Are you planning to cancel travel arrangements for industry conferences? If so, then you’re not alone. Recently, many trade shows converted their onsite plans into virtual events. Facebook cancelled its F8 software developer conference. Google switched to a virtual event for Google Cloud Next 2020. Plus, the city of Austin, Texas axed SXSW. The coronavirus has people scrapping travel itineraries and signing up for online sessions. Instead of a crowded expo floor, they watch live product demos from their homes or offices.
But, where does this leave event marketers? After all, you had a strategy to entice event-goers to invest in your product. Don’t give up on your plans. Instead, showcase your products and story with engaging virtual events.
Learn how industry leaders shift to remote events to avoid losing a captive audience. Then, get tips on how to create a virtual conference. A great plan maximizes attendance, improves customer experience, and generates leads.
Virtual Events: Coronavirus and Company Responses
Online event streaming is not new. But, turning a large conference into a remote event within hours or days is fairly novel. These industry events had a backup plan ready to put into action. For example, organizations like the Open Compute Project(OCP) turned its Global Summit into a virtual event. Attendees take part in one-on-one sessions and a slew of activities from anywhere in the world.
The Geneva International Motor Show canceled its Switzerland show. Instead, they’ll offer pre-recorded and livestream press conferences. Attendees can view the latest debuts at their convenience.
Domopalooza canceled its event saying, “We made the decision to transform Domopalooza 2020 from an in-person event for 3,000 people in Salt Lake City, Utah, to one that is 100% digital.” Their virtual event includes breakout sessions and keynotes in an online format.
Lastly, IBM’s Think conference also goes digital this year. The company combines locally-hosted activities with virtual events. It includes livestreaming content and interactive sessions.
These are only a handful of industry conferences canceled within days of each other. But, where does that leave companies that count on trade shows, summits, and conferences? Well, for agile businesses, it’s time to plan for your own immersive online experience.
How to organise Live Streaming Events That Generate Leads
Let’s face it. You head to a conference for many reasons. Yet, your main motive is to gather leads. Without that face-to-face aspect, how can you get emotional buy-in from remote attendees? There are a few strategies to tackle here. Must-haves for your virtual events include:
- Goals to guide your event
- Compelling messages and a unique story
- A format emphasizing customer experience
- Professional video design and production
Before heading to any event, you’ve already calculated your ROI. You know who your potential customers are and what they’re looking for. Pivot towards tactics that work for virtual events. Forget stagnant PowerPoint presentations. Drop the stale pre-recorded speeches from your CEO. Instead, deliver a powerful experience to your remote audience.
Virtual Event Planning and Production
So what do the best virtual events include? Event marketing is all about putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. They were pumped to hit the road and see live product demonstrations. Many had a list of questions to ask during your Q&A sessions.
Moving to an online experience means adding new benefits and even more value. To do that, you’re going to use technology to pull your audience in. Then, deliver an experience that makes your potential clients thrilled to be at home.
Best Virtual Event Ideas and Examples
Your audience already accesses webinars and spends a great deal of time online. Switching to a virtual event isn’t a big jump. But, organizations develop unique ways to increase attendance and engagement. Let’s look at how industry leaders pivot to online events to captivate a global audience.
Some combine local events with online offerings. For instance, a participation party puts your virtual event onscreen in conference rooms across the country. It gives attendees the freedom to choose their location without gathering at a large event.
Industry conferences incorporate interactive multi-session activities with webinars and pre-recorded videos. For best results, focus on an audience that’s already shown an interest in your products and services. Think about what they need from you to take the next step. Then provide that in a virtual event format. Top virtual event ideas include:
Pre-recorded videos. Give leads access to your videos on demand. Create an experience that combines brand elements and clear language with a captivating video presentation.
Animated education content. Produce 2D and 3D content to reduce the production costs found in traditional video. Walk attendees through a product demo or setup process with ease.
Livestreaming. Get buy-in for digital events with a bit of FOMO. Remote viewers won’t want to miss out on asking questions.
Virtual event panels and forums. Livestream from your Cambridge or your London home. Hosting an online group is a great way to engage your audience with a live Q&A session.
Other fantastic options include “choose your path” activities and team workshops. Or share solution demonstrations while answering questions from your online audience. With a great strategy, you can turn any onsite exhibit into a virtual event.
Virtual Conferences: Best Practices and Tips
Attendees flock to events to catch the latest innovations and network with industry leaders. Replicating that experience online isn’t easy. But, brands that get it right attract an audience, generate interest, and increase brand visibility. You may already offer online webinars or tutorials. But, adding virtual events requires a bit more planning. From accessibility to remote attendance monitoring, it’s important to visualize each step. Use these tips to compel your audience to take action.
- Develop a virtual event marketing strategy that aligns with your goals
- Choose digital technology tools and formats that convey your message
- Create a clear and compelling story and video script to keep attendees tuned in
- Engage virtual attendees using high-quality videos, animation, and graphics
Develop Virtual Events Before a Cancellation
Don’t wait for your next conference to get canceled. Instead, put together video assets now. Drop the travel expenses and livestream a panel right from your office. Virtual events give your audience the flexibility to experience your brand and products from anywhere.
Are you ready to share your products with a remote audience? Find out more about our Live Streaming services and get in touch for a free consultation.