I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Eric Vidal, Chief Content Officer over at The Marketing Scope. We chatted about virtual events, specifically how the 6Connex team feels it’s long past time to re-think the traditional virtual show model. The video will be posted soon; I hope you’ll check it out. You can also view my recent blog post for some additional insight.
At the end of our chat, Eric asked me to share a couple tips for anyone just getting started – or just starting to think about – their first virtual event program. I reviewed 3 at a very high level, so for today’s Tip Sheet Tuesday, I thought I’d provide a bit more context.
Tip #1 – Think Small
For me, “thinking small” really means setting yourself up for early success. For a quick win, plan a short agenda for your first live program, maybe just 2 or 3 webcasts. Or if you have a large agenda you need to cover, think about how you can streamline the rest of your environment – start with fewer rooms, consider if you really need to launch with that exhibit hall, or set a realistic limit on the amount of content you’ll upload. I also recommend setting modest registrant and attendance goals, as well as an achievable level of interaction and engagement.
There is so much you can do in a virtual environment, and when you think beyond the traditional trade show model, the possibilities are almost endless. Don’t try to tackle them all at once, though! Give yourself, and your team, the opportunity for early success and the time to build a thriving virtual event program.
Tip #2 – Gather Your People
It most definitely takes a village to execute a great virtual event program. Now realistically, your village might not have a lot of people available to help, and if you followed Tip #1, you might be launching a relatively small program. But no matter how small or simple, you can’t do it alone.
Content development, live day support, and audience recruitment are just 3 areas you’ll need to cover. We have a quick primer on the different roles you may need to fill, a must-read for anyone planning a virtual event program.
Tip #3 – Know the Why
This is really about alignment, making sure everyone on your team, from the executive sponsor on down, understands the primary goals of your virtual event program. Why are you investing all this time, energy and money? What are your desired outcomes once it’s launched? Measurement is critical, so be sure to evaluate metrics early on, but keep in mind some of your “why” might be qualitative and intangible.
If your program is external, you might want to see net new leads, or concrete dollars in the pipeline. If your program is for employees, you might be looking for a higher level of engagement with peers. No matter your “why,” communicate it early and often, and you’ll be much more likely to execute a program that delivers.
While these are just 3 quick tips, there’s a lot more to a successful virtual event program. Our team thrives on program development and thinking outside the box; if you’re just getting started and need some expert advice, I hope you’ll give us a call.
For more tips and best practices, check out our growing library of Tip Sheets.