conference live stream and learn how to troubleshoot them.
Live Stream Key Error
Stream key is a special code used to identify a source of video streaming, to show the stream on a website. Sometimes, preparing a web conference live stream on Facebook live, you can get popup errors like “failed to connect” or “couldn’t get the access to the stream key”. In this case, make sure you’re using the latest version of your broadcasting software (e.g. OBS, Wirecast, or XSplit), and your stream key is correct – check if you copied the correct stream key from Facebook to the chosen streaming software. If it still doesn’t work, reset the key and try again.
Poor Conference Streaming Quality
To have a smooth picture and sound doesn’t necessarily require buying expensive equipment. To avoid any issues with the stream quality, better use wired internet. WIFI is unstable and it requires software to optimise itself constantly. Check if you connected the equipment parts the right way to reveal where exactly the problem hides – the camera, microphone, software or lighting if any are used.
Not Correct Testing
Test everything as closely as possible to the actual event. While the stream might run well on OBS or vMix preview, test the embedded stream in the environment your audience will be attending, eg. Worksup. If you do not wish your audience to witness your tests make a copy of your event and test the embedded live stream there. There you can adjust the sync etc in peace.
A YouTube Live Stream Is Not Embeddable
Sometimes the live streaming is not embeddable on Youtube due to the host’s account limitations. Before making a stream, make sure that the host’s number of subscribers allows streaming, as for now, you can’t do this with less than 1000 followers. Another reason could be that the host reached the daily live streaming limit, in this case, to proceed with the stream, you need to wait for 24 hours.
Streaming Unauthorised Content
Youtube and Facebook scan third-party content for matches, including both audio and video. When such copies are identified, you’ll be required to stop streaming the third-party’s content. Only when complying with it, you’re allowed to continue, in other cases, your stream will be terminated.
Sound and Video Are Not Synchronized
The sound goes ahead of the video stream or goes other way round. Another annoying issue that can badly influence attendees’ experience of a web conference. To avoid such situations, before the event, make sure the sync between the audio and video is adjusted.
One of the most challenging parts of the planning process is virtual event promotion. You could organize the fanciest coolest event ever, but hey, what’s the point if no one knows about it? Let’s examine possible ways of how to make a buzz before your event. Photo by Joanna Jõhvikas.
Ideas For Virtual Event Promotion
As opposed to the duration, event promotion channels can be similar for both large and small scale events. We prepared 10 unusual yet simple to implement ideas for the virtual event promotion that can help you to reach thousands of people.
#1 Collaboration with sponsors
Yes, we know it’s your job to advertise sponsors. But who said they can’t advertise you as well? If the sponsors’ audience can be relevant to your virtual event, reach out to them asking for an announcement on their website or social media. To save time, prepare the content you want to be published, in advance.
#2 Slack communities
There are thousands of Slack channels with announcements which everyone can freely join. Depending on the virtual event topic, search for the relevant channels whose members potentially might be interested in attending your event.
#3 Google hidden possibilities
Not only Google Ads can make your virtual event seen. If your organization has a Google My Business account, post your announcement there. The service also allows to track the performance and check analytics.
If your virtual event is regular, consider creating a page about it on Wikipedia. Tell a story about the history of the event, its purposes and the impact it makes. Also, you can describe who stands behind the processes or add some interesting facts about the event.
#5 Event on Linkedin
Recently, Linkedin allowed creating separate pages for events. Just like on Facebook, you can set an event with the main information about the event, and thus easier promote the virtual event on Linkedin.
#6 Power of the influential speakers
Make a list of event speakers who may have a wide network of relevant connections and ask them about a favor. Such influencers are always gladly sharing the announcement of their next big talk encouraging their readers to attend an event.
#7 Event forums & communities
Think about the problems your virtual event can help to solve, then engage in the relevant forums and communities telling about that. Be as specific as possible, as your job firstly is to help, then to promote.
