Keys To Organize a Successful Online Event
As a result of COVID-19, most face-to-face events were canceled. Since then, many companies have opted to replace face-to-face events with online events. Companies such as Microsoft and Facebook were the first to announce that they would not organize large in-person events until the situation improved. And many more are making plans to transform their conferences, seminars, and congresses into a virtual format.
While in a previous article we told you about the best platforms to create online events, in this one we want to detail the basic aspects to overcome the dreaded question: Where do I start?
Because, even if you are creating an online event, you should not neglect the details. In addition, it is important to organize it well and take into account the following aspects:
- 1 Deciding The Topic of the Session
- 2 What Resources Are Available For The Event?
- 3 Choosing The Best Time for Your Online Event
- 4 Online Event Registration and Promotion Options
- 5 Interaction With Your Audience
- 6 Don’t Forget About The Post-Event
- 7 How to Organize Online Events with Virtual Stage
Deciding The Topic of the Session
Although general interest themes may seem attractive, in many cases there could be part of your audience that will tend to get bored, especially if they are already familiar with the topic or work in that field. Try to have a broad view of what information will be of value to the attendees of your event and what topics they may find interesting.
Nowadays there are a large number of events, but also online resources of all kinds that usually solve the most general questions/doubts. Try to make your event go a step beyond the first layer and offer a deeper insight into the topic it revolves around.
What Resources Are Available For The Event?
To plan online events, you have to take everything into account: employees, volunteers, financial resources, sponsors… The more we can involve, the more we can advance and improve.
Online events allow us to greatly reduce the investment compared to face-to-face events. However, the market is saturated with this type of event, and it will be important to attract the maximum number of attendees. Promote, promote and promote.
Choosing The Best Time for Your Online Event
Before setting a day for your event, it is important to check that it does not coincide with any other event with which you share a theme. There is no point in putting your audience in the position of having to choose between your event or another one. The calendar is extensive, so look for your slot away from similar events that may reduce attendance to yours.
Besides that, it is also important to try to find a schedule that is compatible with the activity of our attendees. Quite a challenge, isn’t it?
It is impossible to say what is the best time for an online event since the very nature of this marks a more or less appropriate time slot. Is it a business event? Leisure? Internal communication? Put yourself in the attendee’s shoes and make things as easy as possible. We don’t say it’s an easy thing to do, but it guarantees success.
Online Event Registration and Promotion Options
Both of these aspects are crucial in order to reach an audience. There are as many ways to promote your event as you have the imagination and the capacity to act. The online environment allows you to bring the event closer to everyone. Literally. Some classic ways to lay the foundation of your promotion are:
- Social Media: Use your corporate profiles and encourage others to share your content. In case you decide to invest in advertising, don’t forget to segment your publications well to achieve even better results.
- Email Marketing: If you have a database, select the most appropriate audience for the event to avoid saturating all your contacts.
- Event Marketing Platforms (Eventbrite, Bright Talk…) Many users find out about events and conferences through these platforms.
- You can also share your events with online communities and different media channels that could be interesting. If it happens to be free you could get a lot of exposure.
Eventbrite-type platforms make it easier to manage user registration, but they have a cost for non-free events.
If you choose to create a registration on your website, keep the following in mind:
- Make sure your registration form is clear and you ask for as little data as possible.
- It’s a good idea to send a confirmation of registration to the attendee and if possible, a calendar link or .idc file. This way, new subscribers will easily be able to schedule the event on their calendars.
Interaction With Your Audience
Engaging attendees is one of the most important points in online events and probably one of the hardest to put into practice. Sometimes, when we are behind a screen many more interruptions arise such as unexpected calls, emails… That is why it is necessary to work on this aspect. Here are some examples:
- Make good use of the chat: This may require one moderator or more, depending on the size of the audience. But you can get valuable feedback and it will enhance the collective experience.
- Ask questions and ask for feedback: Sometimes we can ask the audience to raise their hands, pose live polls like the ones on platforms like Slido and DirectPoll or even ask everyone to say what country/city they are from, or their favorite feature of a product… The important thing is to make us feel part of a real audience.
- Let’s help the speaker: The moderator may be in charge of collecting questions and/or adding some more, to ask them at the end. Or write down on the chat the highlights of the session. And of course, record everything to share it later.
- Leave time for live commenting with the audience: Many participants lose interest if the talks are too long and there’s not enough time for their questions and comments.
- And don’t forget to connect them with your hashtags and social networks, both speakers and company. You can also give them some images or materials that they can post.
Don’t Forget About The Post-Event
Online sessions which make a good impression can be the beginning of much more. Now that you have managed to interest your attendees, we can reinforce their brand recall over time if we do things like:
- Send them a survey and keep in mind aspects to improve on.
- Share the materials used during the session (presentations, notes, some images, links to the recordings). It’s important to do so as soon as possible.
- Thank them by email or social media for their attendance and participation.
- Let them know about upcoming events and encourage them to follow us on networks.
- Use some of their suggestions and questions for posts and blog entries; this way we give more continuity to their concerns.
How to Organize Online Events with Virtual Stage
Azure Kinect and Artificial Intelligence. This combination is behind Virtual Stage, a virtual stage generation technology that Plain Concepts are developing in collaboration with Microsoft.
Virtual Stage is the ideal tool for presenters, speakers, and other active event participants to move to a ‘digital set’ with the same quality as if they were on a physical set. The technology guarantees an immersive experience as audiovisual as that of a conventional television program.
This way, it is possible to save money on travel expenses for speakers or on the construction of scenery. It also guarantees the health of the attendees, speakers, or event staff.
Virtual Stage scenarios are adapted to the brand image of each company and are optimized for different devices (laptop or desktop, tablet, smartphone).
Do you want to organize your online event with Virtual Stage?
You need to put effort, good ideas, and be well-organized to put together an online event that generates results. Now you already know some keys to making them better. The tools are also important and if you have experts, you will be able to solve many doubts and problems that may arise.
At Plain Concepts, we know how to make your event dazzle with all the Virtual Stage options in front of a worldwide audience. Do you want us to accompany you with this technology?