Wondering how to fire up virtual events? You’re not alone everyone hosting virtual events wants in too.
The thing is, people want the live experience in their virtual interactions and rightly so because a purely virtual event could be dead boring.
To fill this need, future events will largely comprise of live and online experiences borrowing from each other to deliver a hybrid.
As a result, we’d like to share our bit on how to fire up virtual events and best practices to help you improve and create lasting impressions.
How to fire up virtual events: Designing the live experience
Event design is the flair with which certain sourced elements, are presented within a setting in answer to a specific goal.
Its experiential element dictates a consideration for how people will perceive and interact with the curated space.
Practical event design underpins everything that will be at the event such as;
- The welcome desk
- Catering/edibles displays
- Scents and tastes
- Environmental sensitivities
Perfect event design gets that people are the heart of any event.
Whether it’s a meeting between two people or a football tournament, the nature of their interaction is what informs the structure and delivery of the entire experience.
How to fire up virtual events: Create a memorable experience
Evidently, the constant in all events (in person or virtual) is that, people are the heart of the experience.
Before settling on a design, vividly describe the kind of experience you want to deliver.
Don’t waste resources on an experience environment that no-one will relate to or that doesn’t tell your story.
Always remember that people crave experiences that give meaning to life. This simple fact should be your core focus on how to improve virtual events.
How to fire up virtual events: Start with the design plan
#1. Develop a design process that leads to the desired outcome
You really can’t afford to be shoddy with a virtual event.
Your event is solely dependent on time, timing, and people coordination. Every second counts.
By all means, have a tight and clear plan particularly, of what happens from start to end of the event.
Another key point is that: A significant part of the virtual experience is based on the type of application you choose and how content is structured.
#2. Optimize the app experience
Don’t settle on an app or platform just because everyone’s using it.
Research it and figure out whether it suits your needs. In a virtual event, the app is your venue. Apply the same tactics as you would when scoping out a live event venue.
Get an app or platform that can be customized, has a digital guide, enables easy networking and boosts engagement. It’s got to deliver multi-layered experiences.
#3. Keep it simple and easy
Don’t complicate the platform or slides. Adapt the program specifically to the virtual audience’s attention span.
Imagine a boat sailing peacefully in the clear blue ocean, pure bliss. Aim for that.
Make it easy to get in, access information, and share feedback.
Above all, keep weaving your audience back to the main screen with push notifications, clear instructions, how-to tips and any detail that’s going to keep them in the zone and engaged.
How to fire up virtual events: Consider virtual event management ideas
#4. Focus on emotions
Focus on meaningful experiences.
- Make it fun – for example, wherever they are get them to take a selfie and post it on the app’s social wall with funny comments or emojis.
- Weave surprise and intrigue into the experience –give out virtual gifts or food vouchers.
- Transform your content –don’t ‘kill’ them with info-heavy slides. In addition, use music, videos or tell stories.
#5. Manage attention from start to end
- Be salient –add a statement backdrop or have a striking presentation. Anything that makes the main screen the center of attraction.
- Use breaks intentionally –tie each break to an incentive or well planned Q&A (you can even run it via Twitter not to jam the platform).
- Avoid content fatigue –don’t overwhelm them with information. Weave fun activities like stretch exercises and games between speakers.
#6. Have a detailed checklist
Once you’ve designed the experience, check on the details.
Your audio-visual partner is one of your valuable players –a good number of #eventprofs have flagged audio as their weakest link.
Equally important, are the copyright laws.
Rehearse like it’s the actual event. Review the plan –what are the value touch points, where are the branding opportunities, has the Q&A been crafted and who’ll follow up on unanswered questions.
Has the virtual MC been trained? Vendor contracts? Recording materials? Check on the details throughout the planning process.
Do you now know how to improve virtual events? It’s obvious you won’t get the best results by doing it on your own.
Get an A-grade team of at least a digital strategist, AV technicians, a technical producer, an event professional, and a virtual MC (moderator).
Remember: An excellent virtual event includes –a structured planning process with a clear outcome, an intuitive app or platform that can be optimized to achieve the desired outcome, simplicity, focus on emotions, attention management and a keen eye for details.
Follow your intuition and don’t be afraid to create your own rules. No-one has the monopoly on what’s right or wrong –as long as it sits well with your desired outcome, pursue it.
We’re event planners in Nairobi ready to help you create meaningful virtual experiences. Reach us on 0721771185 or email; [email protected]