Working with different vendors such as design, video or sound companies, think about them as an additional source of the virtual event promotion. Where relevant, ask about the post in social media. In return, you can recommend them to your personal network.
#9 Landing page with an educational blog
Use your event landing page to provide valuable content that people will want to share: articles, tools, interviews will increase your virtual event’s brand awareness and make it more visible.
#10 Share the “making of” experience
If you’re struggling with content marketing for your event, try sharing the scenes behind the organization. Show photos and videos of the preparation, or even stories about the challenges or fails you faced. This can help you to build empathy and connection with your readers.
Combining the suggested ways would make a virtual event promotion process easier for you. If you are stuck on another planning stage and need a piece of advice, book a free consultation with our virtual event expert.
A piece of advice on how to make people love your virtual events more and pay attention to them.
At the beginning of 2020, thousands of event organizers all over the world rushed to switch to the new event format that seemed to be the only chance to save jobs and the event industry in general. Some of them already got some experience organizing virtual events here and there in the past. While others – the majority – had no idea not only how to switch to the virtual mode, but most important, how to make an audience like it.
It’s been a few months already, and a lot of event agencies have chosen their unique way to move forward. They developed an in-house solution, started cooperation with vendors, or simply stopped on Zoom. Some of them mixed. At that date, the main agency focus, in most cases, laid within a how-to-stay-alive trajectory. While reality dictated that if we want to save events, we should focus on people, not processes.
The most valuable component – human – has often been missed in the equation. It clearly explains why when a company, which seemed to find a solution not to sink in the mud of unexpected changes, failed. Everyone would agree that a dry live stream speech with 10 min canyouhearme in the beginning and 5 chat questions at the end, is not something you‘d like to experience again. Such poorly organized events lead to the myth that virtual events are boring. Or that they’re just a worse version of traditional. Or – our favourite – virtual events are with us only till the virus vaccine found, right? Wrong.
At Worksup, we know that virtual events experience could also be as breathtaking, fun, and exciting as it used to be with traditional events. Of course, only if cooked with the right recipe. So what is the magic of making attendees want to attend your next virtual event? We’re sharing 3 actions organizers often forget about that might become crucial for every virtual event.
1. Initial audience research
When everyone is sure that virtual events should be all interesting and interactive, not many may think that the interactivities differ depending on an event and audience type. For some of the events, it’s worth using virtual tasks, for others, it’s better to go with open-ended questions. Even if a platform provides a variety of different features, be careful: you may not need the whole combo to make attendees happy. The easiest way would be to make initial research learning your audience, their preferences, and interests. You can learn about your attendees by asking some questions during the online registration process or, if an event is not very big, by reviewing their professional profiles on websites like Linkedin. Those half an hour spent could give you a better vision for whom you’re doing it all and even influence important decisions. In case you don’t have enough time for that, Worksup experienced consultants are always eager to advise you on the most suitable way of setting up activities for your event. You can get a free recommendation for your virtual event optimization by filling this form.
2. Stop skipping demos, really
Sometimes, experienced event organizers are suffering from knowing it all syndrome. Thinking that nothing can impress or challenge them anymore, they confidently do a lot of stuff by themselves in their way. All good, there’s only one “but”: this productivity do-it-alone rule doesn’t work with virtual events. Often organizers are opening a virtual event platform, walk around, make a test event (if a platform’s functionality allows), and then closing the tab as it’s not as expected. Again, wrong. The best way to discover the virtual platform’s capabilities is to watch its demo – find it on the homepage or kindly ask the support to present to you the benefits of the solution. For example, at Worksup, you can book a free consultation or demo with this link. Exploring the features alone, you may miss valuable functionality that may be beneficial for your event. The demo is another 30 minutes you need to invest in the virtual event organization to make it on a professional level. Believe us – you won’t regret that.
3. Virtual events need a Plan B
Yes, even in the fanciest event platforms, the quality of the sound can unexpectedly go down. Yes, and the pictures too. We know no one likes that, we too, but the harsh truth is, on the internet, it can happen. Isn’t it the event organizers nightmare? Such situations are the right time for your Plan B. What do you mean you don’t have one?
