Whether or not you were prepared for this COVID-19 outbreak, the events industry needed to embrace transformation to digital platforms in a matter of a few weeks, which otherwise would have taken years.
Amidst all the cancellations and postponements, the pandemic has opened a new door for virtual meetings and events.
Hosting online conferences is the need of today’s digital era. In the times of lock-down across the whole world, going online is the only way of staying relevant and creative in a lower budget.
Virtual meetings both depend majorly on the right platform and the way it is designed for interaction between the participants. With several organizations offering a suite of services to host digital conferences, technological costs have gone down drastically.
You should choose a platform that can support your needs and the level of engagement needed for your audience. Check out these tips to enhance the experience of the virtual event for your audience.
Get The Word Out
The online hosting starts with the moment you communicate it to your audience. Rather than telling them right out, you can build up suspense, get their hopes up, and then surprise them with the event.
Combined with pinpointed email communication and marketing techniques to drive communication, you can get the word out to your target audience.
There are several tools available to design your email campaign for communication. The email should be crisp, informative, and should highlight the agenda of the conference perfectly.
To make it more interesting, try an invitation maker free download where you will get scores of free templates to work on.
Setup Shouldn’t Hold You Back
Why do you need to have an office set up for a conference? Why can’t you move yourself out in a garden or roof, or any space beautifully designed with tasteful art backdrop?
It makes more sense to surprise and challenge your audience with visually stimulating backdrops. You should also encourage your attendees to move outside their study room and find a more dynamic environment.
To top it off and increase the engagement, you should also have a small competition where the audience can vote to choose the person with the best backdrop. A prize will encourage them to participate actively.
Going creative with the background ultimately affects the mood of speakers and the audience. It makes you seem more relatable and informal, at the same time, keeps the audience mentally active during the conference.
Tell A Story
As an event organizer, you need to always stay ahead of the curve to be relevant. Creativity is what can reap benefits for you. So you have to do everything it takes to come up with impressive results.
As human beings, our mind always responds better to stories which stimulate our emotional quotient. So, it makes sense to start the session with a story that relates to your agenda for the day.
When you find that viewers are zoning out, it makes more sense to have little flavor and changes to the conference.
Stories can help you do that as they keep the viewer attentive, as they can relate to them easily and are always in anticipation of how it is going to pan out it in the end.
Hit The Bullseye With The Right Medium
Humans react most to visual content. So, it makes more sense to avoid traditional presentations and use videos, pictures, diagrams, and graphical representation.
Combined with voice-overs, it will help you in keeping content relevant for your audience. It will also help you simulate an inclusive learning session where they can easily participate. You should also focus on having some humorous content as it will help in keeping the environment light.
You should remember that technology is just an alternative interface for your audience. You have to understand that it’s just a replacement for the real world. So, the protocols and the flow of the conferences should be as usual as earlier.
You can easily find a nifty video editor free online where the videos, gifs, pictures can be easily edited accordingly to set the tone and mood for the audience.
To increase engagement, you can also keep a brainstorming session for the audience where they can collaborate among themselves and interact with the speakers.
To facilitate this, make sure your technological setup enables you to make sub-groups within the virtual setup.
It will give them feel of socially working together as a team similar to a real-world setup, finding solutions, and a sense of accomplishment. If done at the beginning of the session, it can also act as an ice-breaker.
Ideally suitable for a small gathering of attendees, having brainstorming can serve as an effective plan to make your virtual conferences a success.
People are already stuck at home and bored, so making your conference long and monotonous isn’t going to help you. You can ask your audience to either submit their questions for the speakers before the commencement of the conference.
Doing it will give your speakers the chance to prepare detailed answers and provide diversified knowledge to the audience.
To give your viewers some interesting options, you can also ask your audience for suggestions through pre-recorded video content or a pre-event survey to help set the agenda.
It will give them not only a sense of participation but also a sense of belongingness.
The COVID-19 outbreak has become a turning point for the digital transformation of the world. While every industry does go through with their difficulties, today, going virtual makes the most sense for conferences and meetings.
Taking your meetings virtual has its advantages, the biggest advantage of being a cost-effective solution. The other benefits can be the security of attendees, establishing inclusivity, representation to all, and the retention of viewers.
Digital activities can be scaled easily without adding extra infrastructure and have fewer expenses, negligible transportation costs, fewer manpower requirements.
Virtual conferences are a trend that is going to stay in the mainstream for now. That’s why organizers are now innovating the wheel to stay ahead of the curve.