5 ways to produce an event when it goes virtual
- Last Updated: July 24, 2020
- 852 Views
- 5 Min Read
Have you ever wondered what sets events apart? It’s the memories and experiences gained during the event. Which means unless an event is produced thoughtfully and resonates with the audience, it isn’t going to have any impact on participants.
While event management is the part where you manage your stakeholders, prioritize work items, and delegate responsibilities, event production is about creating an ambiance that makes the show memorable.
Exploring further, here’s what event producers essentially aim to achieve:
Provide memorable experiences
The moment attendees sign up for your event, they’re expecting to be awed at it. From the time they register, purchase a ticket, reach the venue, and attend a session to the time when the event comes to a close, they’re looking for some kind of micro-interaction that’ll make them feel good and allow them to remember the occasion.
Build up the atmosphere
This part of a producer’s job is where they craft the show in such a way that the audience feels like they’re entering an exciting place. It can include setting up banners, welcoming attendees, lighting the venue, dressing the stages, or anything else that creates an aura of being present at an event. While an event manager looks at managing and running the event, an event producer focuses on creating the oomph in it.
Control the mood and emotion
Have you ever noticed how the energy at an event starts, goes up, reaches a peak, and falls back down by the end of the show? This is done subtly through various elements like music, lighting, performance, crowd management, and more.
Bring a sense of connection
We’ve all spoken about how networking is a major aspect of an event. This is because as humans, we like to socialize and feel connected to a fellow participant. An event producer’s job is to create a space to facilitate that sense of connection. This sets the audience up to feel something and eventually leads to remembrance of the brand.
An event producer should learn about an event manager’s expectations and the goals they want to achieve from the event to work accordingly. For instance, a corporation might want to run an event as a brand-building activity, to get leads, or to enable employee retention. On the other hand, a sports organization might focus simply on creating the excitement that comes with being part of a live event.
With events going online, one might assume that there’s nothing in it for a producer to contribute. However, we’re going to burst that bubble and show you how event producers can convert online events from boring webinars into memorable experiences.
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Get your connectivity meter on
The key to creating a great experience with online events is high-quality audio-video. While mentioning this in emails or banners as soon as people sign up is one way to do it, you can create a meter for attendees to check their internet speed right on the event website using a program like Fast.com, powered by Netflix. This way, people will be aware of their internet speed from the start, which means one less hindrance to a great experience.
Create a vibrant event website
When events go virtual, the destination is the website. Focus on the aesthetics so that as soon as a participant enters the website, they know they’re at your event. Brand your website so they remember you. Many in your audience might try logging in with mobile phones, so make sure your website is mobile responsive. That way, people can attend your session from wherever they are.
Set the right mood for your audience using music, which has the power to lift anyone’s spirits. Embed a playlist from Spotify, SoundCloud, or any other music app and play it in the background. Most importantly, to get your audience quickly into the event, set up simple and easy-to-fill registration forms.
Bring life to the sessions
Speakers are the soul of any session. They have the power to make or break an experience. If you plan to create an on-demand video, invite your speakers to a studio and record them there. Arrange for makeup artists to help them look presentable. And remember to enhance the surroundings by using aesthetically pleasing background, lighting, and camera choices.
Even when your speakers are away, recording from home, ensure that they look good. Give them guidelines to help them be presentable. Run spot-prizes, lucky draws, and other games to keep the audience in your event engaged and having fun.
Networking is also an integral part of an event. Set up breakout sessions so people can form new connections and discuss common topics of interest.
Put together digital swag bags
If you didn’t know this before, swag bags are goodie bags with promotional items. Now that your events are online, your swag bags have to be digital too. You can put together promotional codes, software licenses, early access to products, digital brochures of sponsors, and more.
Survey your audience
Event managers love feedback from attendees. Figure out an interesting method to hear from your attendees without making it feel too much like a task. Ask essential questions so event managers know what they did right and wrong. Rhetorical or open-ended questions should be avoided when creating a survey form. Instead, try and make your survey quick, fun, and easily understandable.
There are million other creative ways to produce an event that sets a great atmosphere, elevates the mood, and creates a memorable experience for your online audience. If there are other things that you tried that worked for your event, let us know in the comments below.
If, like us, you're more of a social person, let's connect on Twitter (@ZohoBackstage) and we'll keep you up-to-date with all the latest event news.
I stalk event trends. A marketer for Zoho Backstage. Love music from the '60s and '80s.
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