As we switched quickly from physical events to physical distancing, virtual events became an extremely popular alternative as we all tried to maintain our marketing plans as well as the stay/work from home mandates.
While webinars and virtual conferencing have been around for a while, this year more than 93% of event marketers are planning to invest in virtual events moving forward. So as you begin to plan your next virtual event, check out our 4 innovative ways that will help you amplify your next virtual event.
1. Live tweet
Live tweeting your virtual event is a great way to engage your attendees beyond the four walls of your event. Twitter is a place where attendees can “hang” out during and after your event. It provides the perfect way to reach those who couldn’t attend your event live.
We typically start by asking a question, quoting a panelist or giving a play-by-play of the event or session we are hosting. Be sure to use a specific hashtag to help people find and follow the conversation.
2. Involve your audience
It’s easy for attendees of virtual events to become distracted or fatigued as they sit in front of their computer. It’s important to engage your audience using live chat tools, polls, quizzes, etc as a way to keep them attentive, focused and, most importantly, feeling included.
A recent survey showed that 63% of event marketers think that engagement tools will play a key role in their future event strategies. So as you plan your next virtual event, we suggest that you include these popular engagement features into the mix and remind your speakers, moderators and presenters to check in regularly with your attendees as a way to keep the content and sessions as lively as possible.
3. Think beyond the slidedeck
Whether you are going the live stream route, recorded route or hybrid, try your best to amp up your sessions utilizing some creative video tactics. It can become quite repetitive for attendees to be looking at just slides throughout your entire event.
Encourage your speakers to hop on camera and if they are open to it: create a more engaging setting for their session. These are just some of the unique ideas you could suggest:
- Get comfy by sitting sitting on a couch/chair
- Be “profesh” by standing in front of a podium
- Switch it up by sitting in front of an interesting backdrop
Whatever the route you choose to use, we recommend using a high-quality camera and/or microphone that will allow you to create a more professional and engaging experience for your audience.
4. Incorporate networking opportunities
One of the best parts of live events are their networking opportunities or the social receptions. One way to turn up the heat on your virtual event is to include one or two of these elements if you can. According to Event Manager Blog, a successful virtual event “incorporates elements that attendees look for at live events, such as networking opportunities.”
Some of the popular networking opportunities are:
- In-event chat via engagement tools or mobile app
- Unconference session focuses on different topics or networking goals
- Dedicated 1-on-1 or matchmaking sessions
- Virtual social lounges or happy hours
Although it may never be the same as grabbing a coffee or a drink in person, it still gives your attendees what they are craving – the opportunity to connect and meet each other.
Remember crafting a valuable virtual experience for your audience is bound to make you stand out from the many others who didn’t take the time to go beyond the typical virtual event.