While the outlook remains good for emerging from the pandemic, there are still a lot of concerns, so some organizations are rethinking their short-term event plans. This has left many people with the task of pivoting from an in-person environment to a virtual one quickly.
If this is where you are right now, here are some helpful steps to take to make it less stressful.
Start by clearly identifying the objectives of your event. Typically, events do one or a combination of the following four things:
- Communicate News or Critical Information
Each of these has different needs as far as interaction and those needs will help narrow down the extent of the virtual production. For example, when selling or communicating, there is little interaction except for maybe some Q&A, whereas training involves a heavy dose of interaction with chat, Q&A, polling, etc. Being clear on specific event objectives will make your pivot easier.
Redesign Event Content
Redesigning content for a virtual environment is important to meeting the attendees’ expectations and keeping them engaged. Distractions are generally limited in the in-person world but in the virtual world, distractions are everywhere. Thus, it is critical to make the content as compelling as possible and anything that can be done to keep viewers active is a good idea. For example, instead of continuous talk, it is better to periodically jump to something that engages people. Intermittently doing some polling or short Q&A or asking people to answer questions in chat are simple ways to keep people on their toes.
Find the Right Platform Partner
Ensure the virtual platform of your choice has the right technology to support all your event objectives and goals. Pick a platform that is robust and allows for a variety of presentations, interaction methods, reporting, and analytics. Depending on the scope of your event, you may want things as diverse as exhibit booths (yes, you can do these virtually) or round-robin discussions or town hall meetings in addition to keynote addresses. This requires a production partner who can operate the platform with not only operators but producers and live technical support. The platform is more than a virtual stage, it is the entire venue for your event with many of the intricacies of a hotel or convention center. It allows for stretching your event for a longer period of time and even creating a place for your attendees to come back to for additional touchpoints well beyond the event end date.
Finding the right platform partner can be a daunting exercise, you need a provider who not only has experience in all event types from in-person to hybrid to virtual but is also committed to your objectives. innoVia Productions is just that partner. We are always focused on customer success regardless of the event type. Our dedicated team is experienced in all event formats, in fact, we even created a proprietary virtual platform, Zenevent, in response to the challenges our clients were having due to the pandemic. By partnering with them and using their feedback, we were able to develop an effective solution that allowed them to achieve their goals. We were forced to pivot just like you, so we understand your pain points and are here to help and guide you in this process.
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