The year 2020 brought disruption to our daily lives due to the global pandemic. But humanity swiftly adapted and embraced change. The event industry, in particular, faced widespread cancellations caused by COVID-19. To overcome this challenge, event organizers embarked on a journey of innovation, adopting new technologies and transitioning to a virtual landscape. This transition, however, came with its fair share of trial and error. With each event, valuable lessons were learned, leading to the ability to host more exceptional virtual experiences.
Today, hosting engaging virtual events has become an important skill for organizations of all sizes and types. To assure success, here is a list of five frequently made errors that should be avoided by organizers when planning a virtual event. By steering clear of these errors, event planners can maintain high levels of engagement and attendance, leaving customers eager for more.
1 - Insufficiently Planning Virtual Event Content
At the core of any outstanding event lies a well-designed agenda featuring captivating content. Regardless of the domain, creating an engaging virtual event requires careful consideration. Virtual events demand extra effort to retain an audience's attention since attendees are operating within a digital space. (They’re only a click away from online shopping, Netflix, or social media distractions.) What’s more, people consume content on multiple devices simultaneously, adding to the challenge. So, the content you plan for your event holds paramount importance. Elevate your content beyond mere presentations by incorporating interactive elements. Think about using a remarkable Welcome Experience or interactive virtual booths with live booth staff to captivate and intrigue the audience.
It’s also important to determine the ideal length for each content piece. Content that is too long may cause screen fatigue or disinterest in the event. But content that is too short risks undervaluing the event. Strike the right balance by incorporating breaks to combat virtual event fatigue. Simple popups reminding attendees to stretch their legs or enjoy a cup of coffee provide them with a mental break. This allows them to return refreshed and refocused, ultimately resulting in better attendee engagement.
2 - Insufficient Preparation of Event Presenters for the Virtual Format
To keep a live event interesting, experienced speakers, facilitators, and moderators are necessary to guarantee smooth panel sessions and group discussions. But virtual events operate under different rules, requiring speakers to enthrall their audience in unique ways. It’s important to make sure that the speakers, etc. are comfortable and proficient in hosting virtual sessions. Collaborate with them in advance, discussing the available tools such as chat features, polls, and Q&A sessions to make their talks interactive. Providing speakers the opportunity to conduct a dry run prior to the event helps them to familiarize themselves with the event setup. Also, having a private greenroom where speakers can relax and rehearse before their sessions start contributes to their overall comfort and preparedness.
3 - Neglecting to Rehearse the Event Agenda in Advance
Regardless of the size of your virtual event, rehearsals play an important part in delivering a successful and smooth experience for your audience. Even for smaller events, conducting a run-through assures easy accessibility to all areas of your virtual event and prominently showcases your branding. Take advantage of virtual event platforms that offer team onboarding with Customer Success Managers and dedicated Account Managers. Their assistance in setting up the event and addressing any specific needs will help everyone feel better prepared.
4 - Overlooking the Importance of Networking Opportunities
Networking is often overlooked in virtual events. But organizers should prioritize creating avenues for attendees to expand their social or professional networks. Relying solely on chat functions for connections is inadequate. Organizers can do much more to facilitate networking. Assess the size of the expected audience and create virtual spaces where attendees can interact with one another. Think about implementing a virtual lobby before the event, breakout rooms for talking about various interests, or – to help attendees break the ice – activities and games in smaller spaces. Choosing virtual event platforms that offer AI-powered 1:1 smart networking further reduces the pressure on attendees to initiate connections and increases the likelihood of meaningful matches.
5 - Failure to Choose the Right Technology
Undoubtedly, technology plays a pivotal role in virtual events. Selecting the appropriate virtual event platform differentiates a good event from a great one. Some platforms may not provide the necessary configurability to create an event that truly reflects your brand. Imagine being unable to showcase a product video in the lobby, provide useful media downloads at booths, or establish a helpdesk due to platform limitations. By choosing the right technology or partnering with a suitable platform for your event, you can guarantee its success or prevent its potential downfall.
Partner with the Right Production Company for Your Next Event – MIG
Multi Image Group (MIG) specializes in event production and communications. We excel in corporate events and live experiences, exhibits, strategic ideation, MIGstream and virtual events, collaboration, multimedia, and technology engagements, offering end-to-end capabilities that breathe life into your brand story. Our services create emotional connections, change perceptions, and drive desired outcomes.
If you wish to contact us, please call our toll-free number 800-523-2682 or our main office at 561-994-3515. Alternatively, you can conveniently reach us using our online form.