We've all experienced our fair share of virtual events in the past 12 months. Some have been fantastic and others have made us want to shut our laptops for good. MtoM has worked with a variety of clients this year to execute some incredibly engaging and innovative virtual events. Here are 5 ways to make sure your virtual event is one people will rave about and won't click away.
1. Explore platforms beyond Zoom. We have run some really great events on Zoom, and it is great because everyone got over the Zoom hump last year. Attendees know how to log on and they generally know how to behave once they are in the event. But there are so many more options out there that may be better suited for the event you are hosting. One of our clients recently got a license to a platform called Shindig. We have found the learning curve for producing events to be pretty easy. This platform is great for conferences or town hall-style events where you want to encourage networking among the attendees. This is just one of many we have tried out.
2. Brand your event. Create a cohesive event feeling with a strong brand identity and carry it through all of the elements from the event promotion, to the presentations, to the lower thirds, videos, and more!
3. Incorporate something tangible with your virtual event. We've done a variety of things to bring something tangible to virtual events, and a lot can depend on your budget and the number of attendees. A recent chamber virtual gala included a bag you could pick-up with party masks, beads, drinks, and snacks. For a company kick-off, we sent every employee a customized "firepit" kit with a blanket, mug, hat, s'mores, hot chocolate, and a gift card to get dinner.
4. Plan your event with a run-of-show and rehearse. It is important to know what is going to happen for every minute of the show. Who is speaking, what is being posted in the chat, who is spotlighted, where is the technical support- it is important to think all of that through. We use Google Sheets so that many people can collaborate and see where we are in the production. It also might be helpful to have a second monitor or to print your run-of-show if you are responsible for sharing your screen.
5. Incorporate produced videos to help tell stories. There are a variety of reasons why pre-recorded videos can make sense for your live virtual event. It might be a guest speaker that you couldn't get otherwise or it might be a compilation video that helps tell a story.
5. Get people excited with live music and guest speakers or performers! We recently hosted a day that included a band, an expert guest speaker live from a country around the world, and a cyber mentalist performer. No one way bored and everyone was super excited to come back for day two.