With virtual conferences remaining for the foreseeable it is important to understand how to engage with your audience as much as you would during an in-person conference. We know this is a tall order considering the number of distractions we have at home such as social media, online shopping, children, pets, phone calls etc… the list never ends!
We have come up with some ideas below that may help you stay connected with your attendees throughout your virtual event.
Make sure you inform your attendees on what interactive elements you have. For example, do you have a networking function that allows attendees to speak to other attendees or if they encounter a technical issue, how can they contact support, so they feel like there is a person to speak to for help.
Remember to ask your speakers to pause throughout their session (if live) so your attendees can submit questions or answer polls in real time.
Perhaps you have a live chat function, make sure this is being moderated so you can keep an eye on the chats/discussion boards making sure the conversations are on topic!
Virtual giveaways – you could offer coffee or lunch vouchers for attendees to get something delivered to their home. Or offer discounts on courses, products and have downloadable papers. We all love a giveaway; they are a great incentive to keep attendees engaged!
Add some gamification into your conference and offer prizes for competitions.
Make sure you incorporate these networking features at your next virtual event and see what a difference it makes! As experienced Virtual and Hybrid Conference organizers, managing many different virtual conference platforms for our clients, Event Management Services (EMS) can support you with your virtual events. If you have any questions or would like to discuss working with us, please contact Suzy Sclater at email@example.com.
After 14 months of venues being closed, we are finally starting to see live events spring back into life, as the world starts to re-open since the outbreak of COVID-19.
A great example is the recent success of the Brit Awards, which was attended by an audience of 4000. The event ran free of masks and social distancing and brought live music back to the famous London O2 arena. Data from a similar trial event in Barcelona saw no increase in coronavirus cases as a result, and as we await data from the Sefton Park Blossoms concert and Liverpool nightclub event, it’s hoped the Brit Awards will contribute to the scientific evidence needed to get venues open again. After the success of these music events, business conferences and tradeshows are ready to open their doors as soon as they are given the green light.
Here at EMS we have remained positive, organizing virtual and hybrid conferences over the last year to bridge the gap before the return to live events. We are excited to announce our first in-person event is scheduled in London on 29-30 June and we cant wait to open the doors to a great networking CIO conference.
The next year or so will continue to provide its challenges but we are ready, feeling creative and positive to make every event a success, in whatever format, for all our clients. If you have any questions or would like to discuss working with us on your next event, please do contact Suzy Sclater at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See how one of EMS’s clients has chosen video to promote their hugely successful CWS Summit. Watching a conference in action is an effective marketing tool to drive registrations. Well done SIA! #CWSSummit
In a matter of a few short weeks, as global lock downs have been decreed, Force Majeure clauses are being triggered like never before and events are cancelled and postponed to future dates and years. So at first glance, a Threat is surely the correct answer. But in this short period of time, many successful event companies have seen it as an Opportunity and have pivoted from traditional in-person conferences to virtual events to maintain and increase sponsorship revenue, deliver outstanding content to their client base and maintain market leadership.
The challenges of going virtual can be significant. Keeping participants focused when they are not onsite at a conference is exponentially more difficult as you compete with unread emails, social media, and during these times of lock-down, children and other family members just a short interruption away. It is therefore key, if your event is to deliver on its objectives, that you successfully engage with your audience. Here are 3 key factors that you need to follow to ensure success:
Content is King – be sure to provide high value presentations and videos that are relevant to your event messaging. Make sure they take into account the context of our current circumstances and that presenters understand your audience and their unstated narratives
Production Value – high quality broadcast style production is definitely going to help with engagement. Pay attention to good quality lighting; good microphones; animated transitions from one presenter to the next; varying camera shots. These techniques will make it feel like a live event and it makes it more enjoyable to watch
Human connection – with social distancing now the norm, it is important that you include human connection in your virtual event. Whether it is as simple as chat, moderated Q&A, polling, networking events, breakout sessions, roundtables, or video meetings, make your participants feel like they are part of the event
Most of all, it is really important to make the best of this time, take the opportunity to incorporate some memorable moments that may not be available to you when you’re doing physical events. With savings on hotel bills, travel and catering, there may be some budget to spare so you can surprise your audience with special deliveries to their homes and fun games online that will create an unforgettable experience.
So going back to the question “Coronavirus – a Threat or Opportunity for the Events Industry?” we believe the opportunity can overtake the threat if you follow the key success factors. For information on how we can help email email@example.com
We’ve all been there – the hotel you have is great for the conference sessions, but the exhibit space is less than perfect – it’s all too common in London where 90% of the best hotels have not been built with exhibits in mind! Read more
As a busy year of events draws to a close, and your colleagues and clients start to turn on their Out of Offices, how can you use some “quiet time” to get ahead for 2020 before you head off for the holidays?
Here are some of our suggestions:
Reflect on your year. What did it look like? Compile some key stats to create yourself a benchmark for next year. Look back at your budgets and see where you could perhaps shave off some costs, or bring in new sales, from your next events.
Read through the feedback you’ve received. The feedback you’ve collected through the year from delegates, sponsors and even your own debrief notes, will carry some key insights into what you can do to improve. Take note of good content ideas to help you produce a winning programme and suggestions for ways you could enhance your sponsors’ ROI.
Do some research. What did your competitors do well in 2019? How could you innovate your events or streamline your processes to make them even better next year?
Say thank you. Send your key clients (including any prospective clients) a little something to show you value your relationship. Put some thought into it: is there something you’ve heard them mention they like during your time working together? Don’t forget to thank your key suppliers – perhaps you can’t stretch to a gift – but sending a card or picking up the phone to wish them a Merry Christmas could earn you some favourable rates next time you use their services!
Have a good clear out. You can accumulate a whole load of ‘stuff’ when traveling and working onsite at events. Now is the prime time to get rid of old paperwork that has been cluttering up the office so that you can come back to a tidy desk. Whilst you’re at it, do some digital decluttering: file, archive or delete those many lists and drafts you created during the life cycle of your event. Tidying up your files into obvious folders will speed everyone up when looking back at event files.
Get festive! Now is a great time for some team bonding, so bring in some festive treats to share, decorate the office, and spend some time socialising with your colleagues.
Finally, once it’s time for you to head out the door, let everyone know when the office is due to reopen in your Out of Office, and leave yourself a list of the priority tasks you want to get done in your first week back, to help yourself be immediately productive in the new year.
Thanks to everyone we’ve worked with in 2019, check out our Twitter page for some highlights: @EMS_EventMgt
Selecting the ‘right’ Keynote Speaker for your conference can be a difficult and stressful task. It’s usually a pretty significant budget item and who you choose says a lot about your event and your brand. Read more
We’d like to share some great photos from a recent event we managed. Last month (June 2016), the UK Alumni Association of INSEAD hosted their annual European Forum – a memorable, high quality and thought provoking forum, with plenty of attendee engagement and opportunities for networking. Please read our case study to find out more about the event. Read more