Virtual events are a trend that won’t be going away and are quickly becoming a strategic must for associations. Virtual events can reach deep within organizations and impact a larger number of participants. Traditionally, only a select group of individuals are able to attend in-person events, leaving a majority with nothing. Virtual events are evolving the way associations offer education, are cost effective, powerful and an efficient way of extending your most compelling content to your entire community.
Here are five tips to ensure your virtual events are a success:
1 – Plan, Plan, Plan.
Virtual events require a significant amount of planning – maybe even more than place-based events. Ensure that you and your team have openly communicated about goals, intended outcomes, content and metrics. Develop and document a detailed event strategy with defined dates/milestones and pair with a corresponding production plan. A calendar of tasks and project deadlines will make for a smooth execution.
2 – Build-In Engagement.
Capitalize on the unique opportunities that a virtual event and the associated technology can offer. Leverage polls, self-assessments, chat features and integrated social channels. You can start the engagement well before your event and extend well beyond it is over.
3 – Leverage Experienced Production Partners
Having the right vendor partners is essential to the success of your event. Events that are poorly produced or using ineffective technology can leave attendees frustrated and dissatisfied. Be sure your partners can handle all support inquiries during the live event so that you and your team can focus on content delivery.
4 – Prep Speakers & Staff
Once the agenda is set, ensure that your speakers are well equipped to deliver stellar presentations that connect with the audience. In preparation of the event, take some time to guide your speakers on the technology and ensure they feel comfortable and encouraged. Additionally, make sure appropriate staff are prepared and have clearly defined roles for the live event.
5 – Promote & Build Excitement
You have invested significant time in planning and preparing for your event. Be sure to effectively market and promote your event with the same intensity as place-based events. Promote early, often, and increase the intensity as you lead up to the live event. Facilitate the engagement, open up discussions, and promote conversation through social media. Getting attendees excited before the event will promise a lively and robust event and even pave the way for post event conversations.
Virtual events shed a new light on member engagement strategies. They remove the barriers for attendance that exist with place-based events and as a result, extend your reach, revenue, and impact.
CommPartners produces hundreds of virtual events each year, including many that are executed from within an LMS environment. The seamless integration of CommPartners’ webinar and multimedia platforms within Elevate LMS make for a dynamic learning experience and hassle-free management for staff and presenters.
To learn more about how to make virtual events apart of your strategic reality, please contact us.
Webcasting, just like most things tech, is constantly reinventing itself and has evolved from a niche offering to a broad-based, versatile requirement for sharing knowledge online. Working for CommPartners, I have produced webcasts across a broad and diverse range of clients, each with individual needs, where custom and inventive webinar hosting services are often the only way to get the job done best. You know your members and how they prefer to engage, but are you leveraging the power of live streaming to grow your membership and reach?
The 3 most popular ways live event webcasting can be applied to your audience:
- Private Webcasts: These are webcasts where the content is streamed to a specific audience with the credentials to access it. Most organizations like to keep their intellectual “capital” limited to members and other paid parties, and this type of webcast is strictly for members only.
- Public Webcasts: These are free and designed to raise awareness and interest in the organization. Often an organization will utilize a popular live event streaming service such as YouTube or Facebook Live to webcast a portion of their content free of charge, in order to promote themselves and their mission.
- Private and Public Simulcasts: This is a newer category of webcast, where organizations simultaneously provide a private, special experience for their members and other paid or pre-registered parties while live-streaming a part of their content over free social media channels, in order to advertise the experience.
What a strong, exciting way to self-promote! Live event webcasting comes free with YouTube and Facebook, and most organizations already have a presence on these networks. While Facebook may be superior for organizational staff to post small live clips to promote their events, YouTube is the ideal place to provide a high-quality social media webcast experience, which can be shared rapidly among interested parties. As you know, to access a live event on YouTube, all you need is the link, and you can instantly connect to an unlimited number of viewers. An email blast advertising a live event on YouTube would likely be very well-received, as the prospect of participating in a live event broadcast draws viewers at a much higher rate than say a pre-recorded or archival program. By offering live event webcasting as a live promotional webcast on YouTube, the opportunity to organically reach new audience members increases exponentially!
Leveraging the Most Out of Event Live Streaming
CommPartners, in addition to offering webcasting in private, controlled environments, also provides a suite of event live streaming services. We have worked with clients to both simulcast and live-stream events and select content to YouTube. Social Media webcasts are one of the most powerful organic ways to expand your reach. You are already using it to keep members, fans, and other pertinent parties up to date with your organization — So, why not leverage some of your intellectual capital and show the world why membership to your organization has its benefits!
To speak directly with someone at Commpartners about our live event streaming solutions, or to find out how you can add a social media webcast to your event or virtual conference — contact Meghan Gowen at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at 443-539-4851.
Post Written by Bryan Ranharter, CommPartners Multimedia Producer