by Michele Schweitz
Think you don’t have the time or resources to take your virtual event experiences to the next level?
Here are a few simple things you can do to deliver top-notch experiences for all of your virtual event attendees.
Planning and executing on a virtual event might seem like a tall enough order for your small association. Finding the time to go the extra step to provide great virtual experiences might seem out of reach.
The good news is that even with a small staff, your organization can deliver top-notch experiences for all of your virtual event attendees – from staff and speakers to attendees and sponsors. Here are a few simple things you can do to take your virtual event experiences to the next level:
- Host a speaker training before the event. Speakers will feel more at ease if they know what to expect. Make sure your speakers know the event schedule, when and how to log in to the event technology platform, and any other details about the event. Be sure they know how the platform works as well as any features they can use – such as Q&A, polling, surveys, and so on – to make their sessions more engaging.
- Have an additional meeting with your keynote speakers before the event to review the content and logistics of their sessions. Offer to review their slides and run through their presentations with them to make suggestions.
- Create a branded PowerPoint slide template for your speakers to use. This gives your speakers a starting point for their presentations and helps to provide consistency across all sessions.
- Send them a short series of emails to get them excited about your event and let them know what to expect. For example, in one email, you might include event highlights. In another, include top tips for getting the most out of the event.
- Send attendees an email on each day of the event. Focus on updates and key events for the day. Include links so attendees can easily access sessions and other event features.
- Engage attendees outside of the event. For example, post highlights each day of the event on your social media accounts. Also, start discussion groups about topics from your event in your online member community.
- Set aside dedicated times throughout the event for attendees to visit with sponsors. Also, allow sponsors to schedule appointments with attendees in advance.
- Send sponsors any leads that are collected through your virtual event technology platform within 24 hours of the event. Sponsors want to respond quickly to hot leads, and they will appreciate this prompt delivery.
- Demonstrate value to your sponsors by adding extra sponsor value and perks (outside of the standard list of sponsor benefits) throughout the event. This extra step will keep your sponsors and exhibitors happy and coming back again and again.
For your staff
- Just as you did with your speakers, host a staff training. Make sure each staff member knows the event schedule, how to use the event technology platform, and who to contact during the event with any questions.
- Ask your keynote and other speakers to help promote your event. Not only will this give your speakers a chance to promote their own sessions, it will give your staff a hand in marketing the event.
- Ask your members to volunteer to help. Some of your most active members will likely be happy to serve as virtual event volunteers. Having extra help will give your staff more time to deliver great virtual event experiences for your attendees, speakers, and sponsors.