2020 was not a great year for physical events. Many of us have therefore recycled our online events or created new formats directly digital.
Webinars, videoconferencing, live… there is no shortage of solutions. But how can you cleverly promote your digital events, internally or to your targets? What tactics should be deployed to guarantee success in terms of attendance, engagement or lead gen?
These are the questions we wanted to answer in this guide by detailing the best ideas at each stage: before, during and after the event. Teaser, presentation of participants, summary: there is no shortage of good practices.
The advantages of 100% digital strategies
Even though most event managers already organised virtual events in part in the past, this year 2020 has put a damper on face-to-face meetings and has led to a strong push towards digital. More than 80% of the industry’s pros say they are ready to organise more of them in the future.
Long seen as a substitute, the digital event has the wind in its sails and many advantages. For the right tools see our practical sheet at the end of the article 💡
The digitalisation of events leads to a significant reduction in costs: transport, venue hire and accommodation are no longer on the agenda. And even if you decide to include a physical aspect such as a gift sent to participants, digital is a good way to optimise your ROI.
Saves valuable time
With fewer physical logistics (stand, travel, etc.), the organisation of a virtual event is necessarily less time-consuming. This advantage is particularly marked for international events: according to the professionals in the sector, it can save more than 3 weeks, and for the speakers and participants, it saves hours of travel.
More reliable data
The fact that everything is done online makes it possible to collect data more efficiently and create precise statistics and analyses on the progress of your events. Email addresses and browsing data (cookies) can be used directly for follow-up. And you have actionable feedback for your future events.
For you as an organiser, it is easier to make last minute changes to adapt to the situation (number of registrants, imponderables). And for the participants, what a pleasure to be able to stay in pyjamas and follow your event comfortably 😉
Define your objectives
Focus on results
Without a goal, it is difficult to score. Consider the objectives of each party to define what will make your event a success. It is easier to engage your teams to buzz by demonstrating the value your event will create for them.
Focus on the operational side
Take the time to visualise every detail from participant registration to the thank you email to the conference proceedings. The participant experience is key to creating buzz and achieving your goals.
Focus on the objectives of your targets
- Sense of belonging
- Valuation and cohesion
- Knowledge development…
Prospects and customers
- Market vision
- Access to experts
- Case studies
- Concrete solutions…
- Creating opportunities…
- Generation of new leads
- Contact nurturing
- Development of the relationship
- Opinion leadership
- Press relations
Identify the ideal digital event concept
The beauty of digital is that you can easily create hybrid models. Depending on your objectives and constraints, you can pick and choose from a list of the most popular formats and even combine them to create the perfect event.
Planning for success
- Pre-registration and invitations
- Contact management
- Teasing and reminders in advance
- Animations during the event (surveys, whiteboard)
- Interaction between participants (1-to-1, forums)
- Multimedia broadcasting
(video, podcast, articles)
- Reminders and content delivery
- Content hosting
(before, during and after)
- CRM / Lead management
Creating a must-see event
Success does not happen by itself!
Give yourself the means to achieve this and find the best practices to apply for promising results.
Be responsive on social media
The success of your event depends on the networks! Externally, create dedicated hashtags and follow them to respond and amplify. And internally, who says you can’t buzz on the corporate social network?
Buzz tip: post videos before, during and after the event!
Widen your circle
Put all the chances on your side: whether it’s to increase visibility, attract more participants or create your own content, don’t hesitate to call on your collaborators, suppliers, clients and partners… We are stronger together!
Put on a show
To ensure that the event runs smoothly and sets the pace, the choice of an experienced and dynamic MC is essential. Give preference to experience without neglecting enthusiasm, because it is on your master of ceremonies that the atmosphere of your event depends.
Mixing Live and Recordings
It is often necessary and preferable to have recorded content (need to ensure several sessions, security in case of technical problems, better rendering) but keep some live content and give the possibility to exchange live via live sessions and chats.
Encourage interaction and fun
The virtual can become boring. So engage your audience and get them to participate: forums and live chat, animations in video conferences, interactive activities… Create a unique, fun and interactive experience.
of respondents chose “Keeping members connected” as the main objective of virtual events. (Source: Wild Apricot)
Invent a unique experience
The needs of the audience are the basis of a successful event: what are their motivations, their expectations, the lessons they are looking for?
How will you make their virtual experience as successful as a face-to-face event?
