By Kelsey Ahern
Kelsey is a client-centric project owner and manager for our virtual platform, Second Stage. Before working in the world of Event Production, she was an Account & Project Manager for a large Fortune 500 third-party logistics company. After growing and sharpening her skills, she made the jump into her passion: events. She brings a tailored project management service to each client – as she believes there isn’t a “one size fits all!”. With a hybrid background that marries event management and project management, Kelsey is an ideal one-stop-shop professional for our Second Stage Platform.
We’ve learned a lot about hosting virtual and hybrid events this year. And, while we are still learning more everyday, we were able to host our biggest event last week, with more than 22,000 individual users!
Since last March, we have adapted and grown in the event space to create meaningful experiences, even online. However, we are always trying to make these experiences better, and that’s why I wanted to share my key takeaways from our largest virtual event to date.
1. Ensure engagement with a sponsor of the day
During a virtual event, you want to make sure your audience is exploring as many booths as possible. Use your platform to program-in daily sponsors, highlighting a new booth every day at a specific time. And, for an added level of interaction, have your live stream direct attendees to check out the ‘sponsor of the day’. This feature not only guarantees sponsor engagement, but allows attendees to interact with your event in-depth.
2. Chat boxes aren’t always a good thing
Chat is important to the audience experience, but if you are hosting a large show, be mindful of the sessions you allow with group chat. As more attendees interact with the chat and with each other during a live-streamed session, it can start to take away from the stream experience. Make sure you examine up-front what activities and streams are best-suited for chat.
3. What the *$@!!
On the topic of chat boxes, you’ll want to make sure your event’s chat feature is enabled with a profanity filter. With a larger event, you never know what kind of sh!t people could be up to.
4. Branding is key
In order to provide a seamless virtual event experience, make sure your platform is fully-customizable. If your organization’s website and your virtual platform feel like the same space, your attendees will feel right at home! This helps to boost your brand, and also ensures a cohesive audience experience.
5. Determine your metrics of success before the event
With our platform, you can completely customize your analytics. So, it’s more important than ever to make sure you determine your event goals before the event actually starts. This will allow you to examine your analytics real-time during the event!
6. Get people pumped!
Finally, find a way to soft-launch your event. Whether it be a pep rally, exclusive concert, or a keynote speaker, get your audience excited before your event even happens. With an online platform, you can get more interaction and engagement out of your event. For an in-person event, attendees would never fly somewhere twice. But, for an online experience, your audience can log-on at any time, building momentum for your show and increasing engagement opportunities.
I hope you find these tips helpful, and, if you’re looking for more advice on how to make your next virtual event a success, connect with me HERE today!