According to Eventbrite, business and professional online events have increased 1,100% in April 2020 compared to last April. However, when it comes to virtual events, they are certainly not created equal. Having just run our own virtual conference, Smarter Working Now, we thought we would share our learnings!
- Do your research: Before you even start planning your own virtual event, take some time to attend some others to get some learnings. Your competitor events are a great place to start so you can figure out what they did well and, crucially, what you can do better!
- Content is key: As with many things, content is king! Think about who you want to attend and what content you can offer that will both entertain and educate them. No one wants to take time out their day to hear the obvious or, worse, have a cheesy selling experience. Make sure that your format is the best for your content, such as presenters, panel, Q&A and/or interviews. Whoever you choose to use, consider how good a speaker they are. Then write a brilliant script!
- Choose the best platform: As tempting as it might be to opt for one of the free video conferencing platforms, take the time to check what’s on the market. Also, bear in mind many of your attendees may attend your event on their phones or tablets, so make sure you have a platform that is optimised for all devices.
- Preparation: Test, test and then test again! You must ensure you and the speakers can seamlessly use the technology. Two dry runs are advisable so you can iron out any niggles and help build some chemistry between the panel.
- Promote it: You can have the best virtual event in the world, but it’s all for nought for no one knows about it or attends it. There are lots of tactics you can use to promote your event, but the best place to start is by writing a blog and then asking everyone in the company to share it on their social channels. If you have some budget available, you can promote it on LinkedIn or take out an advert in your top tier industry magazine.
- Good timekeeping: There’s two pet peeves that everyone shares when it comes to virtual events – when they don’t start on time and when they finish late. Make sure you respect your attendees time by being punctual and not going over time. Good luck!