Why in times of Corona we have no choice but to switch to digital, and why this can even be a real chance, was discussed in detail in our article "The event format of the future: Your guide to virtual events". There is no question: Digital events have gained in relevance due to the current situation, but they are also a serious future event format.
In terms of time, costs and sustainability, the virtual event seems like a great alternative, even independently of Corona. So now is the perfect time to familiarize yourself with the different possibilities. You have no idea where to start? Don't worry: With our 11 tips it will be easy!
At the beginning of a successful event - whether large or small, virtual or personal - there is a strategy: What is the goal of your event? Why are you holding the event? Do you want to network with new customers and partners, promote the sale of a product, attract attention?
What impression of yourself and your company should be conveyed? Who do you invite for that? With which feeling should your participants go home or close their laptop? Your answers will normally already give you a rough roadmap: Whether the event is to take place live or the participants decide for themselves when to deal with the content. At what time of day the event takes place. Who you invite and in what form. Whether you take admission. How to promote the event.
A virtual event is not simply an event that is transmitted to the network. Take advantage of the technical possibilities and dare to be creative when you think about how to communicate your content digitally. An online event has no physical stage, but of course it still needs a set-up that brings together speakers and audience. The virtual space is limited - and should still convey the look & feel of your event.
What best suits your event depends of course on the industry, the setting, the size and the type of event. An overview of the various tools you can integrate into your event can be found here. For a personal consultation please make an inquiry.
No matter at which point in the planning process you are: Think of your target group - it is they who will ultimately make your event a success. What are they interested in? Who belongs to them? Is it homogeneous or does it differ in certain points such as position or industry?
Depending on how big the differences are, it might be worthwhile to offer different content for different groups. Data and insights that you can gather, for example through social listening, keyword research or by creating personas, can also be helpful.
If location, personal contact, catering, decoration & Co. are omitted, only your content remains of your event - making it more important than ever. So invest in content that really interests your target group.
And don't be reluctant to announce a special speaker or a particularly industry-relevant topic in advance. Even the invitation and the program must trigger your participants. So use the insights you have gained in the previous point and put together a programme to which really nobody can say no.
A nice side effect of virtual conferences is the sheer endless technical possibilities. If it fits thematically, you can theoretically use five different programs within a lecture, integrate slides, show something in the browser, play a video, sketch things and, and, and.
Sure, not everything fits to every event, and a little practice is definitely required to create really good (online) presentations. But use the technical possibilities to package your messages even more exciting and appealing.
One of the biggest challenges of virtual events is the lack of personal contact. This complicates both the interaction between speakers and audience and networking in general. Therefore, consider in advance how you can encourage your participants to interact, of course also depending on the number of participants and the respective formats. Chat functions, voting, live Q&As, breakout sessions to let the participants work on something in small groups - there are now numerous ways to avoid social distance despite physical distance.
It can also be useful to have a moderator at virtual events, who takes over the coordination, leads through the programme and is available for questions. And in the background there should definitely be a well-prepared community management that can quickly react to user questions, encourage interaction, answer directly and forward relevant questions to speakers. In this way, you prevent the majority of participants from sitting in front of the screen uninvolved, but instead create a real dialogue between all participants.
If you want your participants to take your virtual event as seriously as a personal one, do
the same! Make sure that the invitation alone arouses anticipation. Set up a registration page. Invest in storytelling and a strong design. Tend to the program, announcements, etc. with the same care.
No matter what prejudices your participants (still) have: Make it clear that your virtual event will be an event with added value, for which it is worth taking the time.
Just as with on-site events, the same applies to digital events: good preparation for potential problems is half the battle, in order to be able to react quickly and calmly if anything go wrong. Draw up a detailed schedule beforehand and make sure that everyone involved receives one, knows when it's their turn and who to contact if problems arise. If there is time, you can do a practice run; especially during the first digital event, this can provide a lot of security.
In any case, make an appointment for a Tech-Check before the show starts: Can everyone be heard? Is everyone in sight? Are there any problems with the equipment? Are all presentations available? Who takes over if the worst case szenario becomes reality, if an Internet connection should indeed break irretrievably? And then take a deep breath: should something go wrong, the community usually understands. After all, events on the Internet is new territory for all of us.
Those who are bored leave the spectacle. This applies even more to online events, where you just have to close a tab.
So make sure that the time your participants invest in your event is really worth it. Getting the feeling of a personal event on the web is one of the biggest challenges. Try to keep the program entertaining and the participants busy and to offer real added value.
Your participants so far only know you from offline events? How would it be if you could bring a part of the offline experience in to the home of your participants? Your event was already known in the industry for its goodie bags alone? Simply send your participants a goodie bag - either purely digital, e.g. with a digital magazine subscription, a tech voucher or a donation in the name of the participant, or completely old school by mail.
The same applies to catering: Are your offline events known for good food? If your participants come from the same region, you could consider catering that is delivered to the participants' doorstep in time for the event. For supra-regional events, delivery vouchers may be a good idea. Here, too, it is worthwhile to be creative in order to give your virtual event a very personal touch and to offer your participants something they will remember.
Who stays on for how long? Who clicks away when? Who leaves the event early? Personal events will never get such detailed figures as a digital event - make the best of it. Be sure to use the available data for the evaluation of your event to prove the return of investment of an event and to learn for future events. You can find out even more by writing to the participants and asking for criticism and suggestions for improvement.
As you can see, if you consider a few things, the organization of a virtual event is not much more complicated than a personal one. And with a few good ideas and the right tools, it's not only a temporarily good alternative, but can perhaps even become a very special event format of its own, which may even complement your event calendar beyond Corona.
Despite our tips, you still have no idea where to start, or need help with the finishing touches? For an individual consultation, please make an inquiry.
We will support you and show you which video conferencing tools we have tested and which one best suits your requirements best. Read all from the most important information the essential steps to set …