Virtual events may have entered our lives during the COVID-19 crisis. But their guaranteed presence roots deep down the future. A report by Grand View Search suggests that within the next six years, the event industry will yield a 23.2% annual growth rate estimating a net worth of $774 billion by 2030. To stand in the field of such an in-demand industry, it is not ideal sticking to the traditional in-person events practices.
Consider the recent trends in the event industry. Technology, diversity, online marketing, new platforms, and methods are some hard pills to digest all at once. But these act as the basics of virtual events. Thus if you are planning to host virtual events or persist with hybrid events further, introduce some most important practices as you begin and slowly get used to them. We have picked and briefed on the top 5 ways to practice that improve your virtual event quality.
1. Spend on the platform:
What is your event concerning? What are your expectations for the event platform? For instance, when pandemic urged the world into online education, an exclusive webinar platform like GoTowebinar, Zoom was sufficient for learning management. But, when virtual festivals and fairs went digital, the event required more facilities. The ideal platform, in this case, must include registration, ticket booking and selling, virtual booths, and large-scale accommodation.
When your event demands a feature, do not neglect it. Spending money on the right platform and the right package that could serve you the best is never a mistake. Moreover, apart from the specifications and features, it contributes many benefits, and they are as follows:
Technical support: ‘If your platform goes down, the event goes down,’ says Jess Bahr from NS1. Every fragment of virtual events glues with technology. The event can be a success or a failure owing to the user interactivity and technical problems. The more powerful your event is, the smoother your event will be.
Security: Limiting the access within the intended participants can keep your program secured. This way could work for office meetings and webinars. But what if you strive for a wider audience and viewership? What if you are conducting an event for generating leads, sponsorship, and reach?
Always go for password-protected sessions. Many platforms are certified with highly secured compliance. Data exchange is encrypted from both ends, preventing hackers, cybercriminals, and third-party criminals.
Right integrations: Do you conduct events to market your business? Is virtual event your bait for qualified leads? Do you want to closely monitor the performance of your event, attendee, or employee? Are you looking for viewership and sponsorship?
Then you need a platform that takes care of mail marketing, social media presence, data analysis, lead generation, etc. Many platforms integrate with ticket booking platforms, CRM software, marketing automation software, etc.
2. Reasonable pricing for tickets and services:
Virtual events can be cheaper than in-person events. You can cut off the cost of the venue, food, beverages, travel cost, materials, etc. But are you planning a free event for brand awareness, or is your business revolving around online services? The latter has become unavoidable with on and off lockdowns. Thus, virtual events gained plenty of scope in the future as well.
If you plan to conduct events virtually more often, then set a standard charge for the event. Here are some aspects to look out for pricing tickets, entry fees, or any services.
Keep up with the market trends: As in any business, the first step for fixating prices is to monitor the market value. Since the virtual events and their details are published online, it is easier than ever to research your potentially competing companies. Examine the price and services they offer and dilute it down to the agenda-setting. What do they provide, and what do they do to distinguish themselves? What are their trends? What is the reasoning behind their offers? It helps you understand how the market works and how your ideas could fit right in it.
A budget plan: It is essential to stick to the market price. However, it is never wrong to hike up or leap down that price at times of action. For example, you can put on a temporary price reduction or seasonal discount to promote sales. Or you may have updated your business model, so you could have a solid ground to charge more than usual. Ultimately, the budget comes down to these factors- What are your expenses? What is the reasonable charge for the service you provide? What is the demand for your company’s service in the market? Estimate and price confidently as per your plan.
Tiered pricing: According to TechTarget, the tiered model is the most popular among MSPs- managing services pricing models. If you spare a moment to think about the top companies pricing models, they segment their service into categories. Each category directs to the target market and addresses its needs. Splitting into a basic, standard, and premium plan is one example of tiered pricing. It ranks up to the additional services offered and gathers a wide range of customers with variety. Offering tiers also bends from low to high pricing and moderate a decent cash flow altogether.
3. Never compensate on content quality:
Do you know? Quality depends on the efforts you put in. A 50% increase in quality is equal to a 33% discount. In a virtual setup, the audience knows no limitations. They have endless options with no accessibility, language, or geographical barrier. Though there are several modern marketing tactics and involvement tools, the content you deliver must be time-worth. Schedule sufficient time and thrive on the content planning and strategy before moving on to the production and promotion.
Elaborate pre-production raises and answers many surprising questions as you prepare. It automatically makes the production and post-production process better. Content planning includes:
Foster a community: Bringing people together with meaningful connection. Try to layout some promises for the event that benefits the audience. For example, if you conduct a workshop about book publishing, you can allure the audience by inviting a top book publisher in the industry or promise a point of contact with the same. The human experience is critical to creating a presence and flow in virtual events. Infuse realism into usual virtual environment design and facilitation with:
- Immerse feeling of being there at the event with virtual booths
- Inducing attentive factors like interactive and breakout sessions
- Creating a presence and flow of an in-person event virtually
Content planning is not only for the duration of the event. Include the right promotional marketing plan, content structure and execution, and a follow-up ritual in the planning section.
