Apple Box co-founders Joseph and Taylor Estes were featured on a major event industry live webinar, hosted by EventMB, the same week the “shelter in place” orders took effect here in the US. They shared their seasoned perspective on “Top Considerations for Planners Pivoting to Virtual” to over 3500+ watching live with over 75,000+ impressions on-demand to-date.
There are 3 levers that have the most dramatic impact on your virtual event’s engagement and ROI.
1. Quality content
2. Overall production value
3. And your ability to create authentic human connection.
Put a priority on high value presentations and videos that are relevant to your messaging…consider upping the quality of your presentations and videos, varying the content you are showing.
With looming travel bans and #socialdistancing it may not be possible to go capture new videos, but working with remote design teams to create visually appealing presentations is certainly still possible.
Content is king, but context is queen. Think about your story arc, there should be a clear beginning, middle, and end to your presentations and they need to flow well from one to the next. But we also need to take into account the context in which that content will be consumed (people are distracted at home.)
High quality, relevant content is what makes the viewer feel like it was worth tuning in for and high production value is what makes them stay.
You need to produce your event with a Broadcast Quality mindset (think TV news or Jimmy Fallon) in order to maximize engagement. There are practical ways to up the production level of your stream:
Keep time, coaching your presenters on camera etiquette and positioning, having proper sound, broadcast quality lighting, varying camera shots, motion graphics, polished transitions will keep the viewer engaged. — because your stream is ENJOYABLE to watch.
Your virtual event will be a miss if you are structuring the entire event around passive listening with a 1-to-many approach. Viewers can and should be active participants.
This should be encouraged with the use of things like chat, moderated Q&A’s, instant polling, using social feeds (these can be public or private), yes, even networking and breakout sessions can still be achieved. Events are about gatheirng people together for a common purpose and celebrating the collective brain wealth of the people involved. Virtual events can do this effectively if you prioritize it early in the planning process.