Any event, be it in person or virtual can bring some real challenges to the table when it comes to planning. In today’s environment more and more events are going virtual, so how do you create an online virtual event without the headaches? Our tips on creating a successful digital event will help you get your event right the first time to create a truly memorable (yawn-free) event.
The key to creating an event that really packs a punch is to ensure everything runs smoothly and keeps your audience’s attention (nothing loses attention more than no sound, no vision or tech glitches) so step one is getting your technical equipment working at 100%.
How to avoid technical issues (everyone’s nightmare):
- Determine what equipment you need to run your event and source it from a reputable AV hire company or work with an online virtual event management team to make sure you get it right from the start;
- Do a few test runs, to ensure everything is working smoothly with no glitches;
- If you are doing any webcasting by yourself, ensure you have backups of anything that could go sideways, like mics and headphones, any cables that may need replacing…have them on hand just in case;
- Use a reputable webcasting service provider or streaming service to reach your audience;
- Enlist the help of an online virtual event management company if you are at any time not confident with your technical abilities – this is where you will save those headaches!
Content and audience engagement needs careful planning for an online event as you will be missing one major element in an online virtual event that you have at in-person events; that personal touch. The sensory elements that you get at an in-person conference are reduced when you move your in-person event to an online event, so when taking your event online ensuring you include engagement and interaction with the audience as much as possible within your panning is key to ensuring your event is up there with the events that have ‘wowed’ you in the past.
Including content that includes Q&A’s, quizzes or moment-to-moment interactions with a live audience can help hold the audience’s attention as you move through your event.
How do I keep my audience engaged? (no yawning zone)
- Create engaging content for your audience, use video and elements that attract attention within your digital elements;
- Stay on point. Good planning goes a long way, make sure you practice and keep your timing to the tee! No one likes an online digital event that runs overtime unnecessarily!
- Keep your content cohesive and ‘on brand’ across the event. Keeping the look of your content on brand and with similar formatting and colors across the whole event will help reduce fatigue for your viewers;
- Ask questions throughout and if you can not answer them during the event, ensure you address them afterward in a live Q&A session or with a follow-up;
- Touch base on a personal level before the event with any handy tips – eg bring a snack and a cuppa! Or sending out some preliminary event information;
- Reach out after your event to keep that interaction personal, invite participants to a Q&A session after and share that event with your attendees through digital channels or networking groups for those that missed out;
- Create a group on social media for networking the new way after the event and invite attendees to join in and ask questions, share thoughts and connect;
- Share a recording of the event with your attendees after the event for reference;
Keeping your audience feeling as though they would at a face-to-face event is a big element to creating that fully immersive environment that gets results. Supplying key takeaways to an online virtual event can include things such as prizes, downloads, exclusive sharable content and offers. Some elements can be shared prior to the event to create some hype and others are best shared after your event to create a unique online community environment or to bring those conversions your way (depending on your event type).
A few handy tips to prevent headaches for both you and your attendees are:
- Don’t run your virtual event too long – if your event is long you may consider creating separate blocks of content for easy digestion and for attendees to choose which sections of your event they will attend (this reduces low attendance rates and can increase participation levels across the whole event);
- Ensure your technical tools and knowledge are well-practiced or get the experts in and stress less. A great webcasting streaming service, online event planner, and platform can really make the difference to a successful event;
What do I need to look for if I want to engage an online event manager?
If the thought of running your event or conference online gives you webcasting nightmares, it’s time to hand the technical and creative aspects over to the professionals and concentrate on the content and event strategies that you know best. We know thinking about all the tech stuff can push event organisers over the edge, but not us; we live and breathe it!
We can offer you full project management services including all the digital creative services you may require, or advise you on the equipment you will need to create an amazing event that you can use yourself (depending on your level of expertise).
Planning an online event isn’t that scary when your webcasting platform and all your technical needs are taken care of by our team of tech heads. We have you covered, with no glitches in sight!
Look for the following services when engaging with an online event management company to make sure you get the right fit for your business and event:
- No jargon quotes and chats with the team – you want to be able to have a basic understanding of the process and what you are paying for (without needing to google what something is);
- All-inclusive quotes, so there are no surprises later;
- A proven live webcast platform that is fully managed for you;
- The ability to have your creative assets taken care of for you;
To find out more about how Nextgen could help you with your next online virtual event, visit our Virtual Event Services menu now and get in touch.