Have a rehearsal day: Plan the content around what your targeted audience would expect to profit from at the end of the event. Always while planning content, make sure it will be mutually beneficial to the audience. During the rehearsal, try to step into the shoes of your attendees and investigate:
- Is the nuclear message of your event delivered precisely?
- What are the different angles that can cover audience anticipations?
- What are the deviation points?
- How to timeline the content plan for the event?
- Where do interactive sessions increase effectiveness?
Another significant reason to mandate the rehearsal day is to inspect the technical aspects. Check on the microphone operations. According to Markletic, 70% of the people who organize events feel like microphones are crucial for successful events. Preview the presentation, functionality check on audio, video, and engagement tools. Ensuring streaming as smoothly as possible can also avoid preventable human and technical errors beforehand.
4. Exploit the digital advantages to the fullest:
Virtual events have their other advantages. Technology deduced the manual job to a great extent by half-time and more accuracy. They automatically generate these reports on the dashboards side-by-side. It is easier to maintain and surf through digital records at one hub than in traditional methods.
Here are some advantages to practice for hosting a successful digital event:
Track better: Reading the room through how the audience responds, their facial expressions are the best parts of an in-person event. Although these tracepoints could be harder to follow virtually, digital tracking is a profound and multi-faced analysis. It gives an individual report on:
- Referral point of the attendee
- Is it the marketing effort that reached out to the attendee or the person looking for specific services?
- How involved is the attendee at every point of discussion?
- Does the attendee drop off or revert?
- Do they subscribe to your events? If so, what is the length of the subscription?
- What could be the conversion point for the attendee?
- Getting personal feedback and baiting incentive for further retention
When there is a behavioral pattern by any audience or a person, look out for an in-detail report. You can also analyze the engagement, performance of the hosts, employees, special tools, and features individually. Put into practice to skim through all metrics for improvising on what works the best for your events.
Marketing tactics: 70.6% of the event organizers prefer platforms with marketing automation integrations. Social networking is brilliant for marketing. Upstream the regular updates- email marketing, optimize and embed events on your websites, social media promotion like posters, live stream, advertisement, etc. Integrate a ticket selling platform within the website and promote the confirmation page as repeatedly as possible with referral links, automated registration. These promotions and consistent notifications keep the audience in touch with the company. Modern marketing tactics and social media presence brings a strong brand association.
Wait until the day before the event for new buyers. The audience increases even at the eleventh hour. Thus, it is advisable to double the promotion in the last 24-72 hours before any event.
Post-event feedback questions: Automate some set of questions to pop up immediately as the event ends. Request the audience to spend a little more time posting their most valuable and honest feedback. The best way to measure the success of a virtual event is to ask the audience about it directly. Instant rating of features like the performance of audio tools and such information can also be automatic after events.
5. Focus on an all-inclusive experience:
When it comes to precautions, installing inclusive measures into your practice makes all your events breakthrough any indifferent or unexpected situations. Learning from diversity courses and slowly taking them into account in all aspects of work can be exhausting. Sometimes it does not need to be an inconsiderable or offensive action. We may slip out due to the force of habit. For example, In an in-person event, you might be accustomed to the local audience, but the limits expand in virtual events. It could be hard to revise the entire content following the new, diverse, and varied audiences.
To make it easier, implement these surface level, must-include inclusive habits into your regular practices:
Diverse content: Personal experience shapes our perspective and broad-mindedness. The background, the environment we grow up in, personality traits, and overall life experience induce the voices within. But once you are in the event industry, you cannot take chances. Thus train your employees and speakers to be diverse in expressing their perspectives. Be thoughtful about the width of diversity while scripting the content- the multiple groups, different cultures, religion, age, gender, learning behavior, and difficulties.
Hire an ASL interpreter– a sign language interpreter, add captions, use big and bold fonts to give mutual access to the audience with hearing or visual impairment. In visual or video representations, be unbiased and include illustrations that inclusive of different cultures and gender.
Inclusive language: The language barrier is not only about foreign languages. The way you articulate the content makes all the difference in the world. An inclusive language must address all races, sex, sexual identities, body size, socio-economical status with equal dignity. Any inappropriate humor is unwelcome despite personal beliefs and background. When it is familiar to maintain conduct with jokes about appearances and socio-economic class, some people may sound homophobic or reluctant to ethnicity without intending to be offensive. Be extra careful of inclusive language, particularly in global events.
Captioning service is another must-to-do practice for your events and programs, and they make your perfectly crafted content accessible to everyone despite any language, accessibility, and learning hurdles. Your virtual events are not multi-faced as long as you include captions. If CaptioningStar makes to your practices list, we guarantee to provide 99% accurate human-generated captions for your live or recorded events.