A business wants access to its target audience. Whether through email marketing, social media, or events, when a company is face-to-face with its customer, it can communicate and inform the customer of the reasons behind its service and products or explain the company values and culture that will impact the products and services.
Virtual event best practices allow businesses to connect to their customers and target audience. Companies must use online events to access customers from around the globe. The event will provide a platform where the team can share their knowledge and educate their customers to ensure that they build a strong, lasting relationship.
Customer relations are of utmost importance to any business. With customers returning to the company, the team can raise the finances to keep the company running. Thus investing in virtual events to educate, communicate and receive customer feedback is a tool that will assist the company in growing its audience and the business.
The global virtual events market size could reach $504.76 billion and grow at a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.7% between 2021 and 2028, according to a ResearchAndMarkets report.
What Are The Benefits of Virtual Event Plannings?
There are various benefits that companies can access through the use of virtual event planning. Virtual event planning allows any business to access a broader range of audiences. The online world is one click away, and the target audience can join any meeting or event by simply entering a link. This can be done anywhere in the world, thus allowing the company to broaden its reach.
Virtual events are environmentally friendly, and company can reduce their carbon footprint. As Gen Z and millennials fight for environmental protection, companies can join this action by hosting virtual events. There will be less waste, and customers will not have to drive to attend. All are reducing the carbon footprint of the company and the individuals.
Virtual events will cost less financial support from the company. With this reduction, the company can host more virtual events that will account for the same amount of finances as a physical event. The decrease in costs will allow the company to invest and grow in other areas within the company.
From an event planning perspective, companies can reduce the time it takes to plan and host an in-person event. In-person events can take up to a year to prepare, and companies can save this time by planning virtual events. An event planner can reduce the planning using their network, skills, and knowledge. Companies can address the topics consumers want to hear with a shorter planning time.
Virtual Meetings Best Practices
A few critical aspects must be present in a virtual event. These practices allow the company to share information with its potential customers.
Find Virtual Event Sponsors
Sponsors are a great addition to any virtual event. Sponsors can play a variety of roles within the event. The sponsors will add value to the attendees by sponsoring finances, products, gift cards, or other methods.
Sponsors add credibility to an event. Once a company closes a sponsorship deal with a trusted company, attendees add credibility to the event. Big companies with a large following will provide the company with a wider untapped audience that might benefit from joining the event.
Keep Registration Form Short & Sweet One
Registration is when potential attendees sign up for an event they want to attend. This allows companies with the detail of the exact attendees that are present at the event. Registration will enable the company to identify and compare the audience market with its target market.
The registration process should be short and easy. If attendees need help registering, they will abandon the process and skip the event. Long lines of registration, waiting for hours will not do the job. Creating an accessible, quick-to-fill-in form and online registration will ensure the registration is sweet and short. Companies will save money by automating this process. There will be no staff members needed to register the individuals manually.
Know The Best Time To Host A Virtual Event
Timing is everything. Many attendees have full-time jobs and will be occupied during the day, leading to them missing the entire event. Weekends might be the best option depending on the target audience.
Companies must identify the perfect time that will suit their target audience. If the target audience is the younger generation in their early 20ies, the event might need to occur during the week, one or two evenings.
Determine the time of day and the actual date by identifying when and where the target audience will find themselves when not attending an event. Hosting an event according to the company’s schedule will lead to many potential attendees missing out due to work or other obligations.
Facilitate Networking Sessions For Sponsors & Attendees
Networking is one of the main reasons behind attending an event. Attendees can meet and connect with industry leaders that inspired, motivated, or changed their opinion on specific aspects of the industry.
Virtual events are known for lacking networking opportunities, but this needs to be changed. Companies are providing breakout sessions and networking opportunities to the desired attendees. These sessions will allow attendees to meet the company leaders, sponsors, or guest speakers. The event will be able to facilitate Q&A’s, and a platform for networking will be provided.
Make Sure The Event is Interactive
An interactive event is crucial. There are many ways to ensure interaction. However, an event without engagement or interaction will be labeled a conference. Events provide attendees with information, knowledge, and education, thus allowing them to ask questions and interact with the information, and the keynote speakers are precious.
