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Event Management / 15.6.20

Virtual Events – How to make them binge worthy

Author

Claire McCarthy

Claire McCarthy

Event Director

0116 2029953

claire@premier-ltd.com

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In this new world of online and virtual events, it’s key to grab and then hold your audience’s attention.

As the Corona Virus has rendered traditional corporate events impossible over the last couple of months, there has been a shift to digital and virtual events. The success of these events has been limited. Of course there are some that have shone out and achieved their objectives but this is actually quite a difficult thing to do with the percentage of the workforce that is currently working from home.

I’m sure many of us have attended a virtual event with poor content, only to quickly become disengaged and start checking emails.

Even strong and engaging content can struggle to hold an audience’s attention with all of the distractions associated with working from home, such as kids, pets, partners, emails and even on-line shopping. All of which can have an impact on our attention spans and how focused we are.

Therefore there is a real need to engage your digital audiences and keep them wanting more.

It’s not enough to simply switch your original content and stream it online, you don’t have a captive audience like you would at a physical event, people’s attention spans are much shorter in this temporary new world, so you have to think creatively and realign your priorities.

 

How can you do this?

Interact with your audience

You need to keep your audience engaged and hold their reduced attention span, so interacting with them and bringing them into the content to participate and interact is key to keeping them engaged and wanting more. Examples of this could include virtual breakout rooms for group activities, on-line polls or voting, as well as live Q&A’s, all of which can help to keep delegates tuned in to virtual events.

 

Increase production standards

Using Zoom to communicate with 10’s or 100’s of people might be your chosen method but you need to look at the quality of what you are streaming, be that live or pre-recorded and make sure you are sending out a professional and polished message, that is on brand and up to your usual event standards. There are many virtual events studios popping up around the UK that offer a professional AV set up to allow you to pre-record or live stream high quality content and most of the time at a fraction of the cost of a traditional venue. Check out our Hybrid Event Studio.

 

Create an event life cycle

Your event doesn’t need to be a 2 hour single sided stream, why not consider extending your event to include both pre-event and post event content. This can take the shape of teaser and promo content delivered pre-event via an app. Or you can add on a cocktail making session post event to offer a fun networking opportunity.

 

Think outside the box

How can you take what you used to do and reinvent if in this new virtual world?

Rather than a single daylong session, now you aren’t tied to a venue’s tenancy agreement, why not split up the content into bite-sizes chucks over a few days or a week, to keep people’s attention by delivering a couple of 1 hour sessions a day, over a longer period?

You could even use a mix of pre-recorded and live content, so they can access some of it at their leisure to encourage greater attendance and participation.

 

It doesn’t all have to be digital

You can still keep some of the physical elements of your event by creating an event kit to send out to your delegates a day or 2 before the event. This could include fancy dress items to add an element of fun, cook your own lunch ingredients, complete with a live chef demo on the day, a toast to the end of the event, as well as the all-important event materials that might be needed for the content / breakout sessions. These are the sorts of ideas and logistics that our in house event management team could support with to help further drive audience engagement for your virtual events.

Basically we have all be forced to take a fresh look at events and how we can really interact and engage with our audiences from a distance. We have to think differently and really look at how we can create binge worthy content that our delegates will want to consume and be a part of.

If we don’t evolve, we are in danger of creating boring and uninspiring content that turns off our audiences and it could be some time before we are able to really engage with them face to face, can you take the risk?

For more information on our virtual event studio or our event management services please get in touch!

 

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