Top 5 Necessities for Hosting Your Online Event
It’s likely that COVID-19 has changed a few of your business practices, for better or worse. As a result of mass lockdowns, many people have found creative ways to do business online and through social media, leading to an important shift in the best ways to reach your customers. One practice that’s here to stay is the virtual event, and it can seem overwhelming to plan an engaging event that checks all the right boxes for your potential base. It can be easy to aim high and fall short when it comes to your first event, so here are some necessities to keep in mind as you plan.
The first and most important thing when considering hosting an event is to make sure you meet your customers where they’re at. Although you may personally spend your free time browsing Facebook, your customers may engage more through Instagram Live or YouTube. Don’t discredit apps and platforms designed specifically for virtual events, either – like Twitter Spaces, Zoom, Twitch, Clubhouse, Reddit AMAs, or GoToWebinar. If you stick to what you’re familiar with, you may miss out on your target audience. Rely on your marketing team’s expertise on where to find new potential customers – and don’t just abandon your chosen platform once your event is done. Continue engaging so your one-time customers become regular ones.
Although it might seem fun to host a fun virtual event, it’s important to always keep in mind that your customers need a reason to tune in. If your goal is too niche and doesn’t attract a broad customer base, then it’s likely only a few people will be interested. Instead of live streaming games and hijinks around the office to your followers, consider hosting an informational session where you workshop patient questions, demonstrate tutorials, or interact with viewers to encourage eCommerce sales. Make sure to host guests to break up the event and help your viewers stay engaged. As with any goal, make sure it’s also measurable with different metrics that can help you track leads and gather data for what works and what doesn’t.
Although your schedule may be free during weekday mornings, that doesn’t mean it’s the ideal time to host a virtual event – that’s because many people are at work. Make use of your social platforms’ metrics to find out when your followers are most active and rearrange your schedule accordingly. Make sure to take into account different time zones, holidays, and even different countries! Your goal is to allow as many people as possible to access your event, so stay flexible.
A rookie mistake is to allow yourself and your guests to just “go with the flow” during your event. If you’ve ever hosted an in-person event or lecture, you know that disruptions happen, discussions go off track, and questions come up. Make sure to account for the same things during your virtual event. Create a schedule ahead of time and stick to it, with specific times for questions, intermissions, and introductions. Additionally, make sure you have a clear agenda for the event and don’t let your viewers wait around for long periods of time in between guests.
If you’ve never hosted a virtual event before, the best thing you can do is learn about them. Check out other virtual events in your market and pick them apart to determine what worked and what you’d do differently. Additionally, make sure to spend time learning about your chosen platform so there aren’t technical disruptions that delay or disrupt your event. Finally, touch base with your marketing team to learn about what metrics to look for and how you can optimize your event for maximum impact.
Looking to expand your online reach with effective, engaging events? Our team can help. With industry-leading EMR reporting and knowledgeable approaches to social media, we can set you up to succeed in the virtual market. To get started, fill out our online contact form and learn more.