On virtual events, like on any traditional ones, some troubles could wait for you just around the corner. Virtual events seem to be more dangerous as there are more things you can not control (you think so). It doesn’t mean your event is more likely to collapse. In a nutshell, no matter, what kind of event you are organizing: if you haven’t worked with risks in advance, or if you haven’t prepared Plan B, there are no excuses for that. Here comes the last 30 min task for you. Before every event, no matter the format, prepare a list of at least 10 risks of it-can-go-wrong points. In front of each of them, write the solutions accordingly. Working out the worst-case scenarios and solutions to them in your head makes chances that any trouble will get you out of control just miserable. In the end, you will thank yourself a few times for doing it.
Trying to cut time on valuable things in event planning (yet sometimes not the most interesting ones) rarely leads to something great or memorable. Virtual events, like any others, require a responsible approach and attention to detail. What you need to remember is that often exactly the detail plays a crucial role in the attendees’ minds and you can master them with patience.
Sometimes, even a popular virtual event platform could seem not to deliver the features you need. At Worksup, we always have a solution for cases like this as every Worksup user can get the right functionality developed according to their needs.
Except for the features you could see on the homepage or in the Features section, Worksup provides custom features development service. Custom-developed features are features created especially for usage by attendees or organizational teams only during your event. The development can be related to both the event design or functionality change. Here are presented a few examples of what the custom-developed features can be:
Basic white-label design with header, background, colours, and fonts changed according to the clients choice
Advanced design where a wider variety of design features can be customized
Domain masking, e.g. Worksup platform can be installed to www.yourbrand.com/live
Embedding Worksup within your website
Access with the personal link, participant profile will be prefilled with name and organization
Sending personal links to the participants
Access with the requirement to fill in e-mail, and then receive a personal link
Access after filling in data form at the entrance, gathering the data
Access with the integration to Fienta registration and ticketing platform
Initial set-up of Worksup for the client
Priority customer service
Virtual project management of your event
Format and content consultation
Assigning and managing vendors
Implementing the event
Meetings and reports
Participant tracking at the virtual expo
Participant involvement during the program
Virtual expo area for your event partners, vendors, or sponsors
Virtual branded stand for each partner
Opportunity to present value proposition, presentations, movies, leaflets, etc
Opportunity to organize activation games for participants
Chance to easily contact partner representatives
Depending on the complexity of a feature, to get the desired functionality implemented, you need to contact our team in advance and describe the feature you need.
Worksup presents an Annual subscription plan suitable for the organization of any kind of events, as long as there are many! In the article, learn more about the plan, who can benefit from it and what advantages it provides.
What Is The Annual Subscription Plan
Now, event organizers can buy an annual subscription for the Worksup platform. Worksup Annual subscription plan is a new pricing option that allows hosting unlimited amounts of events throughout the year. Except this, the plan includes other interactivities and features such as virtual agenda, unlimited polls, Q&A, networking, live-streaming, tasks, open-ended questions, analytics, event branding and support. Having an annual subscription, event organizers can host any form of events on the platform – virtual, hybrid or traditional and any type of it – conference, summit, meetup or any other. The cost of the subscription is 500 EUR per month and it is billed annually in advance.
The Annual plan is the most efficient for event planners who organize events regularly – event agencies and conference organizers. Also, the new pricing option is efficient for organizations outside of the event industry where events are planned on a regular basis. The plan allows companies to concentrate on the organizational side of event planning without distractions on operational activities.
How To Access
You can find and review Annual and other types of plans descriptions on the Pricing page. To get any of it, click on the “Get access” button in the bottom of a particular column and fill a quick form. Shortly after that, you’ll be contacted by the support and provided the guidance.
During virtual events, attendees can be offered activities in addition to the actual speeches. They are invited to visit the virtual stands of event sponsors, to network with each other or solve tasks and exercises. For event organisers, it is essential to know what aspects of the created activities are popular among the audience and what is not.
