- Hire an entertainment
- Mind the length and arrangement of your sessions
- Send virtual bags
- Include engagement boosters and fillers
- Hire proficient professionals
- Offer inclusive and accessible events
- Shoot your events from a studio
- Promotion and lead generation
- Choose an optimal venue and time
- Know your audience
- Spend time in event planning
- Post-event brainstroming
IDEAS TO HOST ENGAGING EVENTS
With the pandemic, a new lifestyle began. Networking took a shift from face-to-face conversation to talking to web cameras. Although it started with preliminary virtual meetings, now the industry showers the audience with several benefits like automated management systems, easy networking, marketing, distance working, etc. Since virtual events offer a variety of options, people, marketers, and event organizers prefer it even after the lockdowns.
The virtual events increase the conversion rate by up to 52% and attract a large-scale audience worldwide. 93% of event marketers, according to Bizzabo, plan on investing more in virtual events in the future. But to keep this stake high, it is crucial to focus closely on the quality of virtual events.
The present-day virtual events must be engaging, professional, and have high success rates to meet their demands. Here are a few tips for hosting impactful events.
1. Hire entertainment
Almost half of the present marketers have already invested in virtual events. With this assurance, virtual events grow to be a part of the future, and the increasing audiences expect a virtually refreshing experience. Hiring an illusionist, improv performer, or using art shows, comedy shows, virtual concerts as fillers can boost engagement. Virtual exhibition halls can be entertaining while letting you exhibit your services, products, or your sponsorship’s market.
2. The length and arrangement of your sessions
Studies suggest events with short sessions within the time limit of 25-30 minutes are optimal to hold the audience’s attention. Short and informative sessions are more impactful. Create your content in a more confused and attractive way. For example, a short video presentation, animated slides, etc. Instead of focusing on preaching the content, try to involve the audience and make them interact with the host and within themselves. Enable private chat options and regulate a steady, fun, engaging flow of interactions.
Align your agenda in an engaging order. Adding interludes like interactive sessions, breaks, and entertainment in between construct a relaxed schedule. Ensure that the event is informative and, at the same time, not exhausting. Juggle the programs of your event and mix them up in a way that takes your audience on a roller coaster ride. This helps to keep them engaged and at the edge of their seats until the end of the event.
3. Send virtual bags
This is not a novel concept for marketing and maintaining customer-employee relationships. Sending gift baskets is one of the classic moves that would never die. You can improvise virtual events by sending digital props required for the event, an invitation card, or an incentive with discount coupons. Another classic gesture is dining – send over pre-paid food delivery voucher coffee gift cards. Shopping vouchers, wine tasting, giveaways from sponsors can also be made into virtual event bags. This helps the audience feel welcomed.
4. Engagement boosters and fillers
One of the primary reasons why people go for virtual events is engagement options. Event industries strive to include advanced features in simplified forms like augmented reality, 3D backgrounds, booths, gamification features with leaderboard challenges, etc. And they have been incredibly successful in implementing them with personalized landing pages, avatars, curation sessions where the audience browse through and chooses their event. Some basic but effective engagement fillers like polling are proven to be very productive in recent times.
IDEAS TO LEVEL YOUR EVENT UP TO A PROFESSIONAL STANDARD
1. Hire proficient professionals
The host- You can hire a professional speaker MC who is very familiar with basics like eye contact, attire, camera angles, etc. Choose the speaker with an ability to keep the audience engaged, well-informed, and the proficiency to influence the audience’s thoughts and behavior. This way, your event will inspire the viewers and keep them well-connected with the content.
Moderators- A moderator facilitates the whole event by guiding through the timeline, troubleshooting, conducting interactive fillers, supporting speakers, and solving audiences’ problems or queries. This way, you can focus more on content delivery without dealing with any minor issues alongside. According to Markletic, the second-largest share of the budget is spent on speakers and moderators after the platform. This shows the importance of the same in the virtual event industry.
Virtual events rely solely on technology and network connectivity. Having a backup platform ready for any unexpected switch for exceptional cases and emergencies is wise. Hiring a moderator takes off the burden of looking after the minor issues that might occur in an event. But providing them with a solid back plan is essential.
Event decorators- Professional decorators are experts in color psychology, bringing a balance and symmetry to the environment, visual communication, etc. They also handle accommodating space, slots and costume selection, and stage decoration. Their designers can also pop up a sense of uniformity in branding and co-design the graphic elements of the event.
2. Inclusive and accessible events
An inclusive team comes with several perks. From basic requirements like providing live captioning to drafting accessible content for the event, inclusivity includes everything. Inclusivity looks after the accessibility for physically and cognitively impaired audiences. It also eliminates differences like age, gender, size, religion, geography, race, sexuality, etc. Hire a sign language interpreter as a part of your team, use big and bold formatting to mutualize access for the hard-on-learning audience, be unbiased, and include illustrations inclusive of different cultures and gender.
