This is a scenario that we all know too well. It’s Monday morning and you are excited about the possibility of a whole day without meetings. It sounds too good to be true. It hits you, it’s true. It suddenly hits you that you have registered for several digital events. Your hair must be combed and changed every day. You must talk with people. You only need one minute to decide if you will be attending the conference.
Since virtual events have become an integral part our daily lives, this is what many organizations have faced. It can be very difficult to maintain the same show rate for your digital event as it was in person. Your online event should be unmissable. This is the key to driving attendees. Registerants should look forward and not fear the event’s arrival.
In-person events are driven by the chance for attendees to meet one another and their partners. Hosting a successful digital event is essential. You must dedicate time and energy to creating unique connections. To avoid FOMO (fear over missing out), your registrants should feel obliged to log in to the event. This post will show you how to use tools and apply strategies to create a FOMO-inducing online event.
Video Meetings: The Value of Face-to-Face in Digital Events
It was genius to invent the video conference. It is crucial to be able to see the reactions, expressions, movements and gestures of others, even on a small screen, in order to have a productive conversation. We haven’t been able meet face-to-face in nine months so the video calls have been an integral part of many sales conversations and networking calls. Your digital event must offer many opportunities to your attendees and sponsors to have these “face-to face” conversations.
Collaborative Session Online Events
A collaborative session can be compared to a Zoom meeting. Participants can turn on and off as many times they wish, and can see each other on the screen. Too many digital events are based solely on webinars and one-way streaming. Although these sessions are educational and useful, they lack the possibility for creativity and connection that a collaborative session offers. Many attendees get bored of watching the same video over and over for hours. To keep attendees involved and engaged, your digital event should include collaborative sessions.
Here are some ideas for collaboration sessions to include in your digital events:
- Sessions for internal team brainstorming
- Random icebreaker activities
- Breakout rooms by industry/title/role
- Breakout rooms according to a specific interest
Digital Happy Hour Events
Many in-person conferences offer free food and drinks before and after the event. Happy hours are a great way to engage attendees and offer additional networking opportunities for those who couldn’t make it to the event earlier. It can be difficult to organize virtual events. In the registration information, make it clear that the happy hour is a face-to-face event with plenty of opportunities to chat with other attendees via video.
A pre-event gift will encourage registrants to sign up for your event. To get your attendees excited about your social event, send a beverage kit, recipe, or other accessories.
Digital events are just as important to sponsors and partners as ever. Your digital events must provide the same level of exposure and value as your in-person programming. Sponsors are always looking for innovative ways to promote their brand in this virtual setting.
Sponsoring an event in person is a great way to have face-to-face contact with attendees. Although it may be more difficult to do digitally, there are many options for including sponsors and partners in the collaborative parts of your event.
Sponsor a Breakout Room
Sponsors who are passionate about a particular industry, topic or issue may be interested in hosting a sponsored breakout session. Participants can speak with sponsor staff and other attendees about the topic. This allows you to share your sponsor’s values or message with other attendees and can be a great way for them to stand out to you.
Chat – Also known as the “New Texting” option for digital events
Sometimes, the idea of looking professional and camera-ready is too much. Maybe you are just starting to drink your first cup of coffee, and simply not ready for a conversation. We’ve all been there. These are the situations where chat functionality is really useful at your digital event. You can offer an alternative method for attendees who don’t want to participate in a “face-to face” experience at your event.
Feedback from Session
Especially useful for webinars, chat functionality is very helpful. Chat features enable attendees to interact with each other in real time during sessions. This is a great way for attendees to stay engaged and get immediate feedback.
Sponsors enjoy face-to–face interaction with attendees. However, not everyone has the time or inclination to visit a sponsor’s booth. Your attendees who are busy can leave a message and express interest in learning more by providing a message option to sponsors. Your partners will get twice the sponsorship value by doing this. They not only receive leads from attendees coming to their booth but also have the opportunity to connect with busy attendees.
Schedule an appointment at Digital Events
Your digital event should offer a one-on-one experience to your partners and attendees. Although collaborative sessions can be useful for brainstorming, roundtables or social events, they don’t lend themselves to one-on-one discussions. Give your attendees the opportunity to set up appointments between themselves and sponsors. This allows them to have more detailed and in-depth discussions than they could at an in-person event.
It is a sign of high interest that an attendee makes the effort to set up a meeting with a sponsor. This is great news to the sponsor as it indicates a hot lead which could potentially turn into a sale. Your attendees will be able to make individual appointments with sponsors and get their most pressing questions answered. Virtual booths can have multiple visitors at once, making it difficult to have more detailed conversations with sponsors. Virtual appointments offer some of the same exclusivity as attendees and sponsors at an in-person event.
Your attendees might want to set up individual appointments to talk with each other, similar to sponsor appointments. While a networking session can be a great way for people to get to know each other, it is unlikely that your attendees will form a close relationship with every person in the room. Your attendees will be able to set up one-on-one appointments and build their network by giving them the option of meeting with other attendees. Your attendees can make it a selling point by scheduling one-on-one appointments with other attendees.
Digital Events: Take Full Advantage of Your Mobile App
You can be sure that your eight-hour event will have very few attendees who sit at their computers for the entire duration. People are a bit agitated and will often get up to take breaks or go for walks. Or just sign off. You should offer multiple ways for them to connect. Your attendees will be able to move about and take a break from their event using a mobile app. Your attendees will be willing to use your mobile event app in order to stay connected to your digital event.
Information for Attendees
Events are a great way to network and meet people with similar goals, interests, or career paths. You can offer your attendees digital connections through a mobile app. In the registration information, make it clear that attendees can use the app to communicate with each other and interact with one another. Your mobile event app should be used to connect attendees with each other and your event.
Promoting Your Partners
Your attendees can stay connected with your sponsors via their mobile event app experience. Your sponsors can get customized banner ads, push notifications or a dedicated sponsor page.
Your partners and sponsors can also use your mobile app to promote their brand and message, increasing their sponsorship value exponentially.
Digital Events: Establishing connections
Advertisements and commercials often claim that it is easier than ever to connect. It’s becoming more difficult to connect with each other in many ways. There are many distractions that can keep us from connecting, such as the latest music, TV shows, and TikTok videos. The monotony of digital connectivity is however boring. It seems like our lives revolve around boring Zoom calls, and the occasional mandatory virtual game night.
You must create unique ways to foster digital connections in order to strike the perfect balance. Create creative activities and ideas to keep attendees focused on the digital events and away from their phones. To keep your attendees interested, don’t be afraid of thinking outside the box. Connect with your attendees to find out their expectations and interests. They will be more likely to spend the time connecting over digital events.