For that Worksup has a standard analytics pack that consists of the number of attendees who entered the event, a number of questions posted and upvotes sent, amount of task replies, connections created between participants and chat messages exchanged. With the custom analytics pack, you as an organiser can dig further into statistics.
What analytics can event organizers access?
As a special feature Worksup can now track the participants around the virtual platform. An organiser can learn, who was listening to what presentation and in what activities the participant got involved to. The feature will be especially interesting to the events that feature event partners, vendors or sponsors. We can provide a virtual stand owner with the statistics, who visited the stand and what features of the stand exactly.
How to access the feature?
To get the custom statistic after your event, contact the support. Beware that Worksup gathers the information on organisers behalf and it is organisers responsibility to agree on all privacy aspects with the participants. Worksup will not gather nur share any advanced statistics without a request from the organiser.
Recently Worksup made integration with a ticketing service Fienta. Learn about the new feature and possibilities.
Summary of the feature
From now on, Worksup attendees can join your event with their personal Fienta ticket code. When they join, they will automatically claim an account which includes associated name, position and organization data of the person.
Optionally, event organizers can still allow regular entry with Worksup event ID.
No additional registration import is required. Attendees can join Worksup immediately after the Fienta registration flow is finished.
Pre-requisites and process description
To make the integration happen, you will need:
Fienta API key which can be found using Fienta’s user interface from Settings > Integration
Worksup event ID
At minimum, email and name (or first- and surname) fields in your Fienta registration form. Optionally, we will also associate position and organization data, if available.
To connect Worksup with your Fienta event, simply let us know through our Intercom chatbot or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Only within half a year, thousands of film premieres, theatre performances, conferences, and sports competitions have been postponed or cancelled all over the world. At the same time, people’s desire to get more inspiration or more information never stopped. In this confrontation, online technologies build a powerful bridge between people and businesses to stay connected and united during these uncertain times. In this context, events are something that has always been a glue for inspiration, knowledge, and getting new connections, and it should transform into a virtual format now”, – writes Endrik Randoja.
This year’s Eurovision cancellation is a good example of how leaders of many institutions have acted over the last century, despite having the well-structured IT capabilities. At a time when Europe needed something in common and there even was a kind of application solution for this, the opportunity was missed.
Technically, artists from different countries could have performed even from their kitchens, providing a high-quality resolution, and interesting show overall. It could have created an extremely different experience for all sides – organizers, performers, and viewers, and become perhaps the most significant Eurovision in its history.
Let’s do it in 2021
Almost since the beginning of the year, a lot of European venues have been full of orders to postpone events that had to take place in spring to be held in autumn, and now for the next year. I’d say there are at least three “buts” in this matter. Firstly, it’s a mistake to think that later on, there will be more time or money to keep the audience together than it is now. Secondly, due to the “hot” events season this fall and even the next spring, it will be rather difficult to switch yourself between all the events happening – it relates to both organizers and attendees. And lastly, we need to consider that the virus is already living in our reality since the beginning of 2020. And while at a lot of European countries we can already anticipate the second wave coming, on the other hand, there are countries, like the US – where the whole mess has just begun not long ago. Therefore, no one takes responsibility to state for how long the emergency will last and how quickly people will return the courage to establish new professional connections with other people during the physical events again.
Now or never
For example, recently we decided the fate of one conference that was planned to be held in the early fall. Firstly we made a decision to postpone it to the next year, though, after some critical thinking, it was finally decided that the conference will be organized during the nearest time in a virtual format. Discussing with colleagues and analyzing all pros and cons, we concluded that this sector needs ideas and information right now, and we didn’t want to be the ones who stop this headway.
