In a time where all events – big or small – are being moved to online platforms, many people are scrambling to adapt.
The digital sphere is not uncharted territory for everyone, though. ATYPICAL – a brand dedicated to creating demand for products and services in the real estate industry – has regularly hosted digital events long before the COVID-19 pandemic forced us behind screens. Luckily for all of us, they decided to share some tips for hosting successful virtual events.
#1- Keep it real
We are all dealing with circumstances beyond the normal. Be flexible and embrace the weird. Jimmy Fallon’s a prime example. He’s hosting his show from home, which includes his young daughters interrupting the broadcast. It’s made for some funny television, and it’s entirely in keeping with what millions of others are experiencing as they video conference.
So it’s okay if it’s not spit-polished. We get it. Roll with the punches.
#2- Plan, plan, plan!
Have a plan for everything, so you deliver the intended experience. Do they need event registration to join? How will your advertisers and supporters be included in the virtual festivities? What’s the best date and time for the majority of people to participate in your event?
And, remember to be ready for glitches. Live events have hiccups, and you better believe virtual events have tech troubles, too. Test everything and have back-up plans. If someone can’t log-in for a live event, will they be able to stream it later? Cover all bases!
#3- Pick the right virtual tools for the event
Zoom’s having a field day, but is video conferencing right for your event? Maybe not. A YouTube channel and a live stream might serve better. Or perhaps you need a way for people to chat with each other during an event. Use another tool, like Reddit,Slack, or Twitter. Create an event-specific hashtag and type away!
#4- Communicate like crazy
Set the expectations for the new event with your attendees. Let them know how the digital version will work, from the format changes to how they’ll engage with the event hosts and participants.
#5- Amp the tech up
Most of us have gotten away with our in-built webcams, but now that we’re spending more time on virtual, put some more effort into the digital environment.
Invest in a better webcam or microphone. Look at the background environment people are seeing. Some people have been pretty creative with their digital backgrounds. Also, consider your lighting and how to brighten the space.
#6- Stay engaged with the audience
Find ways to keep those participating engaged with the virtual event. On live streams, pause and ask for questions. If you’re using Facebook Live, check-in with the comments or give shout-outs. Create interactive content, like polling or quizzes. Ask people to send questions ahead of time or provide ways for contact afterward.Follow-through on those contacts.
#7-Promote like crazy
To drive traffic to the virtual event, invest in your marketing and promotion. What are people going to gain from being present during your event? Consider adding an incentive for being there virtually-live to get people to log on and participate. Use all the social tools at your disposal to get the word out.