A compilation of the best ways to execute an effective online event
The time to go virtual is now. Companies are being tasked with learning new ways to engage with their clients. Because of this, businesses have turned their attention to creating successful and engaging virtual experiences. If done correctly, these events can be equally as effective as in-person ones.
But first… Ever sit on a Zoom call that seems never-ending? Virtual events need to empathize with the ebbs and flows of their audience’s attention. In today’s blog, we’ve put together a list of the best tips from online webinar companies such as Webex, Skype, and Zoom for before, during, and after hosting an online event. These tips will help you and your business continue to remain relevant in an ever-changing world. In addition, we will also be discussing the reasons why hosting a virtual event can help increase business and attendee engagement through the acquisition of new audience data.
Before the Event
During the initial planning stage, your first step should be to ask the questions, “what is the purpose of this event and what do we want the outcome to be?” Once you have your goals outlined, it is time to pick the best platform to host your event. Some of Best.Day.Ever.’s favorites include Zoom and Webex, but when you need a full suite of digital event products we lean towards Cvent. And remember to choose the start time for your event carefully, especially when parts of your audience are in different time zones; you do not want to interrupt your target’s workday.
To promote awareness, the next step is to create a landing page or website where you will be publishing your content. It should clearly communicate the selling points of your event such as guest speakers or games and contests. We at Best.Day.Ever. suggest our solution of creating virtual engagements around notable events.
Next up, content creation. Choosing to include guest speakers that align with your audience’s interests allows you to create a networking opportunity for them while earning their favor. Once content is shareable, create a drip campaign across your social media platforms – constantly reminding your audience how to register for your event and what to expect. The National Sports Forum (NSF), implemented a drip campaign that ran before, during, and after their event. This campaign included the use of pre-event tactics – social, landing page, cold outreach are some examples. Our Director of Field Operations, Nik Hellenthal, had the opportunity to attend the event and once it ended, a representative of the event quickly reached out to get his feedback. A post-event survey was also included but adding a personal interaction was the perfect way to keep the line of conversation flowing.
We’re LESS THAN 1 WEEK AWAY from the Virtual Fall Summit! We can’t wait to connect with you for two jam-packed days of networking opportunities, education, and idea-sharing.
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— National Sports Forum (@NatlSportsForum) September 10, 2020
During the Event
Begin setting the tone by welcoming your attendees and creating a relaxed and open atmosphere. Nothing is more awkward than dead air, so be sure to prepare additional content and planned transitions. If you choose to include polls during your event, you can gauge what information interests your audience, while giving them the chance to share their opinions and experiences with the content being discussed. The use of additional interactive tools is optional but can be used to reach another level of engagement with your audience. For example, gamification techniques using contests and quizzes have proven to be a great two-way engagement tactic that simultaneously provides content and collects user data. Zoom provides tools such as the “Wheel of Names” to choose participants to answer questions or win prizes throughout the event, and of course we at Best.Day.Ever. have developed our own proprietary gamification platform that we love to use.
If you’re reading this right now, you know how important it is to keep the attention of your audience. But you might not be aware of how gamification features can help increase awareness of your brand. By implementing these tools, your audience can engage with each other during the event while also getting a chance to win and feel rewarded. These tools can also keep your audience up to date with new and relevant company messaging and releases, and boost awareness of your organization through social sharing and other vehicles. At Best.Day.Ever. we love to reward participation with gifts and prizes because when our audience is happy, we’re happy.
After the Event
Once the live event is over, don’t let your line of communication with your audience break. Create post-event surveys to share with the attendees and capture specific feedback that can optimize your direct relationship and help shape future events. If you chose to record your event, make those recordings available to stream for people who wanted to attend but could not, or attendees who want to relive the experience. If you take photos, capture screen shots, or have other “kodak moments”, add them as a downloadable file to your event’s landing page – and be sure to put them behind a registration wall to further your event’s data capture abilities.
Data & Follow-ups
Another opportunity to prove the success of your event is through analyzing the data collected from the event. By having access to this new data – attendee demographics, email open rates, social media mentions, and new connections, your business can leverage those insights to direct leads into new sales. B2B data on sales success, deals closed, and pipeline movement also lends itself to meaningful reporting. Software companies like Tableau help businesses use the data acquired from each event by comparing it to your organization’s KPIs.
At Best.Day.Ever. we love making things personal through prize giveaways. Take into account what your guests would have received at an in-person event and try to come up with virtual gifts with the same value that demonstrate your appreciation for their business.
Engagement has proven to be the biggest obstacle when planning a successful virtual event. By keeping your audience at the forefront of your decisions, your business can continue to engage with your clients through the production of key content. At Best.Day.Ever. we strive to keep connecting with our audience through our weekly blogs and new virtual solution activations. For more information on how Best.Day.Ever. can help your business stay connected and relevant, click the button below.