5 simple tips on how to arrange an engaging virtual event. Free banner templates for your next Event cover
We live in a strange time, the coronavirus forced many companies to switch onto work-from-home mode and Event Planners to pause or cancel all events, concerts, and gatherings in their tracks. This is an unprecedented time for the Event industry. But there are 2 good things: first, there is no doubt it will be recovered sooner or later, and the second one – now it deals with enhanced virtual participation through webinars and zoom meetings.
Recently tech and social media upgraded to the new level and there new ways to connect online: from virtual museum tours and live streaming performance at home to instagram live interviews with celebrities, and Q&A sessions with astronauts in Space. We can’t attend in person but still can get in on the action by giving feedback in comments and chatting with other participants via networking integrated tools.
5 simple tips to host an engaging online event
Today organizing virtual events is a hot topic. And here are 5 tips on how to host an engaging online event, how to promote it on Social Media and how to attract more people by making an eye-catching Event Cover.
Tip #1 Create a playbook
Even online event has to be backed with strategy and proper planning. You have to create a concept and answer questions that will help you to craft a proper playbook.
- What kind of experience do I want to deliver?
- When is the best time for the event?
- Where do I want to host the online event?
- Shall the event require a registration?
- Will the Event be free of charge or paid?
- How shall I promote the event?
- Where do I want the content to be seen?
- Shall I provide access to the event once it’s over to the people?
- What KPIs and data shall I track to analyze the planned event and give better experience in future?
Think carefully of the above and experiment with different options.
Tip #2 Choose the right platform to host the event
It’s vital to identify the platform you will be hosting your virtual event. You may choose Social Medias, like Facebook, Instagram or TikTok for a live streaming, or you can use specific platforms for Webinars, like webinarninja.com, crowdcast.io/webinars, zoom.us/webinar, or YouTube Livestream.
Tip #3 Choose the right time
It is so important to pick up the right time and date for your event. Check the calendar in terms of other popular live streamings. For example, if your target audience (TA) intersects with the TA of top celebs, like Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez, be careful with the time frames and avoid picking up the same time & date when Kim goes live with her followers. Or if you are planning to host an event for tech savvy guys in September, beware that Apple is usually presenting their new iPhones this month, so avoid the same time and date, otherwise, you might be disappointed with less people attending yours.
Time zones matter too. If you plan to go global, you should pick a time that works for as many of your customers and followers as possible.
Tip #4 Attract attendees – promote the Event
Before choosing the right channel to promote your Event, think about a value proposition you are going to offer to your customers. The key selling points are vital to attract more attendees. It could be a notable speaker or influencer, specific skills sharing, discussion of hot topics, opportunity to network with other participants, Q&A session, etc. Make it simple and clear.
Take advantage of the social media tools available online. Create stunning visuals for your online event to attract more people. Should you choose Facebook or Instagram or any other platform to host your event, without any doubt, Social Media platforms will be used to promote and drive traffic. As such, you will have to create eye-catching Event Cover, make an impressive Post, or flashy Story. You can use a set of pre-designed templates available here for free. All you have to do is to customize a free template with the unique key message and your value proposition. You may also add your keynote speaker picture to the event cover. It’s easy and fun.
Check out a complete guide for Event promotion on Facebook.
Tip #5 Engage and Inspire
In order to make your live event more interactive and engaging, at first, shoutout names as attendees tune in, then ask your viewers to submit questions, encourage them live tweeting (important note: comments have a short shelf life, so try to respond live or invite a moderator to do so for you), also motivate visitors to participate in the quizzes or polls (important note: when Instagram added the option to add polls and questions to stories, engagement grew by 15x). At the end of the event, ask for feedback. Interacting with attendees helps boost engagement with your audience and keeps them inspired to come back to your future events.
Examples of virtual events/live videos hosted by businesses and celebrities via social media
Instagram video live
Instagram video live is widely used to promote products, tease updates and launch. Instagram, has over 1billion active users, 500million of daily active users of stories.
For example, Kim Kardashian is regularly connecting directly with her fans through Instagram. Her 9 min video live “My work from Home Beauty routine using my @kkwbeauty essentials” was viewed by 14+ mln users who left 24k comments.
In May 2020 Instagram presented new tools that enable video creators to make money, including badges that viewers can purchase during Instagram Live videos and the introduction of IGTV ads. Before going live on Instagram, you have to promote your intent either via story (preferred option), or via post. There are billions of stories everyday and in order to stand out – use pre-designed templates available for free on viewst.com.
Facebook live is used for brand-boosting activities, engaging with the audience, sharing skills and experience, educating customers, and streaming live performance, etc. Facebook has over 1billion active users, 300million of daily active users of stories. Facebook Live is free and easy to use, anyone can get involved. Moreover, Facebook algorithm gives a high priority to Live videos.
For instance, Jamie’s Oliver’s cooking 20 min live from his new book Veg got 287k views, 11k engaged users, 4.2k comments.
Jamie is actively talking to his audience by posting his own comments, asking simple questions, like: “where are you tuning in, guys” and promoting his book by encouraging people to buy or pre-order one.
You may also boost your brand awareness or promoting goods or services by going live on Facebook. Before that, create an Event using beautiful pre-designed free banner templates available here.
Linkedin live is also great for instant communication with the audience, for brand-awareness, Q&A sessions, engaging with the customers, sharing updates and demonstrating expertise, or even attracting employees etc. Linkedin has over 690million active users, and it is one of the most used channels by B2B marketers (94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, as it has 15x more impressions than job posting). If you developed a specific accounting software or fintech solutions, go to Linkedin and start creating content, go live and talk to your potential customers. For example, there are 6 million IT decision-makers on LinkedIn and 5.5 million accountants. Before you start any activity, make sure you have an outstanding and high-calibre profile with the attractive Linkedin Cover.
For instance, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft shared Microsoft Inspire Corenotes on Linkedin Live. His 1.5 hr speech got 7k engaged users, over 2k comments.
Another case relates to Cisco Live streaming Event for attracting employees. They used a specific hashtag #LoveWhereYouWork and shared their current employee’s feedback on what it’s really like to work at Cisco, shared career tips for landing a dream job and educated potential prospects on how to become a part of their community. This live event had over 3k people interactions (likes, loves, and clapping icons) , engaged more than 1.5k people who asked questions and put their comments.
Virtual successful event is always about creating a personal connection between the host and the audience, and as well a shared hype among participants.
Create a fear of missing out, allow your visitors to sign-up before the event, send out teasers to the audience with a piece of preview content, set up an appealing event cover and promote on social media.
Congrats, now you are all set and ready to go live!