Virtual events are here for the foreseeable future. Over the past year, we’ve seen everything from virtual award shows and concerts to online festivals and fundraising events. For those within the event industry, transitioning from in-person to online events have posed some new challenges. Event producers have been forced to rethink how they plan, produce, and execute live events.
Now that we’re past the transition phase, we can reflect on what we’ve learned. Let’s take a closer look at some key lessons that will enhance your next virtual event.
Little things go a long way.
When planning an online event, pay extra attention to production value. A sub-par online experience can leave your attendees with a bad taste. Make sure speakers have proper mics, lighting, and camera setups. Clients like to be reassured there is minimal room for error and will notice how much attention event managers place on production value.
Equally important is choosing the right platform to host your virtual event. You want to make sure your attendees have an easy way to access your content. Be sure to select a platform that maximizes engagement.
Over the past several months, audience expectations have continued to rise. When planning a virtual event, don’t think, “how can we create a good online event?” but rather, “how can we replicate the quality experience attendees have come to expect?”
Audiences have short attention spans.
Zoom fatigue is real. Many attendees list learning as a primary reason for participating in a virtual event, but they prefer short event days and session times. Although content is king, too much information may be overwhelming and not retained. We remind our clients regularly that it’s not just about getting information out but also creating experiences that entertain. Include elements of surprise that will be remembered for the long term!
Create different paths to connect.
It can be challenging to foster connections and encourage networking when producing a virtual event. It’s essential to find ways for your attendees to connect one-on-one. This can be done through chat functions during virtual sessions, social media integrations, expert-led discussion groups, direct one-on-one video chats, or sponsored coffee breaks.
BMG can help you design an event format that engages your audience.
Mic check… 1, 2, 1, 2
Virtual events still require careful preparation and planning. When prepping for a virtual event, it’s crucial to allow adequate time for rehearsals and technical run-throughs. Make sure to test all technical components with your contributors and rehearse the content itself. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different marketing messages, session lengths, and formats. Also, track engagement throughout your virtual event to highlight trending topics.
If you need helping planning your next virtual event, contact our event management team today. We’re happy to help.