With COVID-19 throwing the events and exhibitions industry into turmoil, many businesses have scrambled around and replaced their in-person events with online versions over the course of the last year.
With things not looking to improve any time soon and the idea of large group meetings, networking events, exhibitions, and more looking highly unlikely anytime soon… it’s the perfect time to perfect the online version of an event.
It’s not just as simple as moving your event online to Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, or Teams and expecting it to engage, entice, and intrigue your usual attendee. It’s time to get creative, and put on an event that stands out from the countless webinar sessions, online talks, and networking sessions currently happening online all over the world.
Types of Event
There are several types of events to choose from that can best suit your business. You could stream an interactive interview with an industry influencer, opening the floor to questions once complete. You could run a question and answer session, demo your brand or product, run a session teaching participants a new skill, or provide a TedTalks style session with interactive elements. The opportunities are endless.
What to Consider
Before launching yourself into an online event, you’ll need to make sure you prep. Just ‘going live’ and hoping for the best just won’t work and is unlikely to draw people to log in and take part.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you understand your audience. As the host of the event, you need to know what your participant’s expectations are going to be, secure a human connection between yourself and the audience and provide an engaging session that will keep attendees engaged.
Whilst thinking about your audience you can answer the following questions to help you formulate your event plan:
Do they have good technical knowledge and will they know how to access your event?
What will they most respond to in terms of content or interactivity?
How long should the session be to make sure it’s long enough to get quality material from it but not so long that it switches users off.
The second item on the list is that you’ll need to know what the goal behind your event is. What is it you want from the event and how do you go about getting that?
The third step will be to scope out the best platform to suit your event for the audience you are catering to. You’ll need to make sure the platform you use can cater to the number of people you intend on attending, that it has the functionality to do what you need it to do, what your backup plan is if the platform fails or has technical issues and of course whether it’s a free platform or paid for.
You might think that hosting the event from your kitchen breakfast bar is a good idea, but have you thought about hiring out a flexible working space or studio? The spaces we have available at The Workstation can be booked by the hour, day, or week and provide professional, quiet, and attractive backdrops for online events.
If you require the perfect environment for recording speech, vocals or to go live with an event, we can assist you in finding the perfect space that will cater to your needs including all of the equipment you’ll need to make your event a success.
Once you have detailed out how you are going to run your event you will need to market it. Effective and efficient marketing is crucial for any event, including virtual ones. You may want to think about how you spread the word using your email client, website, social media platforms, and more. You can also reach out to industry influencers or special guests and invite them to promote the fact they’re attending your event too.
Once Your Event is Over
The work isn’t over even once the event is finished! Now is the perfect time to chase all attendees for feedback about your event. This is essential in helping you better future events, seeing what worked and what didn’t, and getting general thoughts about what attendees liked or didn’t like.
Good luck with your virtual event!