Top 5 Tips for Hosting a Successful Virtual Event

Our industry is awakening to a new reality. While everyone is reacting to the current pandemic and a world driven by “social distancing”, we who work in the world of corporate events still need to drive engagement with our audiences, drive demand for our solutions, and keep our internal teams motivated.

Feeling overwhelmed by this new challenge? First, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our agents are working with clients every day to find the right solution for them during this time. If the show must go on, now is the perfect time to make the leap to hosting a virtual event. Getting started with hosting a virtual event can be simple if you follow these top 5 tips for success. 

 

1. Make Registration for Your Virtual Event Easy

Top Tip 1: Make Registration for Your Virtual Event Easy

Track registrations for your virtual event

Like you would for any live event or conference, start with finding the best way to take and track registrations for your virtual event. Make sure that your registration form is as simple and easy to use as possible to maximize registrations. Although it is tempting to ask for a lot of information from registrants up front, the more fields you add to a form decreases the likelihood of it being completed. Only ask registrants for the most important details you need to know. Test everything before launching registration for your event.

Enable social sign-on features

Another option for speeding up the registration process is to use Google or social sign-on features if your registration platform of choice offers this. Like we mentioned earlier, when you have fewer steps for someone to complete to sign up, you will see higher registration rates.

(Auto) send calendar invites to your virtual event

Once someone has registered, remember to send an auto-reply email with a calendar invite that is easy to use. You will want registrants to add your virtual event to their calendars. Also, you’ll want to make sure that you are addressing both Apple and Android/PC users by offering an ‘add to calendar’ feature that works with both.

 

2. Choose the Right Technology for Your Virtual Event

Top Tip 2: Choose the Right Technology for Your Virtual Event

Find technology to meet your needs

There are a lot of virtual event technology solutions out there. Which platform you decide on is often strictly based on budget concerns. Budget is very important, but we should also make sure that the technology platform makes our jobs easier. Look for solutions that meet your realistic needs for attendance. When considering attendee capacity for each event, check to see how simple it is to expand that capacity should you reach it. The last thing you want is to have people who want to participate in your virtual event not be able to access it. A good virtual event technology platform will make this capacity shift seamless to your registrants and avoid disruptions. 

Consider recording your virtual event session

If your virtual keynote speaker allows recording of their presentation, you will definitely want to have the ability to record the session. By recording your virtual session, you will have a valuable new resource that you can share with the current audience and you can use it to attract additional audiences in the future. 

Use marketing automation to follow up and save time

If you are actively using a marketing automation platform like Marketo, Hubspot, or Pardot, you may also want to find a virtual event solution that has a native integration. This will make your life a lot easier when it comes to follow up activity after the event, and can often help streamline the registration process as well. 

If you need suggestions for a virtual event registration solution, please reach out to us.

 

3. Find the Right Speaker for Your Online Audience

Top Tip 3: Find the Right Speaker for Your Online Audience

Know your target audience

This is a subject that is near and dear to our hearts here at AAE. Finding the perfect speaker for your live or virtual event is both an art and a science. Knowing your target audience is one part of the equation. Finding a keynote speaker that is proven, experienced, and relevant might seem like a DIY task, but this can lead to a lot of extra work and frustration for event and meeting planners.

Select a keynote speaker with experience in the virtual event sphere

Finding a speaker for an online audience should be a little different from finding a live event speaker. It will be more challenging to keep an online audience engaged, as people may be tempted to multi-task. Finding an experienced motivational speaker who can primarily express key points verbally versus visually will increase the value registrants get from your event.

Work with a talent agency to make your life easier

When working with a full-service talent booking agency like All American Entertainment, you are supported through the entire booking process. Whether it is sourcing a top speaker, negotiating contracts, coordinating logistics, or collecting post-event feedback, we are here to help. You gain an extension of your event planning team, whether the event is live or virtual. A full-service talent booking agency will take care of all of the speaker’s needs so you can shift your attention to other aspects of your virtual event.

 


A Trusted Partner to Facilitate the Shift from Live to Virtual Events

The same great service that we provide for live events is also available for virtual events. As an extension of your team, we are a trusted partner in making your event a success.  If you are considering holding a virtual event, contact us to book a great virtual event speaker who is a perfect match for your online audience.


 

4. Keep the Virtual Presentation Engaging

Top Tip 4: Keep the Virtual Presentation Engaging

Provide audio cues to capture listener attention

Since many people attending virtual events are listening instead of watching, it is important to provide audio cues that increase engagement and attention. For example, consider using multiple speakers or presenters. A well-moderated conversation, like a question and answer session, will keep the listener’s focus on the event. We have also seen that when you mix male and female voices, engagement levels stay higher. There is less likelihood of your audience tuning out, as audio shifts consistently bring the listener back into the presentation.

Use poll questions to increase audience engagement

Use technology to your advantage by asking poll questions during your virtual event. By spacing poll questions during the session, you will bring back even your most distracted audience members to participate. Also, engaging with a poll allows you to identify your most engaged viewers during your online event. They just might eventually become your most important customers too.  

Allow the speaker to infuse personality into the presentation

Encourage your speaker and moderator to infuse their own personalities into the presentation. Leverage humor and natural abilities. Making them laugh will make your audience feel more connected to your speaker and feel more positive about your event as a whole. Playing into personalities allows the authenticity of your brand to shine through. After the event, that positive impression of your brand is what you want your attendees to take away.

 

5. Post-Event Follow Up is Key

Top Tip 5: Post-Event Follow Up Is Key for Live and Virtual Events

Stay top of mind with your audience

After your event, whether live or virtual, you will want to continue to stay front of mind with your audience. The best way to do this is by following up within days with a post-event email that includes a link to the recorded session as well as any other collateral that you shared during the session. 

Ask your attendees for feedback

One of the most important steps that is often forgotten is to ask for feedback! Ask your audience to complete a short survey and ask what they thought of the entire experience – speaker, system, and content. Empower your audience to give constructive feedback – positive or negative, and take those insights to make your next event even better.

Promote your live event as a webinar on social media

Look for ways to promote your recently recorded live event as a pre-recorded webinar. Pull soundbites and quotes from your recording to use on social media and email marketing initiatives too. 

 

We are fortunate to live in a technology-driven world. It is now more important than ever to keep your brand and organization front of mind, and holding a virtual event is a great way to do that. Take the leap and know that you have the team at AAE here to help you every step of the way. 

Contact us to learn more about how AAE can help you with your live or virtual event speaker needs. 

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