Online events are a fantastic way to keep in touch with customers and prospects. But, if they’re not executed well, they can be an expensive exercise that doesn’t yield the results you want. To help you make your virtual events more engaging for your audience, here are some tips on planning, and creating 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.