We have already entered the digital world and are continually exploring what is new. It is exciting to think about the era that we are in right now. By harnessing all these powerful tools such as social media, digital marketing, online events, artificial intelligence, UI, the Internet of things, we can create experiences that will bewilder the audience every single time. There is no end to how we can achieve by harnessing these available tools.
One of the advantages that these tools have given us is how it is helping us shape the entire events industry from now on. Now, as long as we have technology and event management industry within the same space, there is no end to what the industry can make happen from now on.
Changes have already begun to happen. It is now more crucial than ever that people adapt to the pace at which the changes take place and one step ahead.
What is a virtual event?
A virtual event is an event that is held online using streaming platforms or social media platforms or both. Regardless of where they are and which country they may belong to, any person can participate in a virtual event. The two most essential things to be a part of a virtual event are, of course, good connectivity and a laptop or a desktop.
Virtual events have led to a decrease in the cost of travel and lodging. People cautious about their carbon footprint do not have to step out of their house to attend a virtual event. The best part about this is that you can hear a virtual event from anywhere! Even from a coffee shop! The cost involved in hosting and going to a virtual event is reduced to a considerable extent compared to a physical event.
If you have to miss going to the event, with virtual events, it is possible to view the event all year round, even after the live stream. Many platforms allow you to record your event all year long for your audience to refer to it.
Some of the examples of virtual events include
- Virtual conferences
- Virtual job fairs
- Virtual Trade shows
- Online workshops
- Virtual fundraisers
- Live stream
A virtual event is budget-friendly, but it also helps reduce any impact on the environment caused due to travelling of many people together. The attendance turnover of virtual events is much more than physical events as more people can attend an event regardless of where they are.
Virtual events, more than anything, have opened more avenues to get speakers from worldwide. It is not easy to sometimes get renowned people in the respective fields because of their busy schedules. Virtual events, however, have made this easier. Also, travel constraints do not apply to virtual events. How about that!
How to’s, tutorials and classes
Do you remember going to your favourite dance class as a child? Or learning how to make DIY crafts watching the television? It is pretty much the same here. Online tutorials and classes are classes where you are taught how to practically do a particular task: dance, craft, painting, cooking, woodwork, etc.
With the opportunity presented at hand due to the virtual world, many people have engaged in things they like. You can now take a course with several others who are interested in the same thing as you.
These virtual events are significant because you are not alone learning something new or engaging in something you like! You have a whole community that is journeying the same road as you. People from all across the world can join in for such events, and you can get to meet and build connections with people from across the globe. The online world is magical! And the opportunities presented by this virtual world are limitless!
Similarly, if you have a product, you can explain this product by hosting a virtual event and explaining this product to audiences worldwide. You can speak about the tips and tricks of using your product, instruct how it has to be used and address the most common questions about the product.
If you are a yoga instructor, gym instructor, chef, or an expert in your respective field, you can conduct online classes and, with the help of the right strategy and marketing, reach out to audiences outside your own country as well!
When I said that the online world is magical, this is what I was talking about. There is no confinement to how much you can learn and how many lives you can touch using these tools.
How To Host A Virtual Event
Following are the top 6 ways of how to plan a virtual digital event in 2021
Create a plan:
The first step to digital event organizing. No matter the scope of your event and how many people will be there, you must have a proper roadmap of where you will lead your audience. This is the best way to discover what you want to deliver to your audience, which speakers should address the event, the hosting platform, marketing strategies, theme of the event, etc.
- When you plan your virtual event, keep in mind the following questions
- Who is your audience?
- What do you want your audience to carry with them from your event?
- Do you want your event to be an on-demand event or a one-time event?
- How should people register for your event?
- How should you market your event?
- When is the suitable time to host the event?
- What content do you want to deliver?
- Who do you want your guest speakers to be?
Choose the right time:
Choosing the right time to host your event is essential. Ensure that there is no important holiday that will come in between you hosting the event. Also, make sure that your audience will be available during that time. And if deciding this is tough, let your audience do it for you! Post an Instagram poll asking your audience what time they will be more comfortable with it.
Promote the event:
Promoting your event is one of the most critical steps in this process. If you want to increase the scope of your event, you have to be willing to spend the money, time, and effort to market your event. Investing in an excellent Digital Marketing team is vital as they will help you get maximum results on your budget. Marketing is one area where you will be spending a lot more time, money, and effort. However, the outcomes are always worth it if the process is strategized and accrued out well.
Prepare for tech troubles:
When your whole event is based around technological equipment, there is a high chance of facing technical difficulties. Have several test and trial rounds of the entire event before the primary day. This will help you identify technical problems, if there are any, before the event. These trial rounds will also help you time your speakers well so that there is no delay, help your team stick to the schedule, and help run a digital event smoothly.
Make it inclusive:
Make your event as accessible as possible. Ensure that you have captions and descriptions for audios and visuals. Ensure that your panel consists of people from a variety of ethnicities and genders. This will give a better chance of getting to know the viewpoints of different people. Having only a male panel shouldn’t be an option. Mix your panel and get opinions and perspectives from all individuals.
The primary purpose of organizing a digital event is that people have fun and build connections. By having a live chat and interactive forums, people can chat with and know each other. You can even have your sponsors organize live games such as QnAs, Instagram games, puzzles, polls, etc., where the audience can interact with and have fun. Have virtual lounges where the people can directly interact with sponsors. This can also lead to increased sponsorship for the next event.
Planning an event requires a lot of brainstorming and insight into the audience’s behaviour. This is a task that requires the utmost amount of brainwork. Have your team sit together and have an idea-dump session welcoming all sorts of ideas for digital event planning. This will give you a better knowledge of everybody’s thoughts and ideas, and you can never tell what incredible outcomes can inspire.
Virtual events are shaping the events industry to something that it never was even a few years back. The pandemic has pushed us to think about the extreme and move out of our comfort zones. It is now more important to focus on what the audience demands and grab their attention to it. It is about solving problems and coming up with answers in a collaborative manner by thinking out of the box.