24 Jul Top five tips for hosting a virtual event
One of the big lockdown success stories has been the popularity of virtual events. Businesses have used these as a tool to drive customer engagement, stay in touch with industry colleagues and generate new leads and partnerships.
If the thought of organising and hosting a virtual event is a daunting prospect, we have compiled our top five tips and tools to help make a virtual event a success:
- Research a suitable platform
There are plenty of platforms to choose from, so ensure you are picking one which best meets your needs. As yourself, does the platform support the amount of people you are inviting? Does the platform provide accessibility features such as subtitles and virtual hand raising? Take your time and choose wisely.
- Set sensible timelines
Regardless of the type of event you are hosting, setting a realistic timeline will help ensure you maximise your chances of success. By creating a roadmap and breaking down the activity, you are allowing yourself the requisite time to strategize, test the technology, and warm up your potential audience.
In doing so you can deliver an effective marketing plan by harnessing all the tools (free and paid) available to you, including web content, e-marketing and social media.
- Get social
While socialising in person may still be limited, social media remains a wonderful tool to help your brand flourish online. When it comes to your virtual event, it is important you harness your social platforms to share and engage with content as much as possible. If your social channels need a little TLC, spend time cultivating your audience. Social advertising is a straightforward and cost-effective way of targeting new audiences if your event has a niche focus.
- Engage, engage, engage
When event day comes, the one thing many brands forget to do is engage with your participants – above and beyond the standard sales pitch. Your chosen platform will likely have a live chat option where you can talk to people either privately or in the group in real-time. Adding polls or surveys to your event is a very useful tool for gathering insights and opening debates. Recording your virtual event and making it available to attendees afterwards is also a powerful way of keeping those conversations going offline and encouraging them to share it with their contacts too.
- Content is key
Regardless of the type of event you are hosting, content plays a huge role – especially if you are hoping to generate business leads. This content can come in various forms – from documents and presentations to videos and infographics. Make your content engaging, clear and concise – and make sure your brand identity comes shining through!
One of our clients, RedCabin, specialises in events in the aviation and automotive industries. The company has significantly grown its audience in recent years thanks to its business model of hosting global summits to debate and tackle the biggest challenges facing those industries today. When the Covid-19 outbreak struck and borders were closed, summits had to be postponed.
By adopting the approach above, the company has run a successful webinar series attended by thousands of people. There has been a growth in attendees, social media following and positive PR coverage as a result – not to mention fantastic progress in forming industry working groups and generating new revenue streams from sponsorships.
More people engage with its programme now than before the pandemic, and more industry journalists are keen to receive updates on the company’s work. And all this was achieved with a straightforward strategy and willingness to pivot quickly.
If you are looking to run your own virtual events and want to explore some ideas, feel free to get in touch!