Share in pictures
Videos, clips, screen sharing, demos… everything is possible today! Sharing live from your virtual conference room is a classic. But also consider pre-recording some clips to give rhythm to your event and engage your audience!
Interacting with the audience
Show your audience that they can influence the course of the event by taking part in polls during the plenary sessions, as well as on social media and forums on the sidelines. Create a good atmosphere of interaction between participants and speakers.
Be demanding on content
Participants in physical events often rely on these meetings to glean the latest tips and tricks. In digital, it is therefore essential to give depth to the topics and conversations to attract and captivate. Look after your reputation in this respect and you will make future events easier.
Getting out of the routine
One conference after another is not always fun, so create animations to liven up your event and entertain your audience.
Use your imagination to provide a unique experience.
Who says that conversations stop at the end of the event? The party is never over! 1-to-1 chat, social network plugins: expand your network and keep in touch with participants, even after the event! And of course, plan videos and content to share post-event.
3 key stages for event promotion
The success of a digital event depends on meticulous preparation well in advance. You have to make the participant want to register and then participate by knowing how to arouse their curiosity.
Key video types: Teasers, Statistics and Interviews.
Teasers are 1-minute videos, which are perfect to give an overview of the topics of the event, a preview of the content and atmosphere that await your audience.
Survey your audience with engaging questionnaires to influence your choice of topics, with SurveyMonkey or TypeForm. Communicate your insights in a compelling format with Kannelle and its Key Figures scenario.
Interviews with speakers
Whether it is an expert, a witness or the moderator, or even an actor if the budget allows, put forward the men and women who will make your event. Know how to provoke by creating expert debates.
To create buzz during your event, we have identified 4 recipes.
1. Broadcast planned content
To appear dynamic on social media throughout your digital event, it is essential to plan to communicate often, with strong content.
Prepare your content ahead with templates and interview questions. Mix elements that are already prepared (like announcements, themes summary) with videos to be produced during the event.
2. Create content in real time
In the heat of the moment, rely on an editorial plan and leverage templates for rapid production. Capture the highlights of your event in video (interviews, quotes, statistics…) and share them live. With Kannelle, it’s easy: thanks to its ready-made scenarios and intelligent editing, you can broadcast your videos in minutes.
3. Rely on your speaker and participants
Create an atmosphere that invites sharing by giving concrete elements to share. To do this, be reactive on social media. And make the event lively and dynamic to create strong moments that will engage participants to share.
Also brief your speakers to organise sharing and re-sharing on social media.
4. Recreate the excitement of face-to-face
By going beyond what you would expect from a simple webinar, by recreating the energy of a physical event, it is possible to enchant your audience. Why not add a physical event such as a chocolate tasting (to be shipped in advance) or create “icebreakers” to lighten the mood and set the tone of your digital event?
The success of any event relies on organisation and participation. This means that the speakers and the public must be involved in it: it is therefore important to thank everyone for a successful event. Share what you have learned from the experience, and ask your audience to do the same, for example through a survey. Ask for feedback, whether positive or negative, to help you build even better experiences in the future!
Needless to say that one advantage of digital events is that they are completely online, so you can have precise statistics on the whole event. Share that too!
Our video tips
The organisation of digital events, even if simpler from a logistical point of view, is not without its share of small technical hassles. Download the Kannelle essentials kit to get some help!
Your speakers must have a good microphone! According to 70% of digital event organisers, the quality of the audio is essential to the success of an event (Source: Markletic). Poor sound is not pleasant, it makes participants miss information and ultimately want to give up.
Do not wear striped shirts or stand in front of a flashy wallpaper, as these will damage the participants’ retina! For a successful video, adopt a dress code and send a mini photo-call for speakers to stand in front of.
Do not neglect the quality of your camera. Test your speakers’ cameras and invest in a webcam if necessary.
Ask your speakers to test their connection (webinar solutions have dedicated tools). May them have 4G tethering on their smartphone as a backup. Do a live test the day before and just before the event. And for a live stream, make sure everything runs smoothly.
Staging the speakers
Recommend that your speakers sit in a quiet place. Suggest that they raise their computer so that the camera is at eye level. And rehearse with them before the big day.
Fact sheet: our selection of tools to create your digital event
Download our fact sheet to know all the best tools to organise your digital events from A to Z: broadcasting, registration, webinar, internal communications…