Engagement and interaction display interest. If the attendees interact with the event host or guest speakers, the company will know that the information is essential to their customers. If the attendees engage, the company is heading in the right direction, solving relatable and current problems for the attendees.
Hire a Professional Host
An event host is critical to the success of an event. The individual will communicate important information and details to the attendees. The individual must be likable, quick on their feet, and have the personality to talk throughout the event.
A professional host will know the exact procedures to follow. The professional will be able to keep the crowd entertained when there is a change in keynote speakers or a problem occurs. A host will share critical information throughout the event, which will ensure that the attendees are up to date and have knowledge of the procedures and flow of the event,
Decide On The Technology For the Virtual Event
Technology is critical for virtual conferences. The entire event depends on technology. All companies rely on the company’s technology, from the hosting platform to the communication structure.
Companies must spend time and energy determining the best platform to host their event. The platform must allow attendees to communicate with one another and the speakers. Providing the event with breakout rooms and sessions is crucial, and the platform must be easy for attendees and the team.
Some technology companies will send tech support to ensure the event runs as planned. This is only sometimes included. Thus, having external tech support at the event’s venue is essential.
Virtual Backgrounds Are Great In Lightening the Mood
The background of a virtual event will have more impact than a background of a physical event. Attendees do not have the option to chat or look around throughout the event; thus, ensuring that the scene is fun, soothing, and easy to look at will provide a light mood throughout the event.
The backdrop behind the speaker must not distract the attendees, and this does not mean that there should be no or a dull backdrop. The team must find a light, fun backdrop to keep the attendees’ attention even when no speakers share their knowledge.
Check Out Create your own Virtual Backgrounds:
Promote Your Virtual Event Before, During, and After
Promoting an event provides the company with a platform to share its event. The promotion can advertise the speakers, the goals, the solutions, or the content that the event will produce for the attendees. All promotional material must include Event branding, company brand information, and logos.
Promoting an event can be a difficult task. The aim should be to advertise and promote the event on multiple social platforms to ensure every possible customer experiences the advertisement. Sending information to a set email address will allow the team to share the event with current customers and registrants. The networking event will allow the group to chat functions and attendee videos to ensure they receive the most value.
The market team must identify critical social platforms that will be targeted to ensure that the advertisement has the broadest possible reach which targets the desired event audience. During the event, the marketing team can display and advertise multiple shots of attendees and speakers enjoying the event. This will leave potential customers feeling like they are missing out, leading them to register for the next event.
After the event, the team can use the footage to create a promotional ad to display the event. This will allow non-attending consumers to witness what they have missed. This promotional document must be used with a date or time for a future event. These individuals will see what they missed and be encouraged to join the company host’s next virtual event.
Record The Session and Make Sure It Is Accessible for Attendees After The Event
There are so much information, tips, and knowledge shared at events. This is even more so with virtual conferences. There is less time to interact and communicate with the attendees, which leads companies to share much information simultaneously. Attendees can feel overwhelmed or miss some of the information shared.
Attendees can obtain information, but the missed information is gone once the speaker is done. This can, however, be prevented. The company can use recording equipment to share with all attendees. This will allow the attendees the opportunity to have access to all the knowledge share after the event has passed. The attendees can revisit all the critical parts or areas they have missed.
The recorded session can be lifetime accessed or discarded after a week of the event. It is crucial that the attendees can be able to return to the information. This will ensure that the information shared has a massive impact, keeping the attendees clear and remembering what was shared.
Schedule Technical Rehearsals
The virtual conference format is still a new concept to many. It has some of the same components as in-person events but is entirely different. Companies can host rehearsal events to ensure every team member and speaker knows how it works and functions.
The rehearsals will allow the technical team to test and double-check all the equipment and online platforms. This will enable speakers and teammates to ask the necessary questions on possible problems or inquiries that might surface throughout the event.
Many say practice makes perfect; in this case, it is no different. Solving technical issues before the event will ensure that the event is professional and successful. Virtual event production has many benefits, but equipment must be tested to sharpen all glitches.
Keep Technical Team At Bay for Technical Issues
Setup and technology checks are critical tasks and objectives the technical team will do. The technology team must, however, be present and ready to fix any problems throughout the event.
