12 Aug 6 Things To get Right For A Seamless Virtual Event
This year content 3rdspace entered the virtual events space – a fairly logical development given that these kinds of events are all about well-crafted content designed to deliver an engaged experience… and that being our raison d’etre.
As part of our move into this territory we embarked on a due diligence program that had us immersing ourselves in a range of scalable platforms. We wanted to define what was possible and pressure test the respective digital back ends.
With a range of live-streamed and virtual events now under our belt and lots of lessons learned, we’ve compiled our top 6 planning questions to help ensure your virtual event delivers for your brand.
1. Start with the end in mind: why are you hosting this event and what are the KPIs?
Like any piece of great content, your virtual event needs a content strategy that supports your brand purpose. That includes:
- Having a strong point of difference that helps you stand out against the swell of virtual events currently being staged;
- Living and breathing your brand look and feel and tone of voice; and
- Being highly interactive on a robust platform. (Australia’s NBN is not doing anyone in this space any favours, so it means having the correct cloud-based plug-ins for a smooth live-streaming experience.)
2. What are the hooks that will attract attendees?
This is where the show biz magic comes in. Just like an IRL event, a live-streamed event should tick the following boxes:
- Have great keynote speakers, each with a strong, relevant point of view;
- Allow an opportunity to ask questions in live forums;
- Stage performances that are relevant; and
- Include a networking event that accommodates real conversations
3. What is the supporting content?
A quality virtual event should offer a variety of break-out areas and booths where attendees are encouraged to deep dive into the content. That might include:
- Filming your spokespeople and adding layers of relevant vision and graphics – it should be more than a basic recorded zoom call;
- Cheat sheets and info folders attendees can add to their event briefcase; and
- Live chat from specialists in exhibition booths.
4. How will you promote it and define and demonstrate the experience?
With so much “stuff” being live streamed it’s crucial to highlight not only what makes your event special, but also:
- What’s in it for the attendee by showcasing how it works; and
- Highlighting the innovation you’ll be using. Here’s how we did it for NEC, with a launch film
- And a define-and-demonstrate clip.
5. How will you keep them engaged through the event?
Giving a website-level user experience isn’t enough. 3rdspace spent months researching how we could elevate the consumer experience, talking to backend suppliers across the globe to find scaled approaches. We were looking for:
- Something that felt like an actual space, e.g., if your event is hosted in a city where your business is based, use the city skyline in the background; and
- A warm welcome. Make sure attendees are welcomed with quality content as soon as they walk in. Here’s how we did it recently with NEC.
- Have live-chat support active to aid attendees’ navigation around the event; and
- Depending on your audience, your engagement tactics might include polling, live stream Q and As – even some fun elements if it’s consumer based, like treasure hunts and live streamed music performances.
6. How will you build your event into a community with shared purpose?
This is the bit content creators get and events people often miss: your event should be the start of a conversation, not the finale. You need to create a real reason to continue the conversation.
Up to 50% of learnings at real-world conferences are forgotten within 24 hours if they’re not reinforced, So make sure you have a range of key content highlights ready to go the following day. Your aim might be to:
- Create a crusade – what’s the one thing that will inspire your conference community to band together and help make change? or;
- Create a “club” that gives people who attend the event exclusive access to content or money-can’t-buy experiences, e.g., one on ones with key people in your organisation. Think of some creative, evolving tactics you can seed to the community in coming months.
The great thing about virtual events is they take less effort to attend. They can be as entertaining, thought provoking and involving as a real world event and like content (when it’s done well), can start a quality conversation with your potential customers,
If you’re interested in more of our learnings and keen to investigate some of the quality back-end platforms we’ve scoped, drop us a note here.