Are you planning a virtual event? Are you wondering how you can get a large number of attendees and to keep them interested? This article is for you.
Virtual events are becoming popular owing to the benefits of diversity, no location constraints, and minimal time limitations, among others. Your level of preparation will determine whether your audience will stay till the end or exit a few minutes in, and their reactions in future. Therefore, as a host, knowing what to do from the beginning to the end is paramount.
Here are some tips on what to do before and during the meeting:
1.Provide all the details about the event
It is quite unfortunate that some events advertisements are shared online without all details. Viewers get suspicious and are likely to ignore such events if they have to send direct message to get essential information. Therefore, instead of telling your target audience to contact you for essential details, provide everything upfront such as the themes, special guests if any, date and time, registration details (and deadlines if necessary), platform, charges if any, contact information, and others. In addition, use specific words instead of today, tomorrow, this afternoon, this evening, adults, etc.
Make it easy for them to make a decision.
2. Understand your audience and target your information
Understanding your audience goes beyond knowing their career levels and certifications. You should also go the extra mile to know their pain points, desires, their resolution approaches, examples of results, and other relevant facts. Short surveys can help you to gather such information so you can provide maximum value. This will also guide your efforts of marketing.
3. Choose the right time
There are a couple of aspects that you ought to consider about time. The first one is on how long you will be creating awareness. Start it early enough to give your target audience time to prepare and schedule the events in their calendars and share with other people who may be interested. Even if your topic is quite essential, you are likely to get a higher attendance if you share the details a week earlier than the morning of the event.
Second, while there is no rule book that states that if you conduct an event at a particular hour you will get a high number of attendees, failing to consider your audience’s daily schedules can lead to minimal turnout. For instance, if your target audience are mainly employees, setting a meeting shortly after the end of the working day can result to a low turnout since most of them would be heading home or finalizing the day’s activities. If you cannot decide when it is right to conduct an event, a short survey can help.
Third, consider the duration of the event; it should not be too long as to seem like it is a way of passing time or too short as to leave your audience’s needs unmet.
4. Send a reminder
It is normal for people to bookmark events that they are interested in only to forget shortly afterwards as they run their daily errands. Sending a reminder a day or some hours before the event can make all the difference between a low and high turnout. Also confirm with your guests early to avoid inconveniences at the last minute.
5. Prepare your space early
Even if the requirements of a holding a virtual meeting are minimal, it helps to prepare early by ensuring your space is quiet, your devices are in good state, the background is soft and professional, the internet connection is strong, and the lighting good to the eye. Test everything in advance. If your audience has to sign up, make the process simple.
6. Log into the platform early
Even with all the prior preparations, technical issues can arise during the virtual events. To prevent that, or mitigate, login early and examine all the components that can directly or indirectly affect the quality of the presentation. Encourage your guests to do the same.
7. Keep time
Keeping time is an ideal way of showing your audience that you value their time. If there are speakers, set timers to not only ensure they are sticking to the topic, but also giving others an opportunity to speak.
8. If you have to cancel, inform the attendees immediately
Cancellation of events is normal. Therefore, if you have to do it, inform the attendees immediately rather than keeping them waiting. This will make them pardon you and increase their chances of attending future events.
9. If possible, give a glimpse of the agenda
It may not be enough to tell your target audience what you are planning. You can share a short video featuring your key speakers or addressing the main concerns for a high conversion rate.
10. If possible, share a recording
Some people may be willing to attend an event but due to unavoidable circumstances fail to do so. If you can, share a recording event to attract more attention in subsequent events.
Being an event’s host comes with a lot of demands. Nonetheless, you can tick into each box by preparing early.