Virtual conferences and events are necessary across various industries, now more than ever. From communicating important ideas to practicing new concepts and implementing workshops, sharing information with large groups is important to ensure the success of a company. In the past year or so, many industries have had to transform their methods of information-sharing to adapt to remote work. If you’re planning an online event, it may be time to think about improving your virtual capabilities.
Prevalence and Benefits of Virtual Event Tools
With each passing decade, workplace technology has advanced to promote better efficiency and profitability. From personal computers to cell phones to the Internet, these tools have enabled companies to experiment and communicate more effectively among team members. Advanced technology allows employees and clients in different time zones and languages to unite and learn from each other.
Out-of-town conferences and seminars used to be a common form of teambuilding and information-sharing. With the pandemic, however, the shift to remote work has led to the prevalence of interactive tools for virtual meetings.
Virtual events are beneficial for a variety of reasons. They increase the number of happy clients, employees and attendees by eliminating a commute and awkward, in-person ice breakers. Many people choose to host virtual events because of convenience; it’s much easier to send a link to a virtual event than it is to book a venue, set up a presentation, manage schedules, coordinate food and drink, and manage transportation. In a time when travel is still limited, virtual events save time and money while delivering corporate value and networking opportunities.
Challenges of Virtual Events
Organizers and company leaders have had to shift many sessions into virtual landscapes in order to maintain normal business operations. Keeping employees and clients connected is still possible, even without the in-person interactions. However, navigating this shift does present some challenges, such as:
- Inconsistent technological experience and knowledge among employees
- Limited technical support
- Few engagement opportunities
- Poor content and marketing strategies
- Ineffective troubleshooting
As with any type of virtual offering, there’s almost always a chance that something will go wrong on the day of the presentation. However, there are some steps and strategies that help can prevent these mishaps.
Keys to Success
Mistakes happen. In order to lead a successful virtual event, certain strategies and equipment are necessary. From the initial registration to the final feedback surveys, which tools will help make your event possible? Here are eight tools and methods to help pull your event together.
- Tickets and registration: Making attendees navigate a complicated registration page can hurt your event, as many people decide whether or not to attend based on how easily they can register. The easier you can make the sign-up process, the more attendees you’re likely to attract. Additionally, an online registration platform may provide an accurate depiction of the attending demographic and allow for last-minute changes.
- Event website: You may have the event all prepared, but make sure there’s a home base for your audience to get on the same page. Details such as event titles, calls to action, inviting imagery, meeting times and event pitches should be easily visible on the one, centralized website. Partnering with an all-inclusive website provider could also prevent additional spending on certain features.
- Streaming software: There are many apps that offer high-quality streaming services. This allows attendees to engage with a speaker without being distracted by pop-ups or off-topic discussions. Streaming might be the preferred choice for product demonstrations, single speakers and other visual presentations.
- Technical equipment: Whether you’re working with live streaming or recorded video, high-quality equipment is necessary to present a clear message. Invest in good audio and video for events to get the job done. Hiring an AV expert can save some stress, but start by ensuring each that speaker at least has functional equipment.
- Webinar platforms: Though an uninterrupted stream may be better suited for training and product presentations, webinars allow for more interaction. Many platforms allow attendees to break out into groups or share screens for visibility. These platforms could also allow participants to navigate the sessions with more ease.
- Uninterrupted Wi-Fi: As a host, the last thing you want is a spotty connection. Checking the Internet strength before your event could help guarantee there’s enough bandwidth for everyone. Have remote presenters check their connection as well. While you may not be able to control attendees’ Wi-Fi, it’s important to triple-check that of your presenters.
- Marketing strategies: There can be no virtual event without an audience. Invest in marketing practices such as a branded website, email invitations and reminders, referral incentives, and social media integration. These methods could also help participants remember and share valuable information about your event.
- Interactive elements: If an event has gone virtual, it can sometimes be difficult to keep your audience engaged. Mobile apps are a popular way to interact with attendees, build your network, maintain interest and receive feedback throughout the event. Encourage participants to use the virtual engagement tools to get the most from the meeting.
Whether it’s a two-hour training session or a weekend workshop, having the right virtual meeting tools can help set your event apart. Browse McCann System’s design engineering and audiovisual solutions or contact us to learn more about setting up a great virtual event.