According to Event MB + Skift, Digital event technology trends were predicted to make an impact in 2020. Well…Coronavirus has accelerated the event world’s move to virtual. During this time of uncertainty, the one thing event planners do know, is we must create engaging virtual experiences for our clients.
Can any event be hosted virtually?
Yes. Conferences, tradeshows, meetings, expos, tutorials, training, courses, performances, product launches—any ‘physical’ event, big or small can be created online.
The Pivot to Digital Events
Our industry thrives on face-to-face interactions, so I can appreciate the trepidation that comes with moving an event online. How do you make this work?
Here’s 5 of JGK’s best practices and tips to help you successfully create a great virtual event experience.
1 .Make it seamless.
Virtual meetings and conferences are new to attendees, so planners need to lead them throughout the process from participation requirements to digital etiquette.
Tip: Keep it simple. If not, you will lose engagement before the event starts. House agenda(s), speaker bios, links in one spot and accessible through multiple channels on any device.
Set a clear agenda that outlines what the experience is about. Build in time for discussion. It’s challenging to keep attendees’ attention in the physical world and even more online where they can be easily distracted by other work commitments, or household responsibilities. Active participation is key for engagement in live events. Incorporate group chats, polls, quizzes, and whiteboards.
Tip: Make it fun.
3. Content is key.
As with in-person events, structure your virtual event around a theme. It should align with the brand, company objectives and goals. Make it compelling.
Tip: Integrate social channels—live tweet an event, fill it with social stories.
Tip: It’s difficult to present when you are not if front of a physical audience. Prepare your speakers to ensure they are comfortable and can deliver content to attendees that makes an impact.
4. Choose a captivating host.
You want someone who can build a rapport with your online audience. To accomplish this a MC must be energetic, speak clearly and able to adapt quickly to any issues that come up and, they will!
Tip: A great moderator skillfully guides participants throughout their digital journey. To keep engagement running high, they check-in with participants between sessions.
5. Online connections.
Create online spaces for social interaction and networking. Chatrooms, gamification, social walls, sponsor connection, Q&A sessions—help to build a buzz and connect participants before, during and after an event.
Tip: Social walls with video selfies are a fantastic way to kick-start attendee networking.
Digital events come with a unique set of logistics. To help you navigate your move to virtual, stay tuned for future posts. I’ll tackle planning, platforms and tools, technology and dive into participant requirements.