Virtual events can be as challenging as conventional events, if not more. The digital world is not a new concept. Since the late 2000s, online programs have been found cost-effective and international. But there is a great deal of difference in mere teleconferencing and organizing an event around social networks and remote platforms. Some aspects of an in-person event must compensate virtually, for example, reading the room with facial expressions. When an event takes place entirely online, new strategies are needed- from promotion, marketing, networking, event planning to assess the success rate.
Virtual events have become the highly opt-in option post-pandemic, owing to the flexibility, reach, accommodation, and increased ROI. According to the Global virtual events market, by 2028, the annual growth of virtual and hybrid events is estimated to be 23.7%, worth USD 504.76 billion. Thus, all sectors must accustom and be prepared to make the most of virtual events in the upcoming years.
Here are some potential challenges that are faced while hosting virtual events and some tips to overcome them to increase productivity:
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLATFORM:
In a virtual event, most of the challenging aspects resolve by choosing your platform wisely. The main criteria to look out for in a virtual event platform are-
- Unified Event Management- It is best to go for a platform that integrates meetings, webinars, and virtual events. One platform looks after all steps involved in event management. Registration, marketing, agenda-setting, tracking audience, data back-up, and everything addressed in one place. For example, a virtual event platform like Accelevents has extensive AI networking features, Vfairs is an exclusively great option for creating an engaging environment.
- Technical expertise- A platform incorporated with in-built software services with advanced and customized features. For example, a matchmaking option for effective collaborations or a virtual booth for a real-time 3D experience. Platforms with user-friendly interfaces may look simple, but they hold an upper hand with increased productivity.
- Responsive and adaptive- We never know with what device the audience chooses to log into the event. Some might use laptops while some people might be comfortable with mobile applications and, some might even log in with a browser. Thus the opted platform should be responsive and adaptive with all features in all devices.
BEWARE OF SECURITY BREACHES:
Prevention is better than cure! Since virtual events could pop up suddenly and unexpectedly as emergency discussions or a meeting, most times, there would not be much time left for prior preparations. Regardless of such circumstances, there would be significant data exchange involved like in any other event. And low security is a gateway for cybercriminals and zoom boomers.
Proper Encryptions: Double-checking the end-to-end encryptions should be an implemented practice for both internal and external events. It is the responsibility of the event organizers to protect and provide a secure place for the participants.
Limited access: In the case of external events, begin with limiting access to set up a safe environment for the attendees. Most online event platforms hand over complete control to the administrators of the event. Keeping the data exchanges within the intended recipients can save any event organizers from the possibility of security breaches.
Virtual Private Network: To have a private, organizational VPN is also an essential precaution for hosting an event. It protects your data with an encryption protocol via a secure tunnel without revealing your IP address. It ensures the prevention of cyber-attacks.
LEAD GENERATION AND RETENTION:
It is hard to miss that the ratio between the number of registrations and the actual attendees often falls short in any event. Thus, it is fruitful to look for quality leads who mutually benefit from the event. Such an audience presents a mindful appearance during the program. Proving quality content and utmost gratification makes the quality leads could pop back to further events. Some metrics to measure the quality of your attendees:
Track your audience- Track back the attentive audience to find the referral point for your events that generate valuable leads. Hold on and promote more on the particular platform for more promising conversions.
Conversion rate- A statistical conversion rate derives from the ratio between the total number of promotions and the number of conversions. But the true meaning of earning an attendee is when they retain back to the upcoming events. Thus attendees retention is a defined measure for acquiring quality leads.
Engagement dashboard or report sheet- One of the advantages of virtual events is easy digital analytics of attendee’s engagement. These reports act as a SWOT- Strength Weakness Opportunities, Threat analysis of framing your content strategy. Many platforms present a visual representation of individual performance. Engagement dashboards help in pinpointing the most interactive element and pain points of the event.
PLANNING AN ENGAGING EVENT:
Capturing the attention and keeping it in check is one of the biggest challenges of a virtual event. Unlike face-face interaction in a room, Virtual events may accommodate several audiences where it is impractical to tail on everyone individually. These modern problems need renewed event strategies.
- Way of presentation- Presentations must be more fun, animated, and attention-grasping. Storytelling and flowing narrative accompanied with relevant video and image illustrations may help the audience focus better on the immersive elements.
- The ambiance- Create a live set-up in a virtual event with visual exhibition booths, a grouping of the audience can establish a sense of unity among them. Bringing them together can improve participation and make it easier for supervision.
- Interactive sessions- Make the engagement a part of your strategic plan. Blend in interactive sessions like Polling, group quiz, survey, and interactional events like Q/A, small talks, discussions, two-way communication, group presentation.
International approach- Structure your lectures without any demographic and geographic segmentation. Teachers may have a habit of teaching to a particular age of students. Organizations may be marketing for targeted local audiences. But in a virtual event, the listeners could be vast, varied, rooting to endless opportunities.
DIFFICULTIES IN REVENUE MANAGEMENT:
It can be tricky to get financial support from your audience and outsource in a complete virtual establishment. Among online events, people naturally prefer to opt for low-cost or free events. But for event organizers, live events and paid entries are some of the primary sources of revenue in the event management system. However, along with the right strategies, virtual events bring various advantages that can improve reach and Return On Investment. This is evident from the statistics- 72% of event managers report going for virtual events even after pandemic accounting for its inexpensive benefits.
- Monetization- Pick a platform with online sponsorship options, ad slots space. Sell tickets with attractive discounts or online incentives – free coupons, giveaways, and promotions. Analytics and unified integrations in the platform for better marketing and networking lead to increased overall ROI.
- Sponsorship- Marketing is the key. The social network is the best platform to reach out to the public. Virtual events can make the most of themselves, provided the content strategies are solid. These strategies can help attract sponsors, to name a few- virtual trade shows, email marketing, sponsored sessions, social media branding, immersive showrooms.
- Selling online tickets- With the needed integrations and portable links, you can make your slots ready for the viewers to book tickets online instantly at any moment. Most of the virtual events platforms integrate with ticketing and payment software or applications. Being tied up with a ticketing platform within your website is a must-have option for organizations hosting events like music concerts, performances, and online classes.
Virtual events play an inseparable role in the future of the education, marketing, and management sectors. The platform for such events acts as a hub for many managerial, networking, data documentation options, and benefits. And a virtual event can be anything like a virtual exhibition, schools and corporate events, webcasts, etc. In addition, Hybrid events are becoming the most popular format for events.
These events are best reached to the global audience regardless of their native language or hearing difficulties with captions. Running captions keep them well informed and engaged. Especially in a live event, Captions act as a survival guide for many audiences who might have difficulties following the speech. It helps non-native listeners to grasp and process the information. Captions bridge the gap between language and knowledge.
CaptioningStar encourages all kinds of events to reach better by providing captions and subtitles with over 99% accuracy, whether the event is live, recorded, virtual, or hybrid. We also put forward translation services, and these transcriptions and subtitles are written manually by experts and native speakers. Click here to check out captioning services and how it processes. Caption your videos in just three steps.