Over a year into the global pandemic, and the future is still quite uncertain for business owners that were planning on hosting in-person workshops, seminars, and conferences.
For those who aren’t familiar with the tech industry, making the switch to virtual events can be incredibly difficult to navigate.
Fortunately, with these 5 tips, hosting virtual events is a breeze:
1. Take it one quarter at a time
Because the COVID-19 situation is constantly changing, you’ll need to plan your events one quarter at a time. Think about it: one month into Q2, and it’s already different from Q1. By Q3, who knows where we’ll be?
When debating whether or not to make the switch to a virtual event, consider the following:
- Making your decision at least a few months in advance. Two to three weeks isn’t enough time to successfully make the digital switch, and vice versa–you’ll need quite a bit of time to prepare for an in-person event, especially with all the added safety measures you’ll need to implement.
- Pushing the event back another year if you absolutely cannot make it virtual.
- Consolidating a few of your smaller events into one big, virtual extravaganza to save you the hassle of planning these events among so much uncertainty.
2. Promote twice as hard
There’s a reason students are slacking in their online classes–they’re easy to put off. The same applies to online events, and there are so many available right now that you’ll need to promote twice as hard as you would an in-person event.
Think about where your audience spends most of their time. Is it on Facebook or LinkedIn? Maybe Instagram? Meet them wherever they congregate with social media ads that grab their attention. Make yourself stand out from the countless other virtual events happening right now, and explicitly explain how yours will benefit the attendees.
3. Put in just as much effort as you would an in-person event
Preparing a virtual event requires just as much care and attention to detail as an in-person event. Take your audience and their pain points and craft your event into their unique solution. It’s critical that you present a one-of-a-kind experience that they can’t find at any other online workshop.
4. Retain your audience’s attention with the proper structure
Due to the many distractions that occur when working from home, retaining the attention of a virtual audience can be extremely difficult. Because of this, it’s critical that your presentation is easily digestible.
Educational topics should be broken up into small videos that can be watched at the viewer’s own pace, and big-picture subjects should be presented like a thought-provoking and captivating TED Talk.
5. Create a “shopping” list
Just like you would for an in-person event, you’ll need to create a punchlist of items you need to host the event.
For example, will you need a third-party platform? If yes, generate a list of the best third-party options on the market and compare their features. Consider whether you’ll need customer support, social media integration, analytics, embedding capabilities, or other attributes.
If you need a studio to record in, this should be added to your list as well. Same with a professional production or video team. You’ll also need to take note of any equipment you may need, such as microphones, headphones, and cameras.
It’s important to note that virtual events will have very different success benchmarks than in-person ones. After your virtual event, send out a survey asking for feedback to enhance your next virtual presentation. In combination with these surveys, you can use the number of content downloads and social media shares to gage your success as well.
Unfortunately, no one can say for certain when this pandemic will end, and we’ll likely have to stick to hosting virtual events for quite some time. At Bizzuka, we’re here to help you make your digital transformation as seamless as possible. Check out our blog for more tips on keeping your business afloat during COVID-19.