3 months ago when we started our webinar series on virtual events, we shared that the future of the event industry lies in virtual events. After 3 months, we’ve been a trusted virtual event platform for many medium-scale and Fortune 500 companies.
Now that the pandemic continues to halt in-person events, we believe it’s time to share some of our practical learning experiences and tips on how to host a successful virtual event. So without further ado, let us begin.
Tip #1: Live Videos and Adaptive Bitrate Streaming
The success of your virtual event depends on the technology being used. When there’s a virtual event where attendees log in pretty much at the same time, it puts a sustained load for many hours. So, it’s important that the tech stack is uniquely made for virtual events.
Adaptive bitrate streaming is another important technology that ensures a smooth streaming experience for your attendees. It dynamically adjusts video quality based on a user’s screen size, available bandwidth, device performance and network conditions.
Tip #2: Video Roundtables for Group Discussions
A virtual roundtable is a breakout session between 6-7 people where they can discuss, learn and benefit from the shared knowledge and experience. So, instead of just watching a session, you are letting them be a part of a session.
You can have open roundtables where attendees can join between sessions to meet new people. You can even have a celebrity guest or an influencer to host a roundtable that you can provide premium access to, creating new revenue opportunities.
Tip #3: Business Speed Dating
This is a variation of the roundtables and similar to hosted buyer meets of traditional events. A vendor can buy into 10 meetings and those meetings would be clocked at 3 minutes each. They see the prospect’s profile on the screen which stays for upto 3 minutes and goes away. After a minute, the next prospect comes in.
This allows vendors to get the undivided attention of relevant prospects for a short time – enough for an elevator pitch.
#Tip 4: Use Both Live & Simulated Live
People love live broadcasts. When an event is advertised as live, there’s an element of FOMO associated with it as well. That’s why when a video goes live on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, people tend to watch it instantly.
From speakers cancelling at the last minute to technical malfunctions, live events are often unpredictable. Streaming a pre-recorded video as if it’s live lets you avoid such mishaps and even edit videos to make them more aesthetically pleasing.
Tip #5: Set Up a Custom 2.5D Lobby Page
The exhibitor floor is often just as important to the success of an event as the conferencing part. 2.5D virtual booths can simulate the in-person experience.
These are interactive virtual show floors where visitors can explore, locate specific booths, collect marketing collaterals and initiate a conversation with an exhibitor.
Tip #6: Create A Video Room for the Exhibitor Booth
Taking a cue from Tip #5, virtual booths should have video rooms where visitors can initiate conversations with the exhibit staff. When a visitor wants to discuss his requirements privately, he can initiate a one-to-one video call with one of the exhibit staff.
Thus, instead of collecting business cards, booth attendees are setting up meetings directly, which are much more valuable for lead conversion.
Tip #7: Let Attendees Create Personalized Agendas
Whether it’s a recruiting event, customer event or an internal employee event, there’s no one-size-fits-all format. Attendees want personalized event experiences that will engage them on multiple levels.
Let attendees create their personalized agendas that have their full itinerary, including sessions, activities and roundtables.
Tip #8: Encourage Event Engagement
Social media is so ingrained in our daily lives, your attendees would appreciate the choice of being able to like, comment and hashtag posts. Have a private social wall where attendees can share their event experiences.
Tip #9: Simplify Event Registration
Whether you’re doing an in-person or a virtual event, simplify your reg form. It’s not what you can add or ask, it’s what you can live without. So, before adding a field ask yourself “do I really need to know this?” Have fields that are absolutely necessary.
Tip #10: Automate Your Reminders and Follow Ups
From a nudge to register to reminding them to join a session, it’s important to automate your follow ups. In a physical event, attendees don’t need to be reminded to rejoin the event because they are already there.
However, in case of a virtual event, attendees tend to get distracted by other things because they are at their homes. So, event planners need to send relevant personalized reminders from time to time during the event.
This simple act of reminding them that the next session starts in 2 hours or the exhibit hall closes in an hour, or speak to the exhibitors to find a favourite vendor increases engagement.
For a much more in-depth discussion on this topic, check out our webinar on the subject right here.
If you’re ready to make the jump to virtual events and need a feature-packed, scalable platform, do visit us at e2m.live, schedule a meeting and we’ll get back to you.