"Greener Data - Volume Two" Now Available
Close this search box.
8Tips for Virtual Events JSA Mktg

8 Tips to Optimize Your Virtual Event Strategy

Whether you’re a seasoned virtual event guru or starting to dip your toes into the digital event format, producing a virtual event takes a certain frame of mind. Even if you have a strong foundation built from virtual event due diligence, there are always new gaps to fill when trying to create a memorable experience. What are the nitpicky aspects you might be forgetting? What are the little tips and tricks that will push your event from good to great? What are the best practices that you have learned from running in-person events that might be falling through the cracks? Here are eight things to keep in mind when going virtual.

  1. You Don’t Have to Host to be Effective

Being involved in virtual events doesn’t necessarily need to mean hosting events. Remember that you can have a presence, generate leads and maintain relationships by speaking, sponsoring or attending, too. For instance, maybe your objective is thought leadership or brand awareness. In this case, your best bet might be to research an instance where a company executive can speak on a panel to weigh in on industry issues and provide a perspective on behalf of the organization. Decide on an approach based on your goals; it may lead you to the realization that you don’t need to put on your own occasion to achieve them.

  1. Rethink Your Invite Strategy

Invite lists for virtual events should be treated differently than typical events. Firstly, they can be far more flexible and far more bold, since you have the ability to expand or contract the size of the event in real time with few negative consequences. 

Secondly, the drop-off between those who RSVP and those who actually attend is much steeper than with in-person occasions. Aiming for a Virtual Event Strategyhigher number of sign-ups than you actually want is the best way to go. All of this means that you should be increasing the number of invites you think you need in relation to your target attendee number, as well as extending the invites to fresh new invitees. Using intent data analysis is a great stone to hit both of these birds, as leveraging behaviour-based online activity will help you not only reach new people, but reach new people who are already interested in what you have to offer.

  1. Don’t Forget Incentives

Instead of ditching your typical grab bags, door prizes, raffles and swag tables, create alternatives for them. They are still important and effective. Mailouts and gift cards work great, as do meal deliveries. Gifts and prizes are great ways to increase your registration numbers and attendance rates, and you can use them as rewards for interactions like comments and questions in a virtual forum.

  1. Relax

When facilitating an event, try to remember that stuff happens. Sometimes a speaker misses a slide or flubs an intro. Sometimes a cat appears in the background. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the connection is unstable. Roll with it. These little things happen in all kinds of events, but there is a tendency to put more pressure on things that are recorded for a camera. Let the little glitches and slip-ups slide off your back or you’ll turn into a nervous wreck worrying about things that are beyond your control anyway.

  1. Content is King

In-person events can draw attendees solely using a desirable travel destination and the promise of enjoyable networking opportunities. Without these lures, compelling speakers and engaging sessions tailored to your audience becomes all the more critical. Planning for a virtual setting means pouring extra energy into providing and promoting your event’s content – because for virtual events your content is your event.

  1. Prepare the Speakers and Attendees to Ensure the Best User Experience

Virtual Event StrategyWith so many different types of video conferencing tools and event software, keep in mind that some people maybe using these types of technology for the first time. Anticipate common problems and mitigate them by ensuring lots of clear messaging that guides both the speakers and attendees through, for instance, attending keynote sessions and using the messaging tools. A guide, introduction video and/or practice sessions beforehand for accessing sessions and troubleshooting the digital event platform can go a long way with the user experience.

  1. Don’t Forget Internal Meetings

With so much focus on leveraging virtual events with external audiences for initiatives such as lead generation and customer nurturing – it can be easy to overlook internal gatherings. Quarterly board meetings, annual sales team gatherings, town hall meetings and all hands assemblies – even though they are meant for your internal organization, these types of affairs are not “business as usual” either. Treat them with the same care and approach you would for an external event to ensure that a great user experience translates into a successful virtual event.

  1. Things are Always Changing

In many ways, we’re still in the wild west of virtual events. As the world settles into new ways of doing things, best practices are rapidly evolving. Many professionals are still in the process of learning what works and what doesn’t, and the software and other tools constantly change and grow. Furthermore, in a few months things could be considerably different again as regulations over event protocols continue to fluctuate in ways that are impossible to predict. Realize that there are no rock-solid rules at this point and lean into that.

The Bottom Line

While the pivot to virtual events can feel overwhelming, a well-conceived plan, an attitude toward continuous improvement and the right tools can bring confidence in delivering an engaging, informative experience for attendees that reaches your organization’s event goals.

Related Posts

JSA News Alerts Get the latest news & insights delivered to your inbox