Many well established in-person events transitioned to virtual this past year but found that their experience fizzled. Should they have instead cancelled, postponed until they could offer a hybrid approach (some in-person, some online), or simply set more ambitious goals?
If you found that your virtual event was not unique and lacked pizazz, don’t worry! Virtual and hybrid events have come a long way since March 2020 and they are here to stay! And if you are in Canada with our tougher gathering restrictions, you will more than likely have another chance to hit it out of the online ballpark in 2021 and beyond.
Our top 5 tips to virtual and hybrid success:
- Reimagine your event – Now’s the time to make a change if you want to get out of the same-old-same-old event rut. Remember event strategy must align with your organization’s business strategy. What is your why for the event? Has it changed in these new times?
- With live in-person events on pause, organizations need to think outside of the box to keep providing opportunities to connect with audiences. Foster conversations and connection all year round, not just a couple of months before your event.
- Be different. People have been stuck at home on screens for an exceptionally long time. Virtual events simply do not have the same pull as attending in person at a venue. Partner your online event with something exclusive or uncommon. Make the draw for them to join in irresistible!
- Have a tangible experience. Event swag delivered to attendees’ homes brings your digital event to life and increases the engagement and delight if done well. It should be an immersive, multi-sensory experience with customized options and messaging. An easy and great way to involve those hard to attain sponsors!
- Interaction is crucial! Being at an in-person event has a feel – you are part of something bigger. Unfortunately, that is extremely hard to accomplish with attendees sitting at home alone watching a virtual event on screen. Having a way for people to connect prior to the event in a virtual networking space can improve that sense of community and connection.