Now more than ever, event companies are turning to online platforms to host gatherings without us having to leave the comfort of our own home. Although virtual events are a relatively new concept, there are a whole host of benefits for hosts and guests alike, growing their popularity and giving us a glimpse into the future of events. From online weddings for guests who are unable to attend to work conferences for the global team, hosting a successful online event can have a great positive impact. Here are some of our top tops when you are considering hosting an online event:
Timing is key
When it comes to hosting virtual events, it’s important to remember that the style of these differ to what you would expect in person. Although a live event can last for hours, the lack of mingling and atmosphere mean that this should not apply for online events as people can start to disconnect with what is happening on the screen after a while. It is recommended to keep the event as concise as possible and make an effort to engage with the virtual audience as any breaks or long speeches can lead people to leave the virtual event. Also consider the time of day; events running into the night are also not the same when held virtually and could be more successful if held in the afternoon and evening. If your event is reaching a global audience, do not forget to consider the local time zones as well; nobody wants to be logging in at 6am!
What makes you different?
With such an array of things to do online, separating yourself from the crowd is essential. Establish what the key selling points of your virtual event are and make sure to shout about them, encouraging people who come across it to sign up and attend. Your online space is your own to do what you please with, portraying your brand personality and interacting with likeminded people to create an online community to be proud of.
Build a community
With the nature of online events meaning attendees are joining from their home, it can be hard to make everyone feel like a part of the community. Thinking of creating ways to interact with the audience can make a huge difference, keeping them engaged and hearing what everyone has to say. Whether you create a virtual game or poll, react to a live Q&A chat or invite audience members to speak during the event, getting attendees involved in the event can make the difference between a success and a drop in viewing numbers.
Prepare for any mishaps
We’ve all been there; losing internet connection on an important conference call or listening to two people speak over the top of each other off the back of a slight delay. With the nature of technology being bound to lead to some slight mishaps, prepare for how you will respond in the event of these common issues. Any speakers should have a brief to establish who is talking about what topic and to make the conversation flow a bit more naturally within a timeframe, sticking to an agenda to ensure everything stays on track.