To some, COVID-19 seems in the past, but for many businesses, two years on and they are still gathering speed, getting used to different processes and policies, and readjusting to new communication methods.
One communication method that has risen from this ashes is the remote or virtual event. The world proved that remote connections are productive, effective and convenient. Virtual meetings ruled the corporate world during COVID19 allowing access to global audiences for a fraction of the production price compared to live in-person events and without the need to travel, therefore making them an environmentally friendly option for organisations.
Virtual events are no longer a substitution for anything. In fact, they are the preferred solution for communication with 72% of respondents in a LinkedIn Survey of 200 companies in the UK and Ireland saying they would keep holding virtual events for the long term.
But with every organisation jumping on the virtual event bandwagon, how can you make your event stand out?
Audiences zoning out mentally halfway through is the one thing all brands need to avoid during their virtual events.
Here are our 5 killer ideas to make your virtual event more engaging;
1. Keep production qualities high
High production values, well-designed sets, professionally designed presentations, and professional videos to add in, will all lift the levels of brand perception. Investing in all these elements will help your organisation stand out from the crowd.
2. Break into sessions or keep it short
Just because day-long in-person events are acceptable, it’s not the same for virtual events. You don’t have a captive audience and they are in control of their own engagement – they can leave, without being noticed at any point. Research by Bizzabo found that attendees watched 61% of 60-minute sessions and event planners are always looking for more ways to engage their virtual audiences; multiple sessions or short events are the answer.
3. Deploy session diversity
Many shorter sessions rather than a few long ones is a great way to engage. Bizzabo’s research states the average number of sessions per large virtual event is 20. Session diversity is key so consider using live-streamed keynotes, virtual networking lounges, pre-recorded entertainment segments and branded graphics.
4. Ensure your content is valuable to your audiences
With physical events, there is always a possibility that visitors are coming for the perks of the event – the chance to ‘get away’, the food and drinks, the social side. But now with virtual events, it is all about the content.
Two thirds of EMEA companies surveyed by LinkedIn prioritised content development for their events as a way of winning greater audience share.
5. Avoid technical hitches at all costs
Platform troubleshooting and knowledge of the event’s technology platform are core skills for executing virtual events. Ensure that you have technology experts close to hand, from the conception of ideas, through to testing and execution. Ensure you build a team with the necessary skills and that technology experts are a vital part. 1 in 3 organisations researched in EMEA said they considered themselves beginners or novices in these core skills needed for going virtual, and yet avoiding technical hitches is a vital ingredient for event engagement.
With so much at stake, perhaps working with an events agency is best?
Agencies have the expertise and can help you pre-plan all the technical elements of your event in advance and make sure that you achieve the quality and brand perception that you are looking for.
At Hub, we offer many different services in connection with live events which you can find on our website or contact us to talk about how we can help you achieve extraordinary audience engagement for your event.