Turning Plan V Into Reality: Techniques for Enhancing Your Virtual Event
As more organizations are accepting the reality of shuttered in-person events, planners are pivoting their event strategies toward virtual. Every day brings a new webinar and you become more comfortable with new technologies, shorter timeframes, and new ways of doing well, almost everything.
We are seeing meeting professionals start to push the boundaries on creativity and embrace new ideas for delivering value to their audiences. We decided to take advantage of that creativity and bundle it all together for you here! This blog will cover the ways you can enhance your virtual production, polish away the bugs, and delight your audience.
With help from our team who are usually behind the scenes running graphics or organizing the speaker lineup, we’ve compiled a list of tips, tricks, and tools to help you turn your next virtual event into a smashing success.
Keep reading to learn more and see real-life applications.
Before you start your engines, it is important to make sure you know what’s going on and how to work everything. Here are ideas to orient your attendees before the event kicks off!
- Platform Tutorial Video – This video gives you the opportunity to tell the audience what to expect, get them comfortable with the platform and ready to engage. Check out our example here.
- Swag – Attendees can still get their virtual swag on with full-service companies like Alyce that allows attendees to choose their custom keychain, apparel, tech accessory, or more before the event.
- Open House – Invite your registrants to an open house that allows them to explore the platform for themselves before the event kicks off, and gives you the chance to catch any issues before going the big day. Similar to a soft opening, this will help attendees feel comfortable with the technology, build anticipation, and create a great incentive for people to come back the next day! This is also a nice option to include your sponsors – perhaps having one or two sponsor a booth or reception within the open house to get more visibility and set them apart from the rest of your partners on the day-of.
- VIP Reception – Your VIPs can range from C-level to ambassadors and advocates who encouraged other registrants to join. This private reception is a great place to show just how valued these people are to your organization.
Game Time: Content Delivery
Now you can get to the reason you’re doing all this in the first place: quality content! Apart from your featured speakers and a good internet connection, here are a few enhancements to take your production to the next level.
- Real-Time Illustration – Instead of a talking head on a screen, give your attendees something exciting to watch. Remote Notes offers an off-site sketch artist that will make your speakers words and ideas come to life. Learn more here.
- Polished Presentation – Our teachers honed this into our brains during school and adult life is no different. Making your virtual meeting look next level is easily attainable with a graphics package. Learn more about our offerings here.
- Display User Generated Content—Attendees want to feel part of the event instead of simply staring at the screen all day. Engaging with them via your social feeds or creating a news ticker that scrolls throughout with comments or questions is a great way to incorporate attendees. Raising money for a charitable cause? Use a fundraising thermometer to showcase how close you are to the goal.
- Pre-record Content – To truly add some polish to your content delivery, consider pre-recording what doesn’t need to be live. Whether keynote speeches, executive addresses, or lively manel discussions, pre-recording helps you create a lower-risk, higher produced experience – where you can wrap content in branded event graphics, edit out gaffes, cut away to existing slides, or create new visuals altogether!
You and your attendees are having so much fun you want to take it beyond the normal speaker/Q&A session. Below are some fantastic experiential ideas to keep the engagement going!
- Guided Wellness Session – Mental health has taken over the driver’s seat in our new work from home life. Treat your attendees to a 20-minute guided meditation, yoga class, or even a talk from a health, happiness, and wellness expert.
- Create a Photobooth – Socially distancing protocols call for a virtual photobooth. Try The Snapbar which allows for custom branding, stickers, and so much more.
- Game Show – Ever wish you could be a contestant on a game show? Well now you can host one for your attendees! There are many entertainment, trivia, and gameshow hosts that you can bring on to emcee the fun experience – our LAI Speakers colleagues can help recommend the best fit for your event.
- Surprise Guest? – You can actually surprise your audience with an appearance from a farm animal—llamas, pigs, goats. Have a company mascot? Have the animal make your audiences’ day!
After your event, it is important to do follow-up both internally and externally. With your post-team huddle done and dusted, you can delegate important tasks to do analysis of what worked and what didn’t.
- Housing Content in a Microsite – This is important before and during your event, but especially useful to create a space to direct attendees after your event takes place – allowing them to catch up on a session they missed or a blog to learn more. Check out how building a microsite can drastically help you and your attendees.
- Recap Video – Did you have a lot of sessions and are looking to recap them into digestible pieces? Look no further! Discover the ways to clean up your virtual meeting video to create great reusable content.
- Data Analysis – Data is ridiculously important when deciding if a virtual meeting or conference was a success or not. Telling your attendees and your team which sessions were most popular or resulted in the most engagement helps tell your virtual event story. With a solid microsite and reliable data, you can easily re-engage your attendees with the best bits of your conference to create lasting impressions and relationships.
Want to start a conversation about hosting an entertaining and worthwhile online meeting?
We can help you choose your virtual event platform, consult you through the online conference process, mitigate tech risks during your live virtual event, and so much more!
LAI can partner with your team to take your virtual event to the next level! Reach out to our team today to start talking all things virtual event design and online meeting management.