Currently, despite most European countries are starting to ease the lockdown and some companies allow working from offices, a lot of employees are still struggling with doing so, and prefer to continue working from home. The same situation is happening with events – for example, in Central and Eastern Europe where traditional event format has been allowed with following some restrictions – keeping distance, regular hand washing, and participants number limitation. Nevertheless, despite the long-awaited possibility to finally meet offline, the reality is that even following all the rules and taking measures, organizers still struggle with gathering attendees together. The reason is that people know: the restrictions have been eased but the virus – has not. And such “defensive” behaviour could stay with us for a long time even after the vaccine will be found.
When events become virtual, there’s a special approach towards them too. Now, service providers have got the opportunity to “prove themselves in new circumstances”, and provide their best whenever it’s possible. Getting professional partners who will support under the new set of conditions, will enable you to provide the same good customer experience during virtual events.
Taking into account the opportunities that we currently have, event organizers are perhaps the fastest and easiest ones to adapt to the new reality and provide the same quality services. At the same time, it made the organizers also be more careful. There are fears that there is not as much funding for virtual events as in the regular events offline. But it’s important to understand that some costs such as the venue and catering are significantly lower too.
Another beneficial advantage is that in a virtual event the number of participants can be unlimited. It is much easier to involve famous performers from all over the world without any logistics obstacles. Participants also can get much brighter experience in a virtual environment making interactions with speakers and other “attendees” online.
A hybrid future
There are many opinions that a lot of industries won’t be the same after the crisis. For example, now a lot of organizers don’t see any reasons why conferences should always be offline when virtual participation can provide the same experience: getting relevant information, having meetings with other participants, listening to inspiring speeches, or listing some sponsorship offers.
Perhaps, it’ll be useful to make a thinking exercise, imagine how events would look like if the crisis lasts for a long time? We need to consider this scenario as well. The Olympics were postponed, but if there were a virtual 100-meter run with the world champions, that would be interesting to watch. For e-games, the virtual world is commonplace and it already attracts millions of people globally. How to adopt this experience in other fields is a challenging question now.
Of course, most of us live with the belief that everything will recover quickly and that conferences and festivals will take place in the usual way in the nearest times. It’s important to stay positive, and at the same time to take action and adapt to the reality and opportunities that we currently have when we can organize even larger and better virtual versions of events.
If you’re an event organizer, you probably know very well what multitasking is. When there’re so much to do, it becomes harder to juggle with tasks and get the things done. Endrik Randoja, CEO of Worksup, points out different productivity traps and advises ways to prevent them to work more efficiently.
As a lot of life has gone virtual, people became even more obsessed with meetings than before. In larger organizations, the day divides into meetings, and lots of work gets done during them. Therefore, clients propose many meetings planning even a small event. They know that they only have attention to the event during the meeting, and do not work for it in between. For conference organizers, this means an extra time allocated to the project. It’s better to set a sufficient meeting plan and motivate a client to do this part also in between the meetings from the beginning.
In the case of traditional events, the planning cycle sometimes spun over a year. Often that is a way too long time to work extensively on a project, and many things change content-wise in one year. With virtual events, the other extreme has occurred. Events are expected to be organized within a week. For an event organizer, it means dropping other projects and diving into the urgent ones. It is a big distraction to the usual and healthy workflow, and you’ll lag in quality. Work with clients who understand and appreciate the optimal planning cycle.
Lack of standardisation
With virtual events emerging, everyone involved is set back in terms of experience and proven work practices. Many things in the project need to be created or re-invented. Generating new practices and concepts from scratch is creative but time and effort consuming. Start immediately document new concepts, practices, and processes to scale these, and creatively use them for many events.
New technology partners
Finding a suitable technological solution for your event takes time to investigate it before making the deal. Better measure nine times before the cut. Don’t believe sales talk but demand real-life demos and access to previous events. Make sure you understand if the promised features are out of the box or will be created specially. It is a different project to create event software as a software development project compared to buying a solution that is already there. For the event organizer, it means days of extra effort and tons of grey hair.
From now, you can connect partners and create new professional relations during events with the expo. Learn more about the new Worksup feature in the new article.