During the start of the pandemic, virtual event platforms became a necessity. Their ability to reach remote audiences kept them in demand even in a world free of COVID.
However, in 2022, organizers need to be mindful of a few things that can turn a promising event into a flop.
78% of inquiries we received this year are from prospective client’s that used another provider for a prior event and had a poor result (technical issues, lack of support, features missing, etc.).
The Five Biggest Challenges to Virtual Events
- Under estimating the amount of work involved on the organizes end (creating an agenda that works for virtual attendees across multiple time zones, content creation and consumption strategy, designing and setting up rooms and spaces, coordinating remote speakers/presentations, dozens of graphic images needed, gamification rules, legal docs, registration, attendee marketing, audience engagement options, etc.). This makes partnering with an experienced provider that offers consultation, project management and dedicated live day support critical to your success.
- How different the virtual event providers are in the space with regards to (a) support and project management staffing and responsiveness. This includes live day support. Most providers do not provided dedicated live day support for organizers (b) How the technology works when you get down to the minor details of running event. Just like an in-person event, the attendee experience is greatly impacted by the small things e.g., no ability for booth reps to view attendees, not being able to edit your webinar recordings to fix a presenter error, no ability for broadcast messages to make announcements/communicate to attendees during live days, etc.
- How critical cloud hosting infrastructure is to make sure the event does not have technical issues. Providers are hosting dozens of virtual events at the same time each day. Scale and infrastructure investment varies greatly from provider to provider. Get your IT department involved with evaluating vendors. Read our handy checklist for how to choose the best virtual event platform.
- The importance of properly preparing remote presenters: Don’t take for granted that just because they hold the title of “speaker” that they are up-to-speed with presenting using a webcam to a remote audience. Presenters are developing a whole new skill set for connecting audiences to their content. Rethinking the length of presentations, minimizing slides, and nailing key messages with crisp graphics are the starter package for today’s presentation. Read our related article for virtual event speaker tips, best practices, and a handy speaker tool kit.
- The importance of proper data security. Your company, the event organizer, is the data controller and will be held accountable for compliance with the myriad of data security laws. Whoever you contract with for hosting your virtual event will be collecting, and storing, personal information on your attendees (name, email and IP address at a minimum). It is your job to manage your suppliers and ensure compliant. Don’t just take their word. Everyone claims they are secure. Have your IT team ask detailed questions to confirm. At a minimum, the provider should be ISO 27001 certified or SOC II. Finally, make sure that you ask for a Data Processing Agreement which spells out the roles and responsibilities for you and the provider.
Whether as a component of hybrid events or just on their own, virtual events are going to be trending in 2023 and beyond. To make sure you are doing them right, avoid making these five mistakes.
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