Your organization made the quick switch to virtual events a few years back. You may have been too quick to make your digital events a success, and cut corners to make sure guests could attend.
Research has shown that these events will continue to be a problem in the future. The article sums it up well: “Temporary convenience solutions that emerged as pandemic remedies are likely to stay around for the long-term.”
It's worth reviewing the key elements of virtual events to ensure that you are building on a solid foundation. We'll be covering the following aspects of virtual events in this guide:
- Events and Content Sessions
- Exhibitor Experience
- Strategie for Attendee Engagement
We'll be discussing all aspects and then we'll discuss tips and strategies to help you execute that part of your next event. Remember that you can always hire an eLearning consultant who specializes on virtual events to help bring your strategies to life.
Let's get started.
Events and Content Sessions
Your event's content, divided into event sessions, is what makes it unique. Members attend your event primarily to take part in the sessions. They can learn new information and network with other peers through these sessions.
Content is the foundation of any event. It's also the most important factor to consider when planning your virtual event content strategy. These are some of the key aspects to consider when reviewing your virtual event strategy.
- Presentation Format There are many ways you can present content to guests at events. Pre-record speakers and keynote sessions, then broadcast them during the event. You could also broadcast live sessions, where speakers can give their talks to an audience. This is similar to what they would do with an in-person event. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. Pre-recording takes some of the pressure off the event, but it can be more difficult to coordinate speakers with you in advance.
- Event Layout This describes how the content is organized. Traditional layouts would look like a webinar with one speaker and a 2-dimensional PowerPoint. This combination layout could include a webinar-style presentation as well as live panel discussions with multiple panelists. We'll also discuss audience engagement efforts later in this article.
- Content Timing Think about how long the sessions will be and how much time they'll last. The longer sessions of 60 minutes lend themselves to panel discussions or in-depth presentations. You can have 45 minutes worth of content with 15 minutes of Q&A. Shorter sessions of 15 minutes are good for customer stories and entertainment segments. This is an example schedule.
- Ongoing value: Just simply because you are streaming live content doesn't mean it's not valuable in the future. You can record each session and then repurpose it later. It can be shared with event registrants that missed one or more sessions, sold on-demand to members of the organization who were unable, or used as part your content marketing strategy.
The content of your event will determine how you structure it. For events that are centered around keynote speakers or networking opportunities, for instance, you might want to include longer sessions and live interaction.
Your virtual experience software may also limit the content and ways you can share it. Make sure your technology supports the content you wish to share.
Events can generate revenue for your company, but it's not limited to the sale of event tickets. Event exhibitors and sponsors are valuable revenue generators for your organization, so make sure you provide an enjoyable experience for them.
There are two key aspects to consider when designing the sponsorship experience: what types of sponsorship opportunities will you offer and how much you will price them.
Consider the following options when considering sponsorship opportunities:
- Live Chat: Sponsors can set up live chat rooms, or other functionality to allow them to communicate with guests at events who might be interested in their products and services.
- The Virtual Poster Hall involves sponsors creating a “poster” digitally that showcases their branding. Event guests can browse through the posters to find out which companies sponsor the event.
- Meeting Scheduling –Equip sponsors have their own virtual meeting rooms that allow them to schedule meetings with guests interested in their offerings.
- Virtual Booths Sponsors can use a virtual booth to provide information about their product/service via brochures, videos and links to their website.
- Event Marketing You might also consider offering sponsors more traditional media options, such as banners and display ads on your virtual event platform. Sponsors could be allowed to show their logo in pre-event outreach such as email and social media.
Start creating sponsorship packages by choosing the right opportunities that align with your event.
Tiered sponsorship packages can be created. For example, a Gold package may offer the highest or most valuable opportunities. A Silver package offers slightly more opportunities. A Bronze package provides basic sponsorship perks. To increase demand, you can limit the number of tiers that you offer. It will be difficult to highlight the benefits of each tier if every sponsor can purchase the “Gold” package.
Strategie for Attendee Engagement
Your event guests have been attending virtual events almost three years. Virtual events are popular because of their increased accessibility and ease of use. However, many people can lose focus when looking at a computer screen.
For event guests who have lost their focus, it is crucial to develop strategies for attendingee engagement. Strategies such as the following are examples:
- Live Chat – Allow guests to communicate with event organizers and presenters during the event. To be an active participant in any session, guests can submit questions, comments and ideas.
- Question and answer sessions: During sessions, guests have the chance to ask questions and get answers. This encourages guests to listen throughout the event and makes the most of every session.
- Discussion boards: You might consider creating discussion boards that are focused on particular topics or aspects of your event. Sessions can be a great way to network with others who share your interests.
To allow guests to take a break from their computers, you might consider adding short breaks to the event. Event attendees will be more focused if they schedule breaks to take a break.
Although virtual events were first introduced a few years back, it is clear that they will continue to be popular. To ensure that you are able to host this type of event, it is worth reviewing the foundations of your events.
You will be able to address content, event sessions, exhibitor experience, and attendees engagement. This will allow you to cover all the important aspects that make an event a success. You are welcome!
Amber Winter is Director of Sales & Market at Web Courseworks. She is committed to helping association executives realize their potential and transform them into high-performing revenue generators. Talented Learning named Amber one of Madison's 40 Under 40. She was also the number one LMS salesperson.
Marketing Insider Group's first article, Anatomy of a Virtual Event: Key Factors to Take into Account appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.
By: Guest Author
Title: Anatomy of a Virtual Event: Key Factors to Consider
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/anatomy-of-a-virtual-event-key-factors-to-consider/
Published Date: Tue, 03 May 2022 12:30:37 +0000