A virtual event is an event held online where the audience “attends” remotely.
Virtual events will never replace in-person events… but can be utilized as a beneficial complement within a 365-day event portfolio. They can also be used as a replacement if unforeseen circumstances prohibit your in-person event from occurring.
Both virtual events and in-person events come with their own benefits and challenges, and should be used appropriate to the strategy, goals, and objectives set forth by the organizer.
With that being said, here are 5 tips to ensure a successful virtual event:
- You must start with figuring out the “why” and the “who.” Then you can start thinking about “what” to give your audience based on their personality, their needs, their learning styles, their attention spans, their technology aptitude, and so much more.
- Any event requires a combination of content + engagement. The content gets people in the door… the engagement keeps them there and makes them want to come back for more.
- Engagement is what turns your virtual audience from passive viewers into active participants. So be sure to keep your virtual audience top of mind throughout the entire decision-making process.
- Ensure that all of your vendors understand your vision and have the same commitment to quality as you to allow for a seamless experience for your virtual audience.
- The platform, the technology, the buttons are all tools. Tools are not engaging. People are engaging. Make sure that there are hosts and moderators to be the conduit for the virtual audience to provide them a warm and welcoming experience.
The largest barrier to virtual events is a lack of understanding of how to plan, design, and execute them in a manner that creates an engaging experience for the virtual audience. Whether an event occurs in a physical space or online…it is still an EVENT and needs to be treated as such!
Article Written by Emilie Barta, Emilie Barta Presentations