Transitioning to a virtual event can be a daunting task. Even the most seasoned event professionals have been required to refocus business practices and adjust to this digitized new normal. If planned and executed properly, virtual events can provide the same value, impact, and overall attendee engagement as in-person meetings. The process of virtual event planning can seem overwhelming, but with the demand for online accessibility, knowing where to begin is the first step. Check out our team’s quick tips for planning your next digital program.
Choosing the Right PlatformWith so many platforms out there to choose from, how do you know which system will best suit your needs? We recommend taking a holistic approach to virtual event planning. Consider all aspects of your event and desirable goals when making a decision. Create a comprehensive list of key priorities to identify the top features to look out for during the research and demo stage. For example:
- Is networking an essential reason for your event? Ensure your platform has plenty of opportunities to boost attendee interaction.
- Are sponsors and exhibitors a primary focus? Look for a platform that has a wide range of partnership visibility and reporting.
- Is security a concern for you and your audience? Confirm whether or not the platform provides security testing and proper compliance documentation.
Screen Time OverloadWhen starting to plan your agenda for a virtual event, there are a few areas to take into account that may not hold as much weight compared to an in-person event. Most widely known, virtual attendees experience endless distractions ranging from their emails and notifications, internet browsers, and of course background noise. Thus, it’s important to:
- Consider how long each session will be. A good rule of thumb to follow is that for every hour of a live presentation that holds an attendee’s attention, only about half that time will work in a virtual setting. Offer concise, rich content to keep participants focused and engaged.
- Stay away from two-hour long or back-to-back sessions. If your sessions exceed over 8 hours, plan on spreading your conference over multiple days to lighten the strain on your attendee’s attention span.
- Keep participants involved by utilizing interactive methods such as polling, question and answer, and file sharing.