Making the switch: Taking your event online
By KEN DEC - May 12, 2020
So, you’re transitioning your live event into a virtual event. But what does that mean exactly?
There’s something about the term “virtual event” that feels intimidatingly vague. It’s hard to make the change if you don’t know exactly what your online experience should look like.
But don’t stress out. The fact is, you’ve probably already attended a virtual event. You just called it something different.
More and more brands are using the term “virtual event” as a catch-all for any shared, live online experience. So if you’ve attended a webinar, watched Beyoncé live at Coachella, or danced along to , guess what? You’ve attended a virtual event.
The term virtual event is useful because it suggests a continuity between brands’ live and online presences.
And continuity is the goal right now, isn’t it? You want to hold onto as many of your live-event attendees as possible.
To do so, you need to make your switch to a virtual event clear and seamless. Here’s how:
Use a chatbot to answer attendees’ basic questions instantly.
Ever since you announced your transition to a virtual event, you’ve probably been inundated with questions—maybe more than your team is equipped to handle.
You might be so swamped with attendees’ basic questions—“How do I register?” “What’s the fee?” etc.—that you can’t actually focus on putting together your virtual event.
By answering attendees’ most common questions 24/7/365, our Virtual Event Bot eases your attendees into the virtual event experience and frees up your staff to focus on building the best virtual event possible.
Attendees simply type their questions into a chatbot window on your event site. Your Virtual Event Bot answers them immediately, with a 95% correct response rate.
Takes about an hour to put it up on your site and voila!
Bring your speakers online.
Rather than building your virtual event from scratch, leverage the connections and content you’ve already built for your live event.
It all starts with your speakers. Transitioning your live speakers to online webinars gives them the opportunity to show off the work they’ve already done for your live show.
Taking speakers’ presentations online also gives your attendees a greater sense of continuity, which makes them all the more likely to follow you to an online platform.
If there was a speaker they really wanted to see live, they still get to see them—but from the comfort of their own home. And those who couldn’t make the live event? Well, now they can join in on the fun too.
Deliver a diverse array of content, for either a more familiar “event” experience or for longer-term engagement.
Part of wat makes an event feel like, well, an event is a sense of exploration. When I hit the show floor, I can do a whole bunch of different things. I can check out a booth. I can go to a speaker’s presentation. I can go to a breakout session.
You can’t recreate that sensation perfectly online, but you can give attendees a similar sense of agency by creating many different kinds of content for them to choose from. Create webinars, podcasts, slide-sharing, and networking opportunities to craft a multifaceted experience for attendees.
You can deliver this content over a few days, like you would a live event.
Or—and this is one of the great advantages to taking your event online—you can release your content in ongoing, bite-sized pieces over a longer period of time.
This approach is a great way to keep your attendees engaged with your brand for weeks, even months.
Add text for immediate notifications and further relationship-building.
Add text capabilities to your Virtual Event Bot to deliver immediate event notifications straight to attendees’ phones. Texts have a 98% open rate, so you can be confident attendees are getting your messages.
Text also helps you keep in touch with attendees after your virtual event, so you can build longer-lasting relationships with them over time.
Whether you’re taking safety measures amidst coronavirus, or just looking to boost your brand’s online presence, virtual events are a great way to hold onto the attendees you already have and spread your brand’s reach even farther.