Customize your registration forms with an on-demand accommodation facility. So, that you can identify and communicate with the audience with special requirements a couple of days prior to the event. Follow up with them before the event, list out their needs, and develop alternative solutions. Providing the materials beforehand, for example, the presentation slides prepared for the given event, can spare some time for the attendee to familiarize the content.
Inclusivity also influences the way we articulate our content. Hire a trained speaker or train your host to use inclusive languages on all grounds. Do quality checking on the content before hosting for a holistic view.
3. Shoot your event from a studio
The studio is an easy hack to make an impeccable professional first impression. They serve with multiple advantages in both virtual and hybrid events. Live streaming, green matte keying, multi-camera coverage, broadcasting, audio/video quality are some of the grounds covered by a studio. These can make your event look professional on many levels and render better experiences. Studios like StartWell, a Toronto-based studio, incorporated features like presentation space, bar, and lounge. The CEO of StartWell says he works to build an experience where the attendees feel like they are sitting together with other participants in real-time.
4. Promotion and lead generation
According to Markletic, 45.7% of marketers want to generate pipelines. It begins with creating a brand image that enhances brand awareness, association, and loyalty which, in turn, increases the convention rate and gains the organization a customer with lifetime value. All these begin with a strong PR and marketing team. Besides an active social media presence with engaging sessions, there are marketing strategies and incentives to spread awareness. Paid promotion, the partnership expands your audience circle as well.
IDEAS TO INCREASE THE SUCCESS RATE OF YOUR EVENT
1. Choose an optimal venue and time
The venue differs as per the requirements of the event. It is best to have a stage with a podium for an award-giving ceremony. In comparison, a platform that seamlessly presents your screen for a graphic-designing, a workshop is enough. Choose an optimal venue based on the nature, demand, and audience scale. Check what kind of camera and audio/video production work you require and compare it with your chosen environment.
An optimal time is the peak time for hosting your show. It is unlikely to conduct a virtual musical concert on Tuesday afternoon or a workplace discussion on Sunday. Thus again, it varies based on your event requirements. However, weekends are the best time to expect more show-ups for most recreational events. According to the ON24, 2020 webinar benchmark report, mid-week attracts the highest percentage of audience towards webinars. The best hours to conduct an event on weekdays is said to be 1-30 pm, just after lunch.
2. Know your audience
A basic understanding of your audience helps set event goals, come up with an appealing topic, maintain viewership, etc. Navigate your bar low or high by closely monitoring your audience’s behavior and pattern. For example, evaluating the effectiveness of a new feature or a new strategy in marketing. The more receptive your audience has been towards your incentive, the more successful it has been. Social media keeps growing to be the second most potential forum for promotion and marketing. Thus, holding up an intact social media presence can help bridge the gap between you and your followers.
3. Spend time in event planning
Frame an agenda- List out the unavoidable occurrences of your event and discuss how and where to include them in your program. Does your show attend to its sole purpose? Does it include all the required sessions? Could your program schedule exhaust your audience? Or have you organized your event in a relaxing and engaging timeframe? Your agenda-setting must answer all these questions with a practical solution.
Scripting and storyboard- Write a two-column script with the video and audio elements. Time every action of your schedule, for instance, an introduction for a couple of mins, followed by a presentation video for an extended introduction- mention its duration. A script can guide you throughout the event while sticking up with a plan. You can also storyboard the program highlights to anticipate and overlook how the event turns out to be.
Spend money on the right platform- The majority of the budget is spent on the platform because the right place for your event can do wonders. Virtual event platforms are highly secured with software and customized features like registration and ticketing sites, digital analysis and reporting, advanced engagement tools, etc. The right integrations make the forum a one-stop hub that looks after all steps involved in event management. For example, registration, marketing, agenda-setting, tracking audience, data backup, and everything addressed in one place.
Choose a platform that is compatible with all devices, records your events, provides captions and transcripts, allows you to stream pre-recorded video. This makes the process of repurposing your content easier. G2 marked a 2,777% remarkable increase in virtual event platform while reviewing. The number of platforms hiked up from 15 to 119 within ten months in 2020.
4. Post-event brainstorming
Once the event is over, break it down and scrutinize its performance. Identify what worked and what did not. Rely on the digitally analyzed reports for post-event brainstorming. Compare the recent statistics of your market to your current status and set your goals in small steps to reach ultimate success. Maintaining an amicable relationship with the attendees increases the retention rate and probability for word-of-mouth advertising. After the event, ensure to reply to their comments as quickly and politely as possible.
Any event can not be professional without meeting its basic and foremost requirements. Captioning service is one such inclusion. Check out CaptioningStar services for providing timely, precise live captions or captions for pre-recorded videos in your flexible schedule with utmost professionalism.