A Resource Guide for Maximizing Success with Virtual Events
Virtual Events: Groundbreaking Immersive Digital Experiences
Organizations are always looking for new ways to captivate and interact with their clients and employees. Virtual is emerging as an event solution. That’s thanks to benefits like cost-cutting, increased attendance, and improved ROI.
Learn about virtual event management, including strategies and best practices that lead to successful online gatherings. Explore innovative methods for enhancing attendee engagement, plus get valuable insights into content production and networking.
5 Benefits of Virtual Events
If you’ve always turned to live events, you might not be aware of the unique benefits of going online, like:
1. Reduced Costs
You can rack up significant savings without sacrificing quality when you eliminate in-person event features like:
- Venue rental
- Travel accommodations
- Catering expenses
2. Increased Attendance
Virtual meetings have three huge selling points for attendees:
- No geographical limitations
- No travel requirements
- The ability to hop on and off at their convenience
Because of these, virtual events attract a wider audience worldwide than physical events do.
3. Better Data Collection
Gather valuable attendee data through elements that wouldn’t exist at an in-person meeting.
- When someone logs into your event website, you can access to everything they do at your event, like what content they consume and how long they spend on it.
- Virtual event data can tell you how many people watch a presentation and how many turn it off before the end. You’ll also know the exact moment they turn the presentation off and what event content they watch afterwards.
- By matching demographic data and user data, you can see how different groups of people interact with your event.
- Tracking engagement data via click-through rates (CTR) and other indicators can record levels of engagement for speakers, sponsorships, and exhibitor content.
Registration forms provide the traditional demographic and company information. And pre- and post-event surveys do their part to add more layers, as email matching can correlate survey data with event activity.
4. Evergreen Content
Virtual event content doesn’t have to be consumed only during the planned event. Many guests prefer to attend asynchronously, meaning on their own time. Virtual event solutions are flexibile enough to make that possible. And the content from an online event can be repurposed into things like:
- Internal communications
- YouTube videos
- Promotional materials
- And more
By reducing carbon emissions associated with transportation and waste production at a live event, an online event contributes to environmental sustainability efforts.
Creating Engaging Virtual Event Experiences
A successful event of any kind hinges on participants responding to your content. One of the challenges of online events is attendee engagement. Because they are often consuming your content from the comfort of their own homes, distractions can take center stage. One of the main areas of focus for your virtual event plan should be how to engage attendees.
Implementing AR in Virtual Events
Consider implementing augmented reality (AR) through a sophisticated virtual event platform, rather than hosting a webinar-style event. Incorporating augmented reality into your virtual events offers immersive experiences that captivate your audience. Examples include:
- 3D product demonstrations
- Interactive presentations
- Television-quality production
Interactive Virtual Event Ideas for Attendee Engagement
- Social media integration: Encourage attendees to share their experiences by integrating social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram within the event platform.
- Polls and surveys: Collect valuable feedback from attendees through live polling during sessions or post-event surveys sent via email.
- Gamification: Add elements of competition to motivate attendee participation throughout the event. Leaderboards and points-based rewards systems are great ideas.
Networking Opportunities in Virtual Events
Some people believe networking can’t happen online. But virtual events offer many opportunities for attendee networking and fostering connections among participants. A few networking features include:
- Breakout sessions
- Live chats
- Discussion boards
- Collaborative games
These interactive elements encourage attendees to engage with one another and share insights about your event content.
Event Management Software
Event management software keeps attendees engaged by keeping them informed. Methods can include:
- Push notifications
- Multitrack agendas
On an immersive virtual event platform, all of these are interactive.
Virtual Event Production
Creating captivating content is crucial when producing a successful virtual event. One popular method to engage remote audiences at virtual trade shows and conferences is through live streaming. To ensure a seamless experience, follow these best practices:
- High-quality audio and video content: Invest in professional equipment or hire an experienced production team to deliver top-notch visuals and sound.
- Dedicated streaming platform: Choose a reliable virtual event platform that supports real-time streaming without buffering issues.
- Tech support: Have technical experts on standby during the event to address any issues promptly.
Livestreaming Best Practices
In addition to the above tips, establishing codes of conduct and dress codes can enhance professionalism during online interactions. Provide guidelines on appropriate attire for presenters and attendees who participate in video chats or breakout sessions. Encourage participants to maintain respectful behavior throughout the event by sharing expectations upfront via email or social media announcements.
Driving Demand for Virtual Events Through Event Marketing and Promotion
Marketing your virtual meeting is essential to driving demand and increasing registrations, plus ensuring a seamless user experience during the actual event.
Pre-event communication strategies could include:
- Email Campaigns: Create targeted email campaigns that provide valuable information about your virtual event while also promoting registration. Include details about speakers, sessions, networking opportunities, and any special offers or promotions.
- Practice Runs: Offer virtual event attendees the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the platform before the event begins. This helps reduce technical issues the day of.
- Polls: Use live polling features within your emails to gather feedback from potential attendees on their preferences or expectations for your virtual conference. This can help you tailor your content.
- Website Updates: Keep all relevant information up to date on your website so that prospective attendees have easy access to everything they need when considering registering for your online event.
- Social Media Promotion: Talk about your event on all relevant social media channels. Promote it with polls, interviews, graphics, and an event hashtag.
Incorporating these strategies into your overall marketing efforts will not only drive demand but also increase attendee satisfaction by providing them with a well-rounded experience.
How to Vet a Virtual Event Platform
The success of a virtual corporate event relies heavily on the platform used to host it. A comprehensive virtual event platform should offer features that cater to attendee engagement, networking opportunities, and seamless content delivery.
Consider platform features like:
- Usability: Unless you’re hosting a tech event, your audience won’t have high-level technical knowledge, so the platform needs to be easy and intuitive.
