Like innovation