With the rising demand for virtual conferences and trade shows, it’s more important than ever that your brand or business stands out. The secret? Increasing the value of your event.
Whether you’re getting ready to launch a new product, host a group of panelists, or promote a networking event, the goal is to leave attendees feeling satisfied—and knowing they gained valuable insights in return.
Here are our four tips to get you started.
1. Allow for networking and a sense of community
Given that most guests are no longer able to participate in the usual social and networking opportunities that in-person conferences provide, it’s important that they still have a chance to mingle and form connections with their peers.
To help create a relaxed space for attendees to get to know one another, consider hosting a variety of 15 to 30-minute breakout sessions. For more formal events, creating sophisticated networking opportunities offers professional value for guests. Whether you choose to structure these sessions through virtual “booths” or personalized breakout rooms, guests are given the opportunity to make connections and speak one-on-one with their fellow attendees.
2. Interactivity is key
The last thing a company wants is for their guests to lose interest in an event. To combat virtual fatigue, it’s important to initiate interaction between hosts and attendees. Rather than include guests simply though watching a livestream presentation, ask them to participate in Q & A sessions, or even live polls. If you’re anticipating a large presence through social media, branded hashtags are a great way to keep the conversation going and easily share commentary from those who might be tuning in remotely.
If possible, you might also choose to gamify the event. This can include fun challenges, workshops, or other events to win prizes or even exclusive access to other aspects of the conference.
3. Education is priceless
At the end of the day, guests want to walk away feeling like they learned something new. To ensure your event is worth their time, it’s important to create a clear and concise content plan. By offering valuable information that they can’t receive elsewhere—whether that be through keynote speakers or highly-tailored breakout sessions—you are more likely to ensure your attendees leave with a positive evaluation of the event.
While everyone loves a strong keynote speaker, don’t expect your guests to sit still and listen intently to hours of speaker line-ups. Variety in the delivery of this material is crucial. In order to keep your guests engaged, plan to offer a selection of different mediums. Incorporate panels, seminars, and workshops to provide much-needed variety and help keep guests on their toes.
4. Give brands and businesses a chance to shine
Depending on the type of event your company is hosting, it’s important to make space for participating brands and businesses to get in front of potential buyers.
And in the midst of the pandemic, businesses of all sizes are grateful for the added exposure. Whether that’s through pitches or product launches, creating time for brands to showcase their offering is key to their long-term success.
Have other suggestions for how to best engage virtual audiences? Leave a comment below!