How can you plan a successful virtual event?
- Choose an engaging topic
- Practice brand consistency
- Optimize your visual materials
- Attract sponsors
- Provide incentives
Hosting an online event is a cutthroat business — you’re practically competing against hundreds and thousands of organizations that are taking advantage of virtual platforms. Having this in mind, you need to be aware of certain tips for a successful online event. It’s all about making your presence felt and standing out amongst your competition while still being able to provide relevant information that your audience can use. Read on to learn more.
Choose An Engaging Topic
One of the first things that you have to do even before you go through the motions of planning your event is choosing an engaging topic. As said before, you’re not alone in the online event business and it’s up to your wit and creativity to come up with a point of discussion that will create a lasting impression on people’s minds.
If you’re having a difficult time thinking about a topic, try taking inspiration from what your competitors have already done. Check out their online resources and think about how you can maximize them or do better.
There is another way of coming up with a topic, and it’s through asking your audience what they want from you. Maintain a strong presence in your social media platforms by holding polls that allow them to choose the type of content for the event you’ll be holding. You could also visit forums on your website and get topic ideas from what people are talking about.
Practice Brand Consistency
All throughout your online event, you have to see to it that everything — from the topic, down to the online marketing — is meticulously aligned to your brand. When you’re brainstorming on a topic, you may find it challenging to choose something that’s not out of the left field. You have to be able to tread a fine line to deliver relevant conversations without sacrificing the image of your brand.
A good way to ensure brand consistency is to make sure that all materials used in the event are consistent with your brand messaging. This has to do with tone, brand logo, marketing style, taglines, and the like. It’s likely that you won’t be alone in your online event endeavor, so the best practice is to constantly remind your team to stick with your organization’s core message and values.
Optimize Your Visual Materials
Visuals are some of the most essential components of an online event. Good visuals can keep the audience engaged for the entire duration of your event. They’re also important in keeping serious discussions livelier and less tedious.
When you’re presenting visual material, you have to ensure that it contains useful information and is legible by all event attendees. If you’re putting up a slide presentation, avoid placing large blocks of text that may be hard to read. Stick to large font sizes as well as bits of information that can be read in one go.
Aside from this, you need to keep your visuals friendly to those in your audience who may have existing medical conditions that affect their eyesight. As much as possible, you’ll want to keep yourself from using material like flashing lights or anything that may induce a headache.
Just as you would gather sponsorships for your physical exhibitions or trade shows in the past, you would also want to do the same for your virtual events. Sponsorship is a good way to finance your event to cover expenses. This is also an effective tool to promote your event to other industries.
Choosing sponsors is no easy task and sometimes can be months in the making. You’ll need to find sponsors that more or less hold similar values with your organization. It’s also better if the sponsor is targeting the same type of demographic as you are.
However, this is but one aspect of the sponsorship phase, because you’ll need to choose someone that is really focused on capitalizing on your event. They’re not just simply there for the exposure, but rather they understand the need to build lasting, valuable, and mutual business partnerships.
Your audience will want to know what they can get out of attending your event. Sometimes it’s not enough for them to gain new learnings — they may prefer something that’s more concrete and useful for them. Knowing this, it would be in your best interest to incentivize your attendees.
Don’t think that people might just be participating in your event for the freebies, but consider that the various incentives you may be offering such as discounts, giveaways, and promotions might just be the key to tapping into other demographics that you haven’t been able to tap in the past. Ultimately, it’s all up to you to choose which incentives you would want to provide. Consider the types of merchandise and services that you may want to offer and tailor-fit them to your event.
Holding a virtual event that will stand out among the others is not easy. You need to be able to identify what your audience might be expecting from you while subsequently aiming to cater to other untapped markets. If you stick to some of the above tips for a successful online event, then you’ll be on the right track to holding your best online event.
Always keep in mind that you should come up with engaging subject matters that are aligned with your company’s core values. Once you’ve got this down, factors such as your visual materials, online marketing strategies, and audience engagement can smoothly follow behind.