If you’re going to get in front of your customers and prospects en mass, doing it virtually is pretty much the only game in town for a while, right?
Here are 7 things to remember for your virtual events.
1. WRITING KILLER TITLES & DESCRIPTIONS
We’re not sure why, but many businesses seem to have taken a vow of boredom when it comes to writing the titles and descriptions for their webinars and virtual events. People who are great writers of blog posts, headlines, email newsletters, and LinkedIn ads somehow completely lose the thread when it comes to webinars. Two things sell a webinar, period. The title, and the talent. Write a title that interests your audience, and more than half the battle has been won. Add someone on the microphone they know, like, trust, and you’ll win the rest of the fight for attention. Make titles snappy, interesting, and relevant.
2. SHORTENING THE DURATION
A 60-minute session in a live event doesn’t feel like a slog, because attendees have other stimuli. It is FAR more difficult to keep attention in a webinar or virtual summit. Keep these sessions TIGHT. No longer than absolutely necessary. In fact, we suggest shortening up your regular durations. For example, a 60-minute “keynote” should be no more than 45 minutes, if delivered online. A 45-minute in-person session should become a 30-minute webinar, and so forth.
3. HAVING A GREAT MODERATOR/HOST
Many organizations moving to virtual events believe that since the programming is now delivered over the Internet, no emcee or host is necessary. Having a consistent face and voice that “stitches together” the virtual sessions for participants adds much-needed familiarity and helps alleviate the isolated feeling that online events can sometimes produce for attendees. The best way to implement is to have the event moderator open up the conference online, just like a regular event, and moderate questions for speakers. They should also pop back online between sessions to chat with attendees.
4. USING A SCRIPT AND REHEARSING IT
For some reason, many company execs appearing on a webinar believe they can just put together some slides and speak extemporaneously to them during a live, virtual event.
A few can do so. The majority cannot do it well. Webinar attendees have fewer senses activated when tuning in for online events, so their key webinar senses (audio and visual) need to be superior. So, If you’re going to lean into virtual events, insist that everyone who will have a speaking role have a written script and a process for rehearsals. This is not a time to wing it.
5. USING THE RIGHT GEAR
In addition to selecting the optimum virtual event software platform overall, each webinar speaker should commit to having the right set up (probably at home, at this point) to deliver the best possible quality experience for attendees. This means investing in a decent microphone, headphones, and possibly an inexpensive light. There are several tips and tricks on which gear to buy, and how to do soundproofing hacks.
6. MAKING IT INTERACTIVE
All virtual event platforms have the opportunity to add interactive polls, quizzes, audience Q&A, and more. Make liberal use of these features!
The more your audience is PART of the session, the more they are paying attention. It’s also the best way to pull questions out of the attendees.
TIP: When you open the session, ask every attendee to use the chat feature to say where they are calling in from (or a similar question). This forces them to get used to asking questions and participating in an easy, stress-free fashion.
7. USING BREAKOUT ROOMS
A relatively new feature on many platforms (like Zoom) is that you can now create sub-group breakout rooms after the main session concludes or in the middle of sessions. This is terrific for splitting attendees up into smaller cohorts for question answering, networking, meeting with sales teams, and so forth. This function is similar to how many live events have a keynote session, followed by smaller and concurrent breakout sessions. You can mimic this process on many virtual platforms, adding relevancy and interactivity for participants.
Get Set Go!
We know live events and face-to-face meetings with customers and prospects may be a big part of your historic marketing success. We know moving everything online maybe a little scary. But it doesn’t have to be. You absolutely can succeed with webinars and virtual events. It just takes some know-how and some practice. So what are you waiting for, put some tips into practice and get started today!