Top Three Trippus Tips: Virtual Events
Throughout the Spring of 2020 we’ve all been experiencing the huge demand shift from physical to virtual events. Instead of holding events at a venue as usual, participants are now required and/or requesting to attend online.
This is a surprising (and overall unplanned for) new development which brings tons of challenges – but as with all new things, there are many hidden gems of opportunities!
Challenges to Opportunities
At a physical event, an attendee could travel to you knowing little more than the event venue (though we don’t recommend it!) and though there may be stumbles, they will typically find their footing and have a successful event experience by engaging with your talented team of staff (and lots of signage)!
However, at a virtual event, if an attendee doesn’t know how to find your event, what software to download, or what link to click, they have reached a massive roadblock. If they don’t know how to reach out for support, or don’t care enough to, their experience is over before they’ve even begun.
It’s so easy for attendees to “check-out” of an event by simply clicking an X or mute button. This is highly unfortunate as we all could use a good dose of genuine human connection!
We’ve put together our Top Three Tips to help you recognize and lean into new opportunities to cultivate successful, connective events.
Participant Communication & Management are areas of huge importance, perhaps now more than ever.
We need to think creatively about how we design our marketing, invitations, and registration processes to make our event as attractive and easy to access as possible.
Virtual events are a new phenomenon and many attendees are not very experienced in this area. They can’t just walk up to an information booth or flag a volunteer if they have questions, so it’s vital to prepare their expectations and give them tools to facilitate helping themselves.
Tip! Put on your “Attendee Hat” and brainstorm what questions and challenges might arise, and then be sure to communicate that information!
Some sample attendee questions below.
- Where do I go if I have questions? How can I directly reach an event organizer?
- Should everyone have their camera on? Do I need to wash my hair?
- Will I be communicating through my microphone and/or is there a chat?
- Is there an event app or some sort of virtual portal?
- Is the event interactive? Can I network with other attendees?
Content Sharing is a main focus for organizers when planning an event (though it shouldn’t be the only focus!).
There are many ways to disseminate content to your attendees, the main three below:
- On-demand pre-recorded content that attendees can access at any time (think Netflix for your event videos)
- Pre-recorded content that you play live (useful to quell many worries, but usually lacks opportunities for interactivity)
- Live live-streamed content
Broadcasting video and audio is essential, but beyond that it’s important to ask yourself what is the *right* level of ambition for this virtual event?
In some cases, using free versions of Zoom, Google Hangouts, or even Facebook Messenger Rooms might be the right answer! However, most events can be enhanced significantly for a small additional cost by investing in additional software and equipment.
Decide up-front how you want attendees to consume content, display themselves (audio/visual/chat room/virtual avatar), and how you want them to be able to interact with one another and the speaker(s).
Keep in mind the experience you want to curate – 25 interactive breakout rooms with 1 moderator and a limit of 12 attendees each feels much different than 300 individuals watching a two-hour pre-recorded state of the company broadcast.
Tip! A pre-event survey can be crucial, especially now when most of us are flying blind. You are not expected to be a mind-reader! Ask your folks how they want to receive content. Ask them why they’re attending your event – these answers will make everything clear and give you a game plan of where to invest your money and time.
Interaction at events through tech tools has been a rising trend, and rightfully so!
We’ve found ourselves now in an era where attendees can’t queue up behind a microphone to engage with speakers, find their conference new BFF while refilling coffee, or surprise accost speakers in the line for the bathroom.
These are the moments that stick with attendees long after they’ve forgotten what the keynote spoke on – the moments we need to brainstorm on now. We can’t replicate them exactly, but what can we learn from the attendee desire for sparks of joy, difference, and human connection.
- Utilize an event app that allows attendees to ask questions to the speaker, answer live polls that can be displayed in the presentation, and take quizzes throughout the event to stay engaged and see their name rise on the leaderboard
- Allow attendees to book meetings with each other, speakers or industry professionals, and sponsors (please don’t forget about your sponsors!)
- Smaller breakouts or 1:1 meetings where people can interact are key here, for two reasons. We’re craving human connection!
- Keep an open chat for your attendees to interact with your team and one-another. Slack is a great tool to utilize, and one that many are already familiar with. This article has lots of great advice from one of their events on how to get the most out of the tool.
Tip! The more integrated a solution you can choose, the better experience for you as a planner and your attendees. Pick some things you would want to experience if you were an attendee and run with them! Now is the time to experiment, dare greatly, and fall forward – we’re in new times with new technology and everyone is a bit more forgiving and desperate for something new.
We’re ready to welcome you here into our brainstorm at Trippus with our Event Registration and Virtual Event Solutions! We love being Event Detectives and can’t wait to partner with you on your successful Virtual Event.
Fill out the contact form below or reach out to your Account Manager for more information!