Get the most out of your online event!
As we mentioned in the previous article about online events, as a result of COVID-19, most of the face-to-face events have been cancelled. Since then, many companies have chosen to adapt to the new situation we are experiencing and replace the face-to-face events with online events. Companies such as Microsoft and Facebook were the first to announce that they would not organize major on-site events until at least the summer of 2021. And many more are making plans to transform their conferences, seminars and congresses into a virtual format.
If you have decided to organize an online event, you are probably asking yourself: How do I get started?
That’s why, in this article, we invite you to learn the keys to this new format, and of course, to discover how you can get the most out of your online events.
Even if it is an online event, you should not neglect the details, and it is also important to be well organized and take into account the following aspects:
- Are these specific topics, or are they too general?
Although general interest topics may seem appealing, in many cases there will be part of your audience that will tend to get bored, especially if they already know or work with these topics. Try to take a broad view of what information will be valuable to those attending your event and what topics they may find interesting.
- What resources do we have for the event?
Everything has to be taken into account: employees, volunteers, economic means, sponsorships… The more we can involve, the more we can move forward and improve.
- How do I choose the date and time?
Before setting a day for your event, it is important to check that it does not coincide with any other social or technological event with which we can hardly compete in terms of attention.
One of the main advantages of online events is that they can be accessed from all over the world and at any time, so it is important not to limit that accessibility and try to find a schedule that is compatible with the activity of our attendees… Quite a challenge, isn’t it?
Promotion and registration
Both phases are crucial for getting an audience.
Promote your digital event
- Social Networks: Use your corporate profiles and encourage others to share your posts. In the case of investing in advertising, it is necessary to segment your publications well to achieve even better results.
- Mailings: If you have a database, select the most suitable audience for the event and avoid saturating all your contacts.
- Event promotion platforms (Eventbrite, Bright Talk…): Many users find out about new talks and conferences through this type of platform.
- You can also share your event with online communities and media that may be interested. Also, if it is free, it may be given quite a lot of publicity.
Platforms like Eventbrite make it easier to manage user registration but have a cost for events that are not free.
If you choose to create a registration on your website, please consider the following:
- Use a clear form and ask for as little information as possible at the beginning.
- It is good to send confirmation to the user and, if possible, a calendar link or a .ics file. This way, new subscribers will easily be able to set up an alert on their phones.
Interaction with your audience
The fact that the attendees participate is one of the most important points in online events and probably one of the most difficult for us to put into practice. Sometimes, when we are behind a screen, we get many more interruptions: unexpected calls, emails… This is why this taking care of this aspect is very important.
Here are some examples:
- Be sure to put the chat to good use. This may require having one moderator or even more, depending on the size of the audience. But you can get valuable feedback and it will improve the collective experience.
- Ask questions and get feedback. Sometimes you can ask for a show of hands, or ask for live surveys such as those on platforms like Slido or 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 yourself feel part of a real audience.
- Let us help the speaker. The moderator may be able to collect questions and/or add a few more, to be asked at the end. Or write down the most useful ideas. And of course, record everything so that it can be shared later.
- It is important to allow time to chat with the audience. Many participants lose interest if the talks are too long, and without enough room for their questions and comments.
- And let’s not forget to connect them with our hashtags and social networks, both for speakers and companies. Even give them some images or materials that they can post or adapt, if possible.
Don’t forget the post-event
Online sessions that leave a good feeling can be the beginning of much more. Now that you have managed to interest your attendees, we can reinforce their brand recall over time by doing things like:
- Send them a survey and consider what you need to improve.
- Send the materials that were used in the event (presentations, notes, some images, links to the recordings), it is important to do it as soon as possible.
- Thank them by email or networks for their assistance and participation.
- Inform them of upcoming events and encourage them to follow you on social media.
- Use some of their suggestions and questions for posts and blog entries, so we can give more continuity to their concerns.
It is important to put effort, good ideas and a lot of organization into making sure that an online event generate results. But now you know many of the keys to making them work better. The tools are also important and if you have experts, you will be able to solve many doubts and problems that arise.