The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Events
Virtual events are live concerts, global conferences, product launches, education & job fairs, trade shows & property expos, etc. that can be hosted conveniently from your own spaces & devices. All that is essential to join an online virtual event is a good network bandwidth capacity &a compatible device.
Virtual Event Models:
Virtual events can be categorized based on the speakers, event timings, time span, frequency, and target audiences. There is a myriad of diverse virtual event forms online. All of them cover a broader space & deliver different results as per their capacity.
Online webinars are 45 to 80-minute sessions where attendees join to listen to speakers’ content. Most of the webinars are free. But certain privileged webinars come with a price. They are custom-designed with videoconferencing software where speakers can hold Q&A sessions, run polls, make presentations, and share pre-recorded content after the event. These are the spaces that noted 100% attendance virtually.
2. Virtual Conferences:
Virtual conferences are intricate, live programs. Often, they include breakout sessions, summits, keynote presentations etc. They enable attendees to view real-time keynotes, interact with fellow participants & sponsors, view content, and create important lists.
3. Hybrid Events (Internal):
Hybrid events can be department gatherings, education sessions, company events, business launches, town halls, etc. For giant organizations whose employees work across the globe, hybrid events are the best means to bring them all together onto one space.
4. Hybrid Events (External):
External hybrid events are for people outside your company & they can be conferences, business meetings, live concerts etc. The video quality of external events is kept high to deliver an extraordinary experience to the attendees.
Benefits of Virtual Events:
Virtual events can help your organizations create a message of lifetime value, generate trust, accelerate adoption, raise profits & gain leads. Event planners often host hybrid or virtual events. But, like every event, they too have their advantages and disadvantages. If you want to know how going virtual can be beneficial for you, focus on the bright aspects and tune into the benefits. You will have your answer. Virtual events are accessible, budget-friendly and involve zero travel.
The 7 Virtual Event Concerns:
Make sure to have enough space for on-camera activity, equipment, crew and expertise.
Windows, natural lighting and timing can affect the space. Further, learning about the type of lighting needed to brighten up your space, talents and scenic elements is also important.
Your ambience must be quiet, cosy and bright. Check with items around that needs to be turned off before the event.
- Internet Bandwidth:
A 10Mbps bandwidth of both upload/download speed is enough for 1 HD video stream. If your experts and teams would be using the same network, count that in.
Along with space capacity, identifying the technical needs & types of equipment is also important.
- Overall Appearance:
Check with the background, does it have a good visual backdrop or you need to add some extra elements to elevate your space?
- Program Duration:
Event duration gives some good idea into the expected reach, which further helps you in finalising the best platform.
The Basics of Event Planning:
Every element in an event is a phase of an overall marketing strategy. Your customers can attend both virtual and in-person events. The main agenda behind hosting a virtual event is global outreach & engagement. Hence virtuality is the key to your events and meeting sessions.
- Far-reaching marketing is expected for virtual events. With no target promotion, your events will suffer.
- Content is king in virtual events. Robust & engaging sessions & keynote presentations are crucial.
- Data acquisition is highly essential to determine your event’s success and generate good ROI.
The Elements of Virtual Events:
Virtual reality events are all about data, content & engagement. With technology, most of the real elements can be replicated to virtual. Internet bandwidth capacity, video quality & websites also play a key role here. Virtual events basically involve
- Live content
- Keynotes & slides
- Recorded content
- Interactive video conferences
Virtual Events Technology:
Technology is crucial when it comes to virtual events. Networks, systems and devices are also important. But event technology requires more extra conferencing tools.Here are some vital event technology elements that can help you plan your next virtual event better.
Website is essential for event promotion, be it real or virtual. It makes your attendees visit, explore and register for your event. Your web page always must host your event info like schedule, presentations, FAQ’s etc and also must have elements that can drive your attendees to registration.
Registration enables sponsors, exhibitors & owners to gather some crucial attendee data. Attendees can share their preferences, enter personal details, and make payments online. The crucial data collected helps planners & marketers use the information to organise a strong event.
- Email Marketing:
Email marketing helps exhibitors note a surge in registrations and sales. While attendees can stay informed about your event, exhibitors can connect, update and interact with their potential audiences about their events. You can also share feedback forms to gather responses. It is considered as the most optimal approach to engage with your attendees.
- Virtual Events Model & Mobile Event Apps:
Event guides and apps are the foundations for virtual events. Mobile apps for events are essential & can work on all sorts of web browsers and mobile devices. For attendees, these are the central data centres. Events with links allow attendees to choose their sessions, collect data and connect with other fellow attendees.
Inputs define the feedbacks for virtual reality events. Event tools enable polling & surveys which help in gathering audience feedback. Further, these inputs can help identify and filter potential leads and drive good sales.
Data sharing becomes easy with integrations. Technology facilitates the connection between CRM systems and marketing automation. The tools keep data safe, help to answer your leads, & evaluate audience engagement insights.
Virtual Events Hosting:
Virtual event hosting is quite similar to hosting any other event. All you need to do is put your attendee’s perspective first. Your audiences will not want to sit for long hours to participate in your event. Optimizing your event using tips and tricks is necessary. They can be different to experience, but the feel needs to be real.
Here are some questions you can ask your event planner or service provider.
- How will the content support your event? Will it be live or on-demand or hybrid?
- Do you provide a guide to learn how to join a keynote session & manage messenger?
- Is the event free or charged?
- What are the event’s KPIs?
- How can you handle technical & networking issues?
- How lengthy is every session?
- What are the available tools for networking & scheduling appointments?
- Attendee Training:
Not everyone needs to be tech-savvy, and especially you can’t expect this from your attendees. Every virtual event is unique, and so are their technicalities and operability. A guide is mandatory for attendees to understand the concept of your virtual event, how the platform works & how to participate in the event? The messenger must be active for attendees to chat and share any data before the event. This will make them stress-free and clarifies their doubts. Attendee training ensures they enjoy the best overall experience.
- Attendee Engagement:
Engagement is key for any event. And for virtual events, it is even more. Though the approach for engagement varies for virtual events, the agenda remains the same. Keynotes, webinars, surveys, Q&A sessions, breakout rooms, etc, are a few engagement strategies to adopt. There are numerous engagement tools available. Mobile apps enable chatting and virtual interaction between attendees.
Social media is well-known to keep the engagement going on. Event planners often request their attendees to share pictures with customized hashtags to get noticed. Sharing with known communities creates the best engagement.
Mobile event apps accessed online through a web browser or smartphone can cover a huge mass of audience to get together, chat and network. Audience can book appointments, chat with sponsors, and do much more through the apps.
Registration data helps to categorize attendees that share similar interests. You can also explain to them about the rules and how to set up the chat tool? Networking happens best through chat groups, appointments, and video calls.