July 10, 2019
Start by sitting down and planning your content. A virtual event should be a mix of live and recorded information. Anything that’s live should be taped for those who can’t attend at that moment. You have a world of people in different time zones and working different shifts. Make your virtual event accessible to everyone.
There are four cores that go into a virtual event. If you’re not focusing on these four areas, you could be missing out. These are the core areas you must consider.
For a virtual event to be effective, people need to be able to navigate it easily and thoroughly. If there are any missing links, broken links, or confusing instructions, they’ll give up or become frustrated. That frustration can negatively impact how people feel about your brand and cause a disconnect that drives business away.
Try to offer a range of events and in-app activities to allow the audience to pick and choose what they want to do. If they’re able to navigate their path, they’ll be more likely to stick around.
A full list of the presenters, speakers, and video demonstrations or guides needs to be prominently displayed. If there’s a fee to attend anything, that must be made clear. You don’t want any surprises to drive people away or lead to negative publicity.
Start with an event website and registration page. Make it clear in the navigation menu what is live, what is recorded, and if there are any polls, Q&As where people can send in questions to be answered, surveys, or interactive video conferencing.
How do people sign up? Have you considered email or social media invitations sent out weeks before and follow that with a reminder that’s sent a few days before the event.
When you’re putting in links or buttons to lead to those different areas, consider colors, text size, and positioning. If you have people who are colorblind, they may not see greens or reds. Someone with vision impairment may not be able to read the tiny print. Have you thought about making the menu available in multiple languages? Is there captioning for someone who is hearing impaired?
These are all areas to consider as you build the navigation menu and move into the content. You have to consider all of your potential audience or you could end up unintentionally alienating some of your biggest fans.
Once you have the navigation set, you need to start working on the video content. The recorded video may be easier to manage than live content. But, it still has to be engaging. You can’t just have someone reading a script. That person needs to take the written script and speak and use a stage, room, or desk area in ways that hold attention. The script has to deliver a strong, memorable message that’s positive and intrigues the audience. You want to get them talking.
Consider the “what ifs.” If a microphone stops working in mid-presentation, what’s your backup plan? If the video feed cuts out, how quickly will you get it back up and running? If it takes too long, people are going to move on. You need to work with an expert in live video. Systems get tested, re-tested, and alternate plans are created just in case something does go wrong.
Before you go live, do a full trial run. Navigate the website and social media channels, test the video cameras and microphones, and check that chat rooms are operating correctly. Do this close enough to the event that you know things are ready to go, but don’t do it so close that you’ve left no time for corrections.
Consumers, influencers, and potential clients want to interact with your brand. A virtual event is one thing, but by making it interactive, you open the door to engagement. If they can interact with you in real-time, they’re able to get answers to immediate questions without waiting hours, days, or even weeks. Worse, there are companies that miss out and never respond at all.
If you have a live keynote speaker, make it interactive by adding live polls during the speech. You could also incorporate a live Q&A session for all or part of the presentation. Chat rooms where consumers can go to talk amongst each other and get answers from knowledgeable staff are beneficial.
Consider a smaller, more intimate talk where only a handful of participants can listen to and interact with the speaker. You could charge a fee for one-on-one sessions with the keynote speaker.
How do you decide the best ways to interact with your consumers and audience? What would you most want? Put yourself in their shoes. If you were them and interacting with a favorite brand or a brand you’ve just discovered, how would you want to engage with them? Go on social media and ask for their input when you’re first making plans for your virtual event.
The ultimate goal of any virtual event is to share the word of your brand and drive people to your website, product, or service. Social media is a great way to spread the word and get people talking. Use it to invite people to your virtual event. Encourage attendees to share their thoughts, questions, or comments.
Giveaways or scavenger hunts on social media are incredibly engaging. You could have your audience looking for specific posts for clues in order to win a giveaway or get a discount code for their first or next purchase.
What social media platforms are the most popular? The list changes each year, but these are the four most popular based on monthly active users so far in 2022.
- Facebook (2.91 million)
- YouTube (2.562 million)
- Instagram (1.478 million)
- TikTok (1 million)
How busy is your marketing team? A small business may not have the manpower to maintain multiple social media accounts. Hiring an expert in social media marketing can be helpful. Even if you have the staff available, do they know the ins and outs of these platforms? Having a personal account isn’t the same as running a business account, and you need to be able to network and share your brand’s message without accidentally offending another culture, race, or religion.
Another part of social media marketing is being available to respond quickly. You’re going to get trolls. Avoiding confrontation and deleting and banning them as quickly as possible can be a time-consuming duty. Having a dedicated team for socialization and networking makes a big difference.
After a virtual event, you should send out a feedback survey to those who attended. See what worked well and where there’s room for improvement. A personalized email goes a long way to solidifying the memorable experience consumers want.
Factory 360 uses these four cores to deliver virtual events that exceed your expectations. Talk to us about your goals and let us show you how to get your consumers’ attention at an event that gets and keeps them talking. Reach us online or by phone.