Fact: Virtual events can be highly interactive, engaging and deliver results. Here’s our handy guide on how to get started and avoid some common pitfalls for those who are thinking of going digital for the first time (it won’t be the last, trust us).
- Know Your Objective & Set Parameters For Measuring Success
So, for example, make sure you have a clear objective from the start remembering that one of the advantages of virtual events is that they provide a plethora of data and metrics, so factor in a quantifiable objective, such as number of students attending a recruitment event, or number of employees you wish to engage for an internal event or number of chats you want to generate.
- Engage and involve key departments who will have a presence at the event and do it from the outset!
Particularly if it is your first foray into the world of virtual events, make sure you brief key members from relevant departments. Resistance to change, coupled with fear of the unknown, are often barriers to getting people fully on-board and engaged with virtual events.
Our tip is to involve key individuals in the planning process so that they become familiar with how your event will work virtually and what their role will be. It could be that colleagues are as yet unaware of the variety of formats available to deliver the content at a virtual event, such as audio rooms and video chat, so this is also a great opportunity to discuss content and its delivery, so that it is engaging, interesting and useful.
- Plan Your Content Carefully
Think about what your potential audience is most interested in and structure your event to have the right mixture of, say, presentations, Q&A, networking sessions, audio or video chat and material to download. Varied content is a key way to ensure your virtual event is engaging – people often mistakenly believe virtual events are not engaging!
- Ensure you offer event delegates multiple opportunities to see your content
The benefits of virtual events are many, but one of the main reasons our clients tell us they couldn’t go back to only offering physical events, is that virtual events are not restricted to taking place on just one set day and time. An iVent license allows users to run an unlimited number of virtual events. So, if you’re planning to host an event virtually, you could offer several dates but ensure you offer plenty of time (without being too far ahead) for people to sign up – and then remind them that they’ve done it and when and how to log in. The chances are this is their first virtual event too so a little hand holding probably won’t go amiss. A crucial point: don’t forget to tell delegates that the content from your virtual event is available ‘on-demand,’ allowing them to visit and revisit the event time and time again after the live event, if you wish. Providing unrestricted access to all the information they need is one of a virtual event’s USP so don’t forget to use it.
- Utilise the event data
At the end of the event, don’t forget to wrap up as you would with a live event. Use the event data available to make future improvements such as, offering supplementary sessions for those who registered but didn’t attend as well as adding other events to ensure on-going engagement with those who show interest in a specific area.
- Make sure you use a virtual event expert
Seems obvious and a blatant sales line, but seriously, it’s an important thing to get right. We’ve swooped in to save many virtual events that just weren’t hitting the mark. Our experience, skills and know-how are part of the mix that help make sure our virtual events are easy to implement and deliver the results you desire.