Career Advice

How To Host A Successful Virtual Event

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During the pandemic, a lot of events, from trade shows to conferences, have been canceled and replaced by virtual ones. In the process, many have learned that moving online isn’t only damage control, but there are some benefits. Capacity can be greater, as you can invite more people, with no concerns about space or accessibility. But how do you make your event a success online? 

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Make It Relevant

Any virtual event production that you do needs to take into account the circumstances that we find ourselves in now. There’s no point in offering advice that brands can’t use in the current situation. Instead of offering courses about in-person networking, for example, pivot your event to something relevant that will help brands to navigate the pandemic crisis. 

Virtual events, if you plan them well, can be just as successful as in-person events, and help you to still engage with your audience and promote your brand.Click To Tweet

People are also starting to feel webinared out, so when you organize your events, make sure you’re offering something application right now. If not, you’re just adding to the noise. 

This doesn’t mean that every virtual event should be about the pandemic, but they should take it into account. For example, an online music festival doesn’t address anything about Covid-19, but it does meet their need for entertainment during the lockdown. 

Get The Timing Right

How long should your event last? This will depend on the context and your audience, but in most cases, an hour is a good ballpark time to aim for. Any longer, and people start to get bored or get distracted. 

If you host a few events, you will soon get a feel for how long your audience’s attention span is. 

Individual sessions should concise. Over an hour can drag, as looking at a computer screen isn’t the same as listening to someone in person. You’re also competing with distractions from around the home. 

Think carefully about when your event starts. Anything too close to lunchtime won’t work for parents with small children, so leave enough time around mealtimes to let people settle back into their work. 

Differentiate Your Event

You want your event to be current, but you shouldn’t just copy what other people are doing. Instead of following what other people are doing, think about how you can differentiate from the rest of the crowd. The way you do this is the same as before; lean into the insights you get from knowing your audience, look at the best solution to the problem, and be brave creatively. This ensures you’re leading from the front. 

You can’t just set up a virtual event and assume that you will cut through all the competing events. There are a lot of events out there competing for your audiences’ attention. Think about what is unique about you and your offer, and make sure you get across who are you. Find a way to get personal with the audience viewing your event. 

Virtual events, if you plan them well, can be just as successful as in-person events, and help you to still engage with your audience and promote your brand.

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