While a lot of organisers are rushing to transform their events into virtual, the very first thing to highlight is that a virtual event will never be the same as a live event. Therefore, the way the content is curated, the format of presentation and the way to engage with the audience will need to be properly thought through. Please remember that audience can click to leave the virtual event faster or easier to leave the virtual event as compare to being physically present in a live event. There are a lot more distractions for the audience at a virtual event as compare to a live event.
Just like planning a live event, there are a lot of things to consider during the planning stage. The most crucial ingredient of a successful virtual event is definitely the content. The topic for a virtual event (or even a webinar) should not be too broad or general because you need the audience to feel the need to latch on the session.
The content has to be concise and the format of delivery should be interesting and engaging. We have to remember that the speaker or presenter will not be able to see the audience except for the Q&A, chat and poll responses from the audience. We encourage the presenters to structure their slides with more interactive components that require the audience to feedback through polling feature.
An 8 hours long live conference cannot be translated to 8 hours long virtual event. It is advisable to have properly segmented sessions according to topics and the moderator or host of the virtual event has to constantly remind the audience what to expect after the current session.
Promotion of the virtual event can be done differently as it is indeed something new not just to some speakers but also to audience as well. We recommend our clients to have smaller sessions of webinars leading up to the big day so that the audience get used to using the interfaces or widgets that is available.
Clear agenda or program must be published on the website and the registration process must be as easy as ABC.
Speakers and host
Imagine a TV talk show, host plays very important role to set the tone of the event and also to make house keeping announcements. Host can also help the speakers or presenters to make the session less rigid or dull.
Seasonal or professional speakers may be very experienced on the big stage with large audience, but it is going to be different when speaking through a camera to invisible audience behind the screen. Smaller sessions of webinars will help them to get used to or comfortable with the setup (or even improve on their audio or video setting), and fine tune their way of presenting or taking questions too.
For ticketing virtual events, should be more affordable as the lack of event venue facility and F&B involved in a virtual event. Single pass for a leadership virtual summit can be as low as USD99. It must be stated very clearly what is included in the single pass, whether it also include one year of subscription to the content online or it can also include materials that can be downloaded exclusively by the audience during the event.