- Sponsorship and Branding Opportunities: Choose a virtual event platform that has built-in opportunities for brand and sponsor messaging, so you don’t have to find workarounds to create them.
- Engagement and Networking Features: Look for gamification elements like achievements or badges and features like chat rooms, virtual whiteboards, and polls. Some platforms even have highly focused features like networking systems and AI-driven networking recommendations that make contact suggestions based on shared interests.
- Bandwidth and User Numbers
- Browser and Device Compatibility
- Integration: If you have propriety or third-party features or software you want to use, it’s important to find a platform that allows for integration.
- Tech Support: The online event platform you choose should have robust tech support for you and your attendees.
Data Collection and Content Restriction
- Data Collection: You need a platform with a range of data collection touchpoints. When evaluating event platforms to host your virtual event, find out what kind of data you can collect, at what points data can be collected, and what kinds of analytics the platform supports.
- GDPR/CCPA Compliance: Attendee data should be held in a secure environment that complies with any relevant legislation.
- Content Protection: Your online platform should restrict or prohibit downloading content.
Many platforms have different price points for different features. Others price their services on an individual basis, depending on exactly the combination of features you need. Others set pricing based on the number of simultaneous sessions or speakers at your event.
Recording Virtual Conferences for Future Lead Generation
By recording and packaging virtual conference content, you can continue to attract new leads long after the event has ended. This event solution also provides an inclusive experience, allowing participants from various areas to engage in real time or asynchronously.
Benefits of Recording and Packaging Content for Later Use
- Extended reach: Recorded virtual events enable businesses to reach a wider audience who may not have been able to attend live sessions.
- Increased ROI: Repurposing event content as on-demand resources maximizes return on investment by generating additional leads over time.
- Audience engagement: Access to recorded sessions encourages continued interaction among attendees, fostering networking opportunities and promoting brand loyalty.
Hybrid Events: Combining Online and Offline Components
A hybrid event combines virtual meeting elements and in-person elements. If you’re planning a hybrid event, you’ll need to balance live event elements and virtual options without sacrificing attendee engagement. This means offering on-demand content for remote attendees while providing engaging activities for those attending in person.
Learn more about hybrid events here.
Technology Needed to Host a Successful Virtual Event
A successful virtual event requires:
- Reliable internet connectivity
- An effective platform that supports registration management, live streaming capabilities, and audience interaction tools
- Audiovisual equipment such as cameras and microphones
- Presentation software
- Screen-sharing functionality
- Real-time chat features
- Security measures like password protection or encryption
Depending on your vision and your goals, your event may require more. A virtual event planning company like ProGlobalEvents can help you cover your bases.
How to Measure Virtual Event Success
Evaluate your success by analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs), such as:
- The number of registrants/attendees/participants engaged during the session(s)
- Average session duration/viewing time per user/session rating(s)
- Social media mentions/shares/likes/comments
- Followers gained during/post-event period
- Virtual-event-specific metrics like booth visits/downloads/sponsorship clicks/conversions from calls-to-action
Why Choose ProGlobalEvents for Your Virtual Event?
ProGlobalEvents works hand-in-hand with our sister company, XtendLive, to plan, program, and produce outstanding virtual and hybrid events.
We Help You Develop Your Virtual Event Goals
You already have the reasons behind opting for virtual over an in-person event or combining the two. Have you solidified the goals and objectives for it? We can help you understand and target your ideal demographic and develop virtual event goals that satisfy their needs and yours.
Our 3D Immersive Platform Is Flexible Enough to Fit Your Needs.
The purpose-designed event software of the XtendLive virtual event platform brings attendees from disparate places to a virtual venue where they can access and interact with different kinds of content and interact with one another too. Choose between our adaptable venue templates, or go the custom route. That’s where we design a virtual venue that does exactly what you need. The XtendLive online platform can power everything from education and training sessions to meetings, pop-up experiences, conferences, and trade shows. It’s a highly customizable, scalable virtual event platform that’s more than the ordinary. Using it, we can create high-quality, interactive, 3D environments that attendees can actually explore.
We Understand What Engages Attendees.
Attendee engagement is vital to a successful virtual event, so engagement tools are core to every virtual space we create. Based on your goals, we can make a wide range of content types available. And there is an equally wide range of ways for attendees to interact with them. Think:
- Live Q&A
- Live video presentations
- Gamification elements
- Text- and voice-based chat
- Breakout spaces
- Social and entertainment spaces
- 3D virtual environments
- Television-quality production values
We Collect the Data You Need.
Because your event will take place online, it can generate a huge amount of useful data. And it’s easier to track attendees online than it is at a live event. Once someone logs in, you have access to everything they do at the event. This includes what site pages or content they visit and how long they spend there.
Virtual event data can tell you how many people watch a presentation and how many stop watching before the end. It can also tell you exactly when they turn the presentation off and what event content they go to next.
Matching user data with demographic data can show you how different groups of people interact with your event. And tracking engagement data via click-through rates and other interaction indicators can record levels of engagement for speakers and other presentations, as well as sponsorship and exhibitor content.
Pre- and post-event surveys add even more information, as email matching can help correlate survey data and event activity.
We Come from a Background of Success.
With decades of event planning experience, our talented team is an established Silicon Valley presence. We are passionate about designing and implementing innovative experiences that captivate your audience, deliver outstanding results, and exceed expectations, whether they are in-person, virtual, or hybrid.
Most important, we are fully equipped and ready to ensure the success of your event.
ProGlobalEvents creates virtual event experiences tailored to our clients’ specific needs, from planning through execution. We ensure seamless integration between event tech and engaging content production strategies designed for maximum impact on your target audience.
To learn more about how ProGlobalEvents can help you successfully present your next virtual event, contact us today!