Event planning comes down to the fundamentals. All events, in-person or virtual, are likely already part of your integrated marketing mix. Are you thinking about your in-person and virtual events holistically? Think about it. Your customers and prospects will attend both your in-person events and your virtual ones. They all work together with the rest of your marketing mix to reach and engage your audiences and give you the full picture of interest. So virtual events shouldn’t be siloed away from the rest of your events. They need to be integrated into your meetings and events program.
Event Planning Fundamentals
- Virtual events, like in-person events, need good marketing. Without targeted, effective promotion, attendance suffers.
- Content is king. In a virtual setting, your content is your event. Powerful keynotes and engaging sessions tailored to your attendees are critical.
- Alone doesn’t have to mean lonely. Keep virtual attendees engaged. Offer options that are relevant to each attendee type and utilize online event guides for virtual events.
- Data is the only way to prove event success. Measuring engagement and capturing attendee data are the only way to prove event ROI and activate the buyer’s journey.
Virtual events have limitations that in-person events don’t. Where in-person events can draw attendees with a unique destination and the promise of networking, virtual events must rely on content. Marketers and planners need to market content to the segments that get the best response. And, for virtual events, planners must decide how to provide content. At in-person events, breakout sessions and multiple content options are held at the same time. Are you planning a virtual event that also needs to offer multiple content options simultaneously or are you offering multiple single content experience? It’s a decision that has to be made. Not only that, engaging attendees through virtual meetings is more difficult and requires creativity and event technology like Movazi event (link this to our website please) to make an impact.
Another reality is that, with virtual events, face-to-face engagement suffers. There’s no way around it. Attendee to attendee networking is not as viable and sales meetings have to happen after the fact, using data gathered virtually rather than leads gathered onsite. If you are taking your conference virtual, can you still create that 1:1 meetings? Yes, with Movazi events you can use the Movazi lounges and virtual booths features for the sales rep to connect, sale, set appointments with leads to further their engagement. After the event, post-event follow-up needs to happen more quickly. Data is critical and follow-up has to be fast and on-point. There are ways to make virtual events successful, but it takes careful planning, great data, and agility.
VIRTUAL EVENT ELEMENTS
A virtual event is built around content, attendee engagement, and data. While virtual events don’t require F&B, they are made of many of the same elements as any other kind of event. Video production quality and connectivity will be important, as well as an event platform that houses the agenda and content like Movazi Events (Link to demo here please). According to Forbes, a virtual event should contain a mix of live and pre-recorded content. Here are the elements that make up a virtual event:
- Event website
- Event registration
- Live presentation content
- Live, audio/video communication
- Question and answer
- Live polling
- Note taking/favorite slides
- Recorded content
- Interactive video conferencing
- Feedback surveys
Virtual Event Ideas
There are a million different types of virtual events. Whether you’re throwing a virtual conference, a virtual meeting, or a virtual event, there is so much that can be done using Movazi Events platform. But when it comes to virtual event ideas, sometimes waiting for inspiration to strike is a challenge. From adding in some fun to your virtual event with digital cooking lessons, a mixologist class, a dance party, or a comedy show, to engaging attendees more with live polling, breakout sessions, or a mobile event app, the options are endless.
Virtual events rely on technology. Attendance wouldn’t be possible without the use of computers and mobile devices. But there’s more to virtual event technology than video conferencing tools. Just like an in-person event, virtual events benefit from the use of an entire event technology platform such as Movazi events. That helps you promote, execute and manage your event. Below are the most important pieces of event tech to use when executing your virtual event.
- Event Website
Your event website is used for event promotion. It serves the same purpose, regardless of whether the event is virtual or in-person. Your event website is your key promotional tool to interest potential attendees and entice them to register for the event. Your event website should communicate the value of your virtual event, contain the event schedule, showcase speakers, include FAQs, and point potential attendees to registration.
Registration is your first tool for data collection and critical to your event. Registration tools allow attendees to register for virtual events, submit preferences and personal information, and provide payment if required. A robust online registration tool allows attendees to register easily and provides planners and marketers with the data they need to plan a great event and prove event success.
Email marketing can drive demand for an event and increase registrations, keep attendees informed before the event and be used to engage attendees leading up to your virtual event, and finally through feedback surveys. Email is the best way to communicate with attendees at all stages of the event. Use an email marketing tool that can deliver branded, personalized emails, automate when emails are sent and to whom based on attendee data, and provide open rates and click-through metrics.
- Movazi Event platform & Mobile Event App
One of the most important pieces of event technology for virtual events, the event guidelines and mobile event app (for big hybrid events) are home base for attendees during the event. These tools work on mobile devices and web browsers and are the main information hub for attendees. Agendas with links to sessions puts content at attendee’s fingertips. This is where attendees pick and choose what sessions to add to their agenda and where planners gather data on session popularity and attendee engagement. These tools also connect attendees and provide messaging tools that allow attendees to network and foster connections virtually.
- Event Feedback
Event feedback is crucial for virtual events when planners don’t have the ability to gauge reactions by the expressions or verbal feedback from attendees onsite. Use event feedback tools to collect feedback using post-event surveys that can be used to prove event success. Additionally, event feedback can be used as a tool to qualify virtual leads and drive them to sales.
Integrations ensure that vital registration and attendee data is shared between your event technology system and your virtual event platform. It also enables this data to be shared with you marketing automation, and CRM systems. Use integration tools to keep your attendee data in one place to allow you to jump on leads more quickly and analyze key insights from events such as session attendance and engagement.