There many reasons why you might want to host a virtual event instead of meeting up with your viewers in person. The issue could be the distance to the venue, or it could be that traveling long distances might not be the eco-friendliest solution and your brand seeks to help the environment. It could also be a result of a global pandemic that restricts travel. Either way, you’re left with the challenge of transforming a physical event into a virtual one. This is easier said than done, as many changes need to be introduced to make for a successful virtual event.
Craft a stimulating experience
The attendee journey is just as important in the digital world as it is in the physical one. While a live event might warrant preparations for the lighting, music, signage, and décor, a digital event requires some unique elements for an ideal experience. There might be fewer things to physically move, but virtual events are just as demanding of your time and preparation, if not more so.
Consider the design of the online platform you use. It has to be pleasant to look at, for starters. Sponsors will expect that their brand message is displayed as a prominent part of the view. This might clash with other design choices, which is why you have to try and make it blend in seamlessly.
One of the goals of a virtual event is to keep the viewer engaged. Keep communication channels open so that virtual viewers can speak to guests and organizers.
Decide on the scale of operations
Before you begin transforming your physical event into a digital one, you have to consider the scale of the operation. Consider your main objectives first and foremost. Can a digital version of the event provide the results that you and your sponsors are aiming for? If not, using both a physical and virtual version of the event might be your best option.
If the virtual event could meet your objectives alone, you have to prepare every crucial element in advance. Smaller virtual events could utilize a single-room environment that links to relevant resources, but a full-scale trade show will require a lot more. If you want to think big, you need welcome lobbies, networking chat lounges, resource centers, and lots more.
Adapt to a diverse audience
Local and live events are extremely effective at engaging audiences, as long as the audience can make it to the show. In most cases, you’ll only get an audience that is either sourced locally or one that was invited from relatively close by locations. Either way, you’re limited to the location of the venue and how big the city is.
Online events are different, as they add the potential for a massive audience. They won’t just be coming from Australia. You can increase your viewer count tenfold with a digital event, but you can’t guarantee that the audience will understand the content.
For international viewers, you’ll likely need to create subtitles or offer a translator to help interpret the event. This move would make your event more accessible and make the marketing a lot easier for international audiences.
Engaging your audience is easy when they’re physically present at your event. They will be looking for something interesting that can benefit them, as they’ve taken their time to arrive at the location.
For online events, keeping an audience engaged and paying attention is a lot trickier. There are lots of different outside stimuli that can divert their attention, which is why event planners need to keep the event appealing throughout.
Create a custom dashboard that will allow visitors to communicate and interact with the hosts. This will give them a sense of presence in the event, making it a lot more engaging, despite being in a digital medium.
Use a digital background
While attendees know they’re participating in a digital event, there’s no reason for them to feel like it as well. When your event features a bland office wall as a background, you’re setting yourself up to not be taken seriously by viewers. To create the most immersive and engaging experience, you’ll need an appealing virtual background.
This is especially important for Australian businesses that previously hosted live events. If your audience is used to seeing a live show, the digital one has to feel powerful. Set colorful motion graphics and virtual backdrops behind speakers during the event, or opt for a green screen that can be adapted on the go.
Partner with experienced individuals
Hosting a virtual event is a lot more difficult than it sounds. You can’t just download Zoom and call it a day. There is a whole laundry list of responsibilities that you have to adhere to. It’s not something that can be handled by one individual. Your team should include graphics support, attendee support, communications services, and much more.
Marketing should be a key aspect of the event, as you want your brand to stand out and catch the eye of visitors. To meet your event’s needs, you might need an experienced team to work on communication and marketing. Many Australian businesses seek out reliable event marketing experts from Sydney to help organize their events. Everything from the onsite delivery to the pre-event preparation needs to be handled with care, which is why having a dedicated team just for marketing can be very advantageous.
Add a touch of personality
There is no event that doesn’t benefit from a bit of personality. Having a captivating and charismatic host is important for live events, but it’s absolutely essential for virtual ones. Viewers want to be entertained one way or another, and having an interesting host helps keep their attention.
Choose a knowledgeable individual that can inject a bit of charm and humor into the event, as they introduce speakers, summarize segments, and create an all-around positive atmosphere for the event. This would bring more life to the event and keep viewers engaged for quite a bit longer.
Hosting a virtual event is quite a challenging task. You have to balance the difficulty of organizing the online platform against the fickle nature of a viewer in front of a screen. Since countless live events are either canceled or postponed, businesses have to make do with what’s available, which means that virtual events are a must. Keep some of these tips in mind while organizing your event and you’ll find it to be a much more manageable task than before.