April 23, 2020
What factors should you be considering in order to create a successful virtual event for you, your exhibitors and your attendees?
So, you made the decision to dive in and host a virtual event, and now you are determining the variables to use to measure success. We have compiled our recommendations on the top 7 best practices to consider when hosting your virtual event. At the end of the day, connecting exhibitors and attendees is still your main objective, so consider these tips as you begin to plan for your show or conference.
1. Set Your Strategy and Goals
You would not start planning for your traditional event without determining a strategy and deciding on the goals you set for your team. It is just as important when planning your virtual event to set the standard on how you are going to measure success throughout the duration of your virtual event. Establishing these goals can help you measure ROI and let you analyze what modifications you can make in the future to continue to grow the success of your event.
2. Offer How-to Resources for Exhibitors
Provide tutorials and resources for exhibitors so they can maximize their brand exposure. The best way to make your virtual event a success is to ensure that your exhibitors are utilizing the platform properly. Prior to the event, be sure that you are offering an ample amount of resources so exhibitors know exactly how to upload content and what content will make the most impact on brand exposure. Whether it is through sponsorship opportunities or webinar utilization, lay all the options out for your exhibitor and provide resources to walk them through the steps to create effective content. ?
3. Provide Deadlines and Reminders
Even if you do not plan to have set dates and times for your actual event, be sure to provide deadlines to your exhibitors. By setting deadlines, you can ensure that exhibitor profiles are populated when the event goes live ensuring a more robust experience for your attendees. More complete content from your exhibitors means more connections will be made. It does not hurt to remind exhibitors when deadlines are approaching. Prepare your team in advance with email templates and be sure to follow best practices when it comes to time, and frequency and you will receive a better response. Remember, this virtual event can be a whole new experience for your exhibitors, so guiding them along the way can be very beneficial. ?
4. Encourage Interaction On and Off the Platform
Just like you would do for a traditional show, be active on social media and encourage exhibitors and attendees to do so as well. This is a great way to promote your virtual event while also boosting connectivity and facilitating buyer seller interactions. Consider using hashtags for not only your event but scheduled events during your live show times. This encourages more engagement from your attendees leading to a better experience overall. ?
5. Offer a Way for Exhibitors to Live Stream During the Event
Depending on your target audience, consider utilizing social media stories and live streaming, such as YouTube, Brightcove, or Vimeo, to allow exhibitors the opportunity to see inside their businesses and promote their brand. They may not have a physical booth that attendees can walk through but allowing them to live stream from their device can give them the opportunity to showcase new products and put a face to the name. This will provide face-to-face interaction and a more personable experience. ?
6. Offer Interactive Chat Rooms
Allow exhibitors and attendees to connect and converse in a chat room hosted within your virtual event. This will create instant connection without having to navigate away from the platform. The more interactive tools your event hosts, the more opportunity for lead generation for your customers. ?
7. Be Available for Tech Questions
Provide resources for exhibitors and attendees to utilize if they run into any tech issues or have any questions before or during the event. It's natural to assume people will have questions, especially since attending a virtual event could be a new experience for them. Arming your attendees and exhibitors with resources and various forms of contact information, they will feel prepared and at ease heading into your virtual event.