More than eighty million events worldwide have either been canceled or rescheduled due to the virus.
Companies have been trying to adapt their content to virtual events, leading consumers to ask new questions: will live events become something that is enjoyed solely from home, and are the days of in-person live events long forgotten?
While live events probably won’t remain virtual forever, determining their usefulness in the face of a global health crisis, and introducing virtual gatherings into your business structure, won’t hurt.
Transitioning: the Real Struggle
Transitioning from in-person events to broadcasting all of your company's information on multiple platforms can be challenging. Businesses are working around the struggles, and most of them are handlining the change with grace and dignity.
As mentioned, with more than eighty million events disturbed, companies have been pulling out all of the stops to make their virtual events as high quality, meaningful, and enjoyable as possible. Your company can, and should, do the same.
Did your original event plan to take up just two days of your customers' time, but the entire time was back to back events? Your virtual events don't have to, and shouldn't be, the same duration. Work on distribution. It is key. Spread out all of the information your company was prepared to share on day one across a longer duration.
Virtual events are different, and different isn't necessarily bad. Your event should be capable of squeezing into the bits of off time your customer has. Attention spans become shorter the longer an individual remains in their home, sitting at their desk while staring into a screen. By keeping it short, sweet, and enjoyable, you are more likely to have returning customers when we're all back to our new normals.
What Are Virtual Events Lacking?
Though there are benefits to online events such as ease of accessibility, the opportunity to join as little or as much as you'd like, multitasking, and the like, there's no denying we're missing out on some of the abundant opportunities in-person events have to offer.
Community is one of the most valuable prospects you'll find at a live event, with the added benefits of bouncing ideas around with your peers, brainstorming over a cup of coffee, and manifesting ideas while roaming the halls.
In light of these struggles and disadvantages, companies and consumers alike are nevertheless grateful to have any way to continue as scheduled. Transitioning may be difficult, but as long as everyone knows what to expect and are able to come to terms with the fact that certain things will feel different, we'll be able to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Think Outside of the Conference Box
It's been said before, but we'll repeat it for you: there is more to virtual events than just a multi-screen conference call. Companies are getting together, virtually, of course, and developing new ideas, researching new software, and working their hardest to find alternatives for the everyday conference calling systems.
Keep in mind that each of your customers are different individuals with different preferences, schedules, and levels of accessibility. There is not a one-size-fits-all option for your company.
Preparation Will Prevent Pandemonium
Before your company makes the complete switch to virtual live-events, preparation should become your best friend. The jump from in-person to remote events is a far one, but with proper preparation, you'll have a higher probability of success.
What Is Your Platform?
The first step to making the switch is deciding on what company you would like to use for your broadcasting. Outline your needs, plans, and ideas and then compare those to the available platforms. Don't be afraid to mix and match and choose a few platforms for different aspects of your event.
However, you'll also want to avoid selecting too many platforms and forcing your customers to jump from app to app for each segment.
What Content Will You Provide?
Choosing the right content for your life event is crucial. Even though you may have had one thing planned for your in-person event, you may have to make a few adjustments when it comes to operating it remotely. Don't be afraid to switch things around until you find the perfect combination of content for your event.
How Will You Communicate With Your Audience?
Be sure to communicate your ideas to your audience. Keep them updated via social media, email newsletters, or texts. However, your company chooses to connect, value the space that you take up in your customers' inboxes, and use it wisely. Let them know what to expect, how things have changed, and that your company is still just as excited to connect remotely as they were to connect in person.
Remember, your audience is the only reason that your company is hosting an event in the first place. Value your customers. Connect with and inspire them. That is your ultimate goal.