These technology gurus will have the knowledge and skills to find and solve technical difficulties and problems in record time. Some attendees might need to realize there were technology issues if the team was efficient and ready throughout the event.
Virtual events are shorter than physical events; thus, calling a technician to solve a problem will save time, and the attendees will leave the event. Always have a strong tech team because it is the entire event foundation.
Use Data and Analytics to Measure Virtual Conference Success
Event data and analytics will assist every hosting company. The analytics provide the company with clear information about the audience, allowing the business to ask direct questions and give feedback to the attendees.
Feedback forms can be shared with every attendee, allowing the team to find the flaws and problems in their current system of running events. The team can improve and build better events in the future. Analytics is easily accessible through virtual conferences. Deciding on a platform that includes event analytics and data is essential and will ensure that the company receives the data they want.
Virtual Event Checklist
A checklist will allow the team to set out every event task that needs to be completed to ensure that the company reaches the goal they have set for the meeting. The list will allow the team leader to attach specific role players to the list to ensure that every individual knows what tasks to complete.
Here is an example of the list:
- Set goals and objectives for the event.
- Pick your internal team that will work on the event.
- Determine a platform and method of hosting the event.
- Determine the event’s duration and the topics that will be dealt with throughout the event.
- Decide whether the session will solely be live or if recorded video equipment will be needed.
- Decide on an attendee interaction virtual event software.
- Find speakers and hosts that will add value to the event.
- Pick a venue, determine the date, and decide on the formation and content of the agenda.
- Create an easy-to-follow registration setup. This must include a welcome digital package, including videos and the schedule for the event. Receiving the email address for future networking events.
- Create marketing material with all the sponsors to advertise the event.
- Now that details are laid out allow the marketing team to find relevant social platforms or websites to promote and advertise the event.
During the event checklist:
- Set a timer to ensure that the session starts on time. Remember to open and start the session early to ensure attendees have time to join the event.
- Create a Q&A throughout the sessions to increase engagement.
- Create breakout rooms where the attendees can share stories and network.
- Have articles, videos, and documents ready to share with the attendees if needed.
Post meeting checklist
- Send out thank you notes and feedback forms to ensure that all data is captured.
- Work through the data and find areas where the team can improve for future meetings.
- Asses the event and compare the results to the goals set before the event.
- Sit down with the sponsors, tech company, volunteers, and teammates to receive feedback and show appreciation to them.
- Lastly, share the attendee experience through the event’s videos, photos, and text. Use social media to ensure the world can see what they missed.
How Do You Structure A Virtual Event?
The structuring of a virtual event starts with the goals and the direction of the event. If the team wants discussion and engagement from the event, including many breakout sessions will be critical. Sharing information and knowledge will lead to companies structuring speakers first and planning the rest of the evenxt around them.
How Do You Prepare Attendees for a Virtual Event?
At registration, companies can share a schedule and agenda for the event. The schedule will include time stamps and information on the topics that will be shared in that time stamp. This will allow the attendees to identify what topics will be shared. They can use this to prepare questions and statistics beforehand, which leads to an engaging event.
What Makes A Thriving Virtual Environment
Fun and interactive formats are usually an excellent start for virtual conferences. The team must allow the attendees to share their thoughts and ideas with the speakers and the company. Free of tech issues and other problems set an excellent stage for a successful event.
How Do I Host A Virtual Meet and Greet?
A virtual meet and greet will be hosted on a virtual platform that has breakout rooms where attendees can join a smaller virtual space where the speakers can meet and greet the attendees that enter the room. However, this must be discussed with the tech team to ensure they include these meeting rooms in the event package because not all event platforms provide breakout rooms.
Virtual events provide companies to connect and inform their customers and their target audience about products, services, and knowledge. The platform will allow attendees to connect to the company brand, as the business shares core values, knowledge, and experiences with every event attendee.
Virtual-person events still have a long way to go before they are fully optimized, but many have adjusted and prefer these events over in-person events. Thus leaving companies with the option to continue these events will save time, money, and energy and, most importantly, will lead companies to host more online conferences.