FAQ – Webcasting and Virtual Events
What are the different types of virtual events?
Conferences – Businesses and organizations have long organized physical conferences as a way to bring a community together. Virtual conferences now make it possible for attendees across the world to share in this experience.
Webinars – Brands and individuals are leveraging these recordings. Typically informational in nature and prerecorded, webinars can cover a single topic or be structured as an educational or informational series
Hybrid Events – This style of event combines and blends Live in-person events with the broadcasted virtual event. You get the best of both worlds, having the energy and chemistry that’s created live, which is streamed across the web for virtual participants to experience.
Why are hybrid and virtual events the future?
Simply put, convenience and cost make virtual events and webcasting more attractive. Speakers, attendees, and stakeholders can join easily without the typical travel and lodging barriers.
Also, the virtual event software used to host the event records the experience, allows you to repurpose and use the content, and it generates analytics that allow organizations to measure and quantify the impact and ROI of the event.
Finally, when you add the reach and ability of a virtual event to reach audiences anywhere across the globe, it becomes obvious why organizations are including virtual and hybrid events in their future plans.
What equipment and technology are needed for a virtual event?
Running a smooth virtual event depends heavily on the equipment, technology, and virtual production technicians employed. There are five core components needed to effectively run your virtual event, and are as follows:
- A website (builder) to market, promote, and hose the virtual event
- A registration and email management system
- Video production equipment: cameras, lights, and audio equipment
- Video editing and graphics software
- Video broadcast and virtual event software
Integrating the above collected data with your CRM software is a perk, that although not required to run an event online, it’s advantageous and something you will appreciate.
The above technologies and features are built into the virtual event platforms and software we use. A top-tier virtual software integrates all of the above, and makes managing an event more streamlined and impactful.
How do I promote the virtual event?
Creating and following a plan for your event marketing efforts is essential. There are many ways to promote your event, and incorporating traditional and digital marketing strategies helps cover all bases and provide significant exposure. Given the nature of an online event, here are three areas to heavily focus and invest in:
1) Email Marketing – Email is your most efficient method of inviting attendees, and should be the first step in promoting your virtual event. Leveraging your existing email list will be extremely helpful in marketing to a loyal customer base that already is familiar with your brand. Your initial email should be a save-the-date type of announcement that lets its readers know about the event and how to get signed up. As it gets closer to the date, event news and reminder emails should go out as well. If you engage Webcasting and Virtual Events, your dedicated virtual event planner can help with scheduling and sending your event invitations and keeping your event registration organized.
2) Social Media Marketing – Because 70% of Facebook users say they visit daily, this social media site is a gold mine for making contact and making users aware of your upcoming event. Facebook isn’t the only game in town, but because Facebook owns Instagram, setting up ads on Facebook also can provide you exposure to the Instagram audience. YouTube is the most popular and often visited site, but LinkedIn is obviously a big draw to the business community. So all in all, knowing your target audience is key, and helps determine which platform to utilize in your promotion efforts.
Promoting your event via social is unique. You will certainly want to promote prior to the event and capture as many eyeballs that have interest or will benefit from your event. Likewise, social is happening in real-time so you have the ability to promote during the actual event. There are many strategies, partnership opportunities, and ways to benefit from the existing networks and following of your hosts, speakers, and presenters. The ultimate goal is to expand your reach, while remaining targeted, and getting your message out to more of your ideal audience. These are some pertinent areas that can help enhance your social media marketing campaign:
- Choose a memorable and compelling hashtag for your event
- Setup and run a paid social media advertising campaign
- Identify strategic partners and piggyback off their existing footprint and social following
- Identify existing groups (Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, etc.) that house your audience, and promote to these targeted users
3) Sponsorship, Affiliate, and Influencer Marketing – The mutual benefit that exists between sponsors and brand partners is undeniable. Whether your virtual event is a conference, trade show, or social experience, there are other brands that will benefit from exposure to your audience. Likewise, you can pay or sponsor brands or influencers to promote your event to their audience / followers.
Another mutually beneficial arrangement is an affiliate marketing agreement. In this scenario, an individual or company promotes your event to their audience in exchange for a commission when their followers register for your event. Tracking their referrals can be accomplished during registration by them providing a promo code, or establishing a unique signup link that refers their followers to a dedicated web page.
Marketing your event to warm leads that already have interest or use for your product or service is the most efficient way to get the word out to those that matter most. Influencer marketing is beneficial for this reason, as the influencer has already created a relationship and trust with their followers. Them suggesting your event and communicating its value allows you to ensure the messaging will be heard by an audience. The most important part is choosing an influencer that aligns well with your product or service.
All strategic marketing rests on a mutual benefit and reward system. Both parties should gain something in advance, as well as the audience. The typical follower of “The Rock” enjoys comedic action movies, for him to shout-out an upcoming action movie release, would ensure it be seen by customers that would enjoy this type of film. Similarly, find businesses that would like to advertise at your event, affiliates that want to promote your event, or influencers whose followers would benefit from attending your virtual event.
What is the best way to create an engaging virtual event experience?
Content must be engaging, and your speakers/presenters cannot be dull and dry. It’s best that hosts and speakers participate in a mock event where they can practice their delivery and become comfortable with the format and pace of your virtual event.
Creating a highly engaging audience experience takes a great event planner and production efficiency. Another key component in making your event memorable to your audience is by creating opportunities for attendees and presenters to make meaningful connections and memorable interactions.
Within the platform and virtual event environment, personalization is another method to make the users feel special and like considered participants. Lastly, providing attendees the ability to be heard and responded to (in real-time preferably), goes a long way for making the experience impactful and your attendees feel they involved.
How do I measure success, and what data will be provided?
Every interaction and touchpoint is tracked, thus the entire virtual event experience can be measure and quantified. Virtual event success hinges on defining and aligning event and business goals prior to the event. Then proving the ROI is just a matter of analyzing costs and the benefits that the metrics indicate.
There are direct benefits associated with revenue, but there are also very real benefits in the form of sales pipeline creation, knowledge / info exchange, customer insight, and brand equity. With the volume of data at your fingertips, you will clearly be able to weigh costs and benefits.
To ensure success and extract the most from your virtual event planner or partner relationship, clearly articulate and define your intended success metrics before the event. Then post-event, take the time to understand the data, results, and areas of opportunities.
Here are some of the key metrics and data that will be at your disposal post event:
- Number of registered users
- Number of event attendees
- Number of leads / sales pipeline
- Session registrations
- Session ratings and feedback
- Email open and click-thru rates
- Post-event survey and feedback
- Attendee demographic info
- Social media engagement / reach
Does a virtual event need a host or moderator?
The structure and type of event determines whether a host/moderator is needed. Consider that some events are entertainment or social in nature, and the format will be very different than a learning or business event. A host or moderator has great communication and journalism skills, whereas a presenter or speaker often has expertise in the given field or topic being covered
We handle planning, know the best technology, and how to engage your audience. Let’s build your virtual event!
We know the ingredients for a flawless virtual event. There are a few critical factors we look forward to sharing, and anticipate helping transition your event online without interruption or headache. Simply communicate your requirements, questions, and let us do the rest.
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