The Best Practices for Your Next Virtual Event
While there is still so much value to in-person interaction, there are plenty of moments when hosting a virtual event may become a reality for your company. At first, it might seem overwhelming to figure out how to turn an entire conference experience into a virtual event. Plus, once you figure out how to go digital, how will you give the same experience when it comes to engaging your attendees, educational sessions, or networking?
Hosting a virtual event takes as much skill, knowledge, and attention as your in-person events. Therefore, it's essential to make sure you create a successful event that leaves your attendees with a memorable experience. In this post, we'll cover what virtual events are, how you can host one, and the best practices to remember while planning to ensure you create a successful event.
Virtual events are the next generation of conferences, especially during a time when it's not always feasible to gather in one place. They offer an opportunity for businesses to reach a broad audience without having to be geographically constrained. They also allow attendees who can't physically make it in person due to their location or time constraints or lockdowns to be a part of the event. In other words, virtual events provide the best of both worlds: easy attendance for your event-goers and no travel inconvenience when you're hosting.
Virtual events might be held through social media networks, online websites, public live streams, or even webinars. The medium you choose for your virtual event depends on your goals of the event. For example, if it's an informal Q&A, you might decide to host a virtual event via Facebook or Instagram live. On the other hand, if you're trying to replace an in-person three-day conference, you'll need more advanced technology and platforms to create a virtual event livestreaming experience.
Regardless of the size of the event, hosting a virtual event is inexpensive and a great way to connect with your global audience. However, before planning your next livestream event, you'll need to check out our best practices to ensure you're ready for the challenge.
The most important decision you'll have to make is to decide precisely what type of event you want to host. What is the goal of your virtual event? Are you hosting a virtual networking conference or career fair? Are you looking to educate clients on your products?
Decide what you want to accomplish with the event, set clear goals, and establish timelines for your event. Planning this part out from the start helps ensure there is no confusion about the direction of your event and that your team is on the same page.
There are many platforms out there when it comes to live streaming an event, and the one you choose will play a significant impact on the success of your event. You'll need to either ensure you have the proper equipment to livestream during your event, provide interactive content, and have high-quality videos recorded in advance to supply to your audience.
For example, at our studio, we offer live streaming video production services with high-speed internet and a Melbourne video production studio space to help run successful virtual events for our clients. We've seen how big a difference the right technology can be to make or break your live events' success as well as audience retention rate. We also have the video production team to create assets for your event like openers and closers or videos that run during the event.
The best part about creating a virtual lineup is that you're not limited by location or travel restrictions, which means you're able to draw in some of the best presenters or professionals to represent your topic or theme.
Make sure to ask your presenters for testimonials, tips, or stories about what they're going to be talking about so that attendees can have some background information prior to the live stream. This will make it easier for them to stay tuned in during the event duration if they know what is coming up next.
The content of your virtual event is vital for success, so it's important to prepare appropriately in advance. While you might be hosting live events, you'll also need to make sure to have supplemental video or information for your participants between events and sessions to keep them engaged.
For example, if you're hosting a career fair, create résumés demonstration workshop videos beforehand or ask participants before the event about the materials they would like shared during their interview slot. In addition, be sure to include instructions as well as any other information for those attending your event. You don't want anyone lost or having trouble logging on during the big day of your event!
While it might seem like there are some downsides and hurdles to cross when planning a virtual event, there are many benefits in terms of virtual features you can use during your event. For example, you can find out your attendee's interests and break them out into separate sessions based on mutual interests. In addition, companies can schedule one-on-ones with customers, interactive booths, conduct live Q&A sessions, and even interact with the session by leaving emoji reactions or commenting.
All virtual events can include an easy way for participants to find out more information in one place. For example, have a button on every slide of every presenter's presentation that says "More Information," which links back to the website or relevant information to what they just learned.
All of these options will help increase the engagement of your event while also tracking your audience and the way they participate to see what works and what you could do without. This data wouldn't be available if you were hosting an in-person event.
Virtual events run a little differently than in-person events, including when you should start promoting your event. Online events require less effort from participants since they'll be able to sign on from a convenient location. However, due to the lack of travel or personal arrangements required from your audience to attend like regular conferences yield, you'll need to work a little harder to get them interested in your virtual event.
Start to promote your event 60 days in advance. You can use online advertising or share it across different social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media is an excellent tool for reaching out to participants who may not already know about or plan on attending your live-streamed event. Make sure you create posts advertising each step along the way, from announcing registration opening dates up through invitations for people to rewatch or engage again with the content after the event.
You can even send out a group email about the virtual event with an attachment of promotional material like images or video clips to get people excited for what's coming up.
Having a schedule for your attendees is essential so that they know what's going on when they arrive. Save it as a PDF file or PowerPoint presentation, then upload it into the online application before starting the event. You can also send out links to download these materials before your virtual event date by emailing participants with how-to instructions or contacting them during registration through live chat software.
It's always best to plan and prepare for trouble with your technology. Something may not work as intended, or participants may have technical difficulties with their own computer. Whatever it is, having reliable tech support during the event will ensure that your participants can enjoy it to the max. Make sure that it's clear how to get in contact with tech support and that they're available for any emergencies that may happen on the day of your event.
Why not test out the system before the actual virtual event instead of waiting for issues to happen? Run through the schedule with your entire team as a mock trial run to ensure all presentations are loaded, presenters can properly log on, and features are working as needed. This way, if anything goes wrong during the test run, you'll be able to fix it before your attendees arrive.
10. Measure Your Success
After the event is over, you'll want to use all of the gathered data to see how successful it was. This includes looking at the reach and engagement during the conference, as well as how many people actually attended. With this in mind, you'll have a clear idea of what worked for your next virtual event!
Make Your Virtual Event A Success
Virtual events are becoming more popular as a way to connect with customers despite geographical restrictions. Throwing the best virtual event starts by using the right technology provider, and The Jasper Picture Company is just that company. We're able to ensure your success from start to finish with our live streaming services, Melbourne video production studio space, and fast internet connections across all devices.
Whatever you need for your next conference or webinar presentation-we've got you covered with our video production services! Check out our website today for details on how we can help make your online video production seamless and stress-free so that you can focus on what matters most-delivering a fantastic experience for attendees of your event.