Virtual events, while once frowned upon, are here to say, courtesy - the widespread pandemic covid-19. Even as vaccine camps are being set up and more people are taking the shot each day, it is now safe to say that the fabric of the event space has been altered for good. In fact, according to Forbes, virtual events have seen a whopping 1000% rise since the advent of the pandemic.
As with every new frontier, we are bound to make mistakes along the way. With event spaces rapidly being virtualized, there are fair chances that you see at least five events being promoted across social media on a daily basis.
Unlike the in-person events where you can physically engage with your audience, it becomes a bit tougher in the virtual spectrum. So, what can you do to not let your virtual event become a sleep-inducer or even worse, an object of ridicule?
Let us unearth the three common mistakes that we have often witnessed during virtual events and how to avoid them.
1. Following the same agenda as in-person events
Raise your hands if you have attended at least one event where you have just lost interest and left in the middle of an hour-long presentation. Add to it forced breakouts under the false pretence of networking opportunities where conversations are stiff and connections tug at a mere surface-level, long Q&A sessions with no actual questions answered, we’ve seen them all.
While we quickly adapt to the online event arena, we now see that the tips and tricks that seemed to work wonders at in-person gatherings don’t necessarily work in the virtual spectrum. The main idea here is to provide your audience with the excitement and the experiential factor of an in-person event WHILST knowing where to draw the line in your old strategies to prevent your event from being mediocre.
Tips to avoid the mistake:
- Tighten your agenda and ditch the long content blocks. While you might be able to grasp your audience's attention in an in-person format, you might not be able to do so in the virtual arena.
- Play to your strengths. Leverage virtual events to your advantage by reaping its two major benefits. One is improved accessibility and the other is to repurpose the content and share them. Make lives easier for your attendees to access your event’s content through easily digestible bite-sized video clips or recap posts, or better yet, create a whole content repository.
2. Losing track of your event’s motive
Before charting out your entire event’s agenda, ask yourself, “why are we organizing this event?” Are you trying to generate new leads or close deals or educate your customers? Maybe it’s all three, or maybe your event’s only goal can be to just have some fun and connect better with your remote team. That is the versatility that virtual events offer, but it is important to keep your goal in mind throughout the planning process.
Tips to avoid the mistake:
- Always keep these three questions in mind: Does the content you create for the event serve the purpose? Is the event’s pacing inline with the goal you want to achieve? What are the key takeaways for your attendees?
- It’s crucial that you develop an attendee-first attitude. The worst thing you could do is to keep your audience guessing, “okay, what am I here for?” Unlike the in-person events, the attention spans online are really short. So, when someone chances upon your event, you have less than 30 seconds to convince your audience that what you are offering is valuable for them.
3. Non-structuring or Under-structuring your event
Without a structure, you might be running a colossal risk of capsizing your entire event. This ranges from awkward pauses to speakers who don’t show up and a total disarray everywhere. Just these thoughts are enough to get under any event producer’s skin. A lot of things can go wrong in any given live event, but then the anxiety is 10x amplified when it comes to a virtual one as you are at the complete mercy of your tech working. Follow these tips to structure your event and nail down every single detail so there is no room for chaos.
- Devise a clearly structured brief of the event and share it with everyone who is involved in the event’s planning. For instance, in case you are planning a panel conversation, plan out your event to the tee, from which questions to ask which panelist to when the Question-Answer session starts.
- Chart out and post your event agenda in advance so your audience knows what to expect beforehand, and you can also skip the trouble of intro-ing what’s to come, whilst you prepare them adequately.
- Always develop a contingency plan just in case things go south. Think about all the potential concerns that can affect your event. Think tech troubles, think late entries, think no shows - and sit down with your team and brainstorm how you’re going to deal with them in case they crop up during your event.
Organizing a virtual event is no cake-walk. Although we know that any given event will inevitably surprise you with a thing or two, you can always have these tips and tricks handy to serve as a starting point to troubleshoot any issue that might come your way.
You can also choose to take the backseat and leave the job to the experts in the field.
Thinking of organizing a virtual event? Get in touch with us today!