We’ve addressed a number of emerging event trends in our most recent newsletters, but no trend is currently more prevalent than virtual events. Many planners and marketers are looking to online events to fill the live void, and there is no shortage of technology platforms to choose from. As you consider whether virtual is for you, answering these five questions first will help ensure you find the right tool(s) and ultimately set your event up for success.
5 Questions to Help Set Your Virtual Event Up for Success
- Who’s your audience? Just like you would with a live event, the best place to start is with your attendees. How many attendees are you expecting? What are the group’s demographics? Where are they located, and do they know each other? The more you know about your audience, the more likely you’ll be to find the right technology solution and craft compelling content.
- What’s your format? Whether it's a single speaker streaming live to multi-speaker panels, or general sessions leading to breakout rooms, different technology solutions are better suited for different formats. Additionally, preferences for sharing content, audience engagement and the ability to submit live Q&A all should be considered too.
- Does your event need to be “live”? With speakers (and audiences) in different time zones, varying connectivity speeds and home-recording conditions, considering pre-recorded content is becoming more and more appealing. Many equipment providers are creating drop packages for speakers to record with the best quality while at home, and the ability to edit is significant. If your event does need to be live, consider whether you’ll need to invest in additional sound and lighting packages, as well as speaker coaching.
- How will I keep my audience engaged? Compelling content is a must, but that by itself might not be enough to hold your audience’s attention in a virtual setting. Consider whether you’ll need presentations and graphics, or whether you’ll need more unique solutions to keep attendees tuned in. There are some very creative interactive enhancements out there – you just need to know where to look!
- How will my (virtual) event stand out from the rest? Just like you needed to create a unique environment and experience for your live event, you’ll need to do the same with your virtual event. Whether it’s a customized home mailer, virtual enhancement opportunities beyond the talking heads, curated entertainment or unique audience engagement, there are ideas at varying price points to add to an online experience. Make sure that these tie-ins continue to remain on-brand and on-message, and your virtual event will be one to remember.