Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Four Key Tips for Producing Successful Virtual Events Globally

By Ranganath Jagannath, Director, Growth, Agora

Are you wondering how to produce a quality virtual event that will attract your target audience and decision makers? 
As the world is adapting to the new rules of social distancing, I thought it was important to put together a list of the top 4 tactics you should use to ensure your virtual event is a smashing success.

Content is King but Engaging Speakers Are Key
Like traditional events, content is even more important in a virtual event because viewers are able to walk into your event as fast as they are able to head for the virtual doors.

From my personal experience I can tell you that successful events are always rich in quality and engaging content. However, the best events seem to have one thing in common: engaging speakers.
Hunting down a speaker who is truly an expert in their field is one thing but finding a speaker who is also engaging is a key tactic that is often overlooked by producers of virtual events. 

Make sure to produce content that has real value for viewers of the event. Don’t forget the main reason people attend virtual events is to learn something new. Only use engaging speakers and hosts who are comfortable talking about the subject matter.

Invest in Paid Promotion
Just like a traditional event, your virtual event should include a plan on strategic paid promotion.
Build a virtual event promotional communications plan that utilizes digital marketing, email marketing, and social media promotion. Don’t just post an event on your social media channels, sponsor the post to reach your target audience.

Virtual event communications are key so make sure to use email and social media channels on a regular basis leading up to the event. Your communications should emphasize the value of the event in every communication piece sent out. Create a strong, vibrant, and engaging landing page for the event. Overbook the event, meaning if your targeting 100 attendees, your promotional plan should strive to drive 225 signups.

Choose a Platform with Innovative Interaction Capabilities
Deciding which platform to use for your virtual event is equally as important as the content you produce. Think about the times you’ve walked into a physical event and actually were wowed by the look and feel of the event. The same can be said for virtual events that deliver quality video, audio, and interactive experiences to viewers.

Delivering quality video, audio, and interactive experience really does matter! The platform you select should come fully loaded with interactive capabilities and include the opportunity for the inclusion of branding elements on the screen. Make sure to turn the virtual event into a well-oiled branding experience, which means including branding elements prior to, during and at the end of the virtual event. 

Now if you really want to take your virtual event to the next level, consider incorporating live audio or video questions from the audience. Questions via chat are good but live audio and video questions are considerably more interactive and engaging for audiences.  It isn’t that people will stop craving for human interaction in a post covid world, they would rather attend an online event where they would be able to make meaningful human connections through real time engagement. 

Virtual events have a distinct advantage over physical events, viewers are able to instantly interact with speakers and hosts of the event via chat. Incorporate interaction elements throughout the entire event; things like emojis, poll questions and prompting the audience to ask questions via chat work extremely well. Take advantage of advanced virtual event platforms that allow audio and video questions from viewers and encourage interaction between attendees. Success can be measured against parameters such as how much percentage of event attendees were engaged by the interaction elements.   

The Event Lives on Long After It’s Over
So, you’ve spent all this time and money to produce a quality virtual event, now what? The truth is, your event has only just begun because you now have a recorded event that has the capabilities to live on for years. Think of a recently completed virtual event as ongoing branding and lead generation vehicle. While the content from the event might seem old three months down the line, it will be new for those who are viewing the event for the very first time.

Promotion is key to making sure a recently completed virtual event will continue to have success for months to come. Pin-point highlights from the event and use them as promotional items. Remember a quality virtual event has the shelf life of at least a year.

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