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Virtual Events: Attendee Satisfaction in Three Easy Steps

Virtual Events: Attendee Satisfaction in Three Easy Steps

Consider your hybrid event from the attendee perspective to ensure audience engagement and event success

Virtual event technology has improved so much over the last few years that it should no longer be the area of focus when planning a hybrid event. Instead, event marketers should shift their concentration to making their online event attendees happy and engaged with the experience. This means more focus on traditional event elements such as content, marketing, and strategy. Here are three easy steps for an experience marketer looking to ensure virtual event attendee satisfaction.

1. Content is (almost) everything: And this is why you should follow these simple guidelines when building out your virtual event agenda.

  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Select only the very best content from your event to showcase and really tease and intrigue your virtual attendees. If you are reaching out to new markets and looking to drive on-site attendance, this approach is key to getting a solid return on your investment.
  • Cue Up Your Keynotes: Are you leveraging your keynote speakers virtually? You should! Make sure that you get sign-off so you can stream their presentation during or after the event. For hybrid events, where you are streaming your content live, these are going to be your peak attendance times.
  • Man on the Street: Give your virtual attendees a feel for what it is like to be at the show. Interviewing guests and other key individuals outside of the sessions is a great way to provide a feel for your event. If you have a show floor, interview some of the exhibitors. This is a great opportunity for them to gain more value and exposure from your event and gives your online audience a peek at what they are missing.

2. If You Build It: Just because you are offering a hybrid option does not mean people will automatically know about it. The rules of event marketing apply if you want to build and maintain an audience of engaged attendees.

  • Get Social: While you don't want to place all of your eggs in one basket, it is important to integrate a social promotion component to traditional web, email, and other marketing tactics. Your virtual audience is open to being connected digitally. So take advantage of this, and promote heavily on the most important social networks for your audience.
  • Timing is Everything: Don't wait until the last minute. Market your virtual event at least 30 days in advance. Setup a clean and simple registration process to make sure that it is easy for virtual attendees to register. Make sure that your system has the capability to reserve the time on their personal calendars, like Outlook. Ensure that reminder emails are timed appropriately so that you stay in front of your registrants.
  • Tunnel Vision: Don't bury your message. Send dedicated emails with a clear, singular focus with a call to action "above the fold."

3. Have a Plan in Place: Although virtual events are similar to face-to-face events in some ways, they are also very different. Spend some time considering your hybrid strategy upfront to save headaches day of. As always, set clear and measurable business objectives for your event and leverage strategies and tactics that work for others.

  • The Anti-Carbon Copy: Your virtual audience has unique goals and objectives for attending your event. They may want to learn about a specific topic or perhaps they may be window-shopping your event to decide on on-site attendance for the following year. Find out why they are there and then give them what they want.
  • Cost of Admission. Unless you are offering a course for accreditation, don't charge your online attendees. Instead, leverage it as an opportunity to broaden your reach and grow your on-site event.
  • Lend a Hand: Ensure that you have sufficient support in place to assist your virtual attendees in a timely manner. With all of the different hardware manufacturers, system platforms, and applications in place it is inevitable that an attendee will have an issue. How promptly and thoroughly you are able to address those issues will make all the difference in the eye of the attendee.

Hybrid events are growing in popularity across many industries and segments. A great virtual event will leave a lasting impact on your attendees. With great content, event promotion, and proper planning, you will be on track to a successful event. Technology will keep changing and so should your event planning. Remember: the customer should always come first!

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David haas

David Haas

Director, Digital Solutions

It's about each client’s business objectives. He finds the latest technologies, explores their benefits, and helps clients leverage them to gain a strategic advantage. Whether it’s a mobile platform, social media activation, digital signage, or something completely off the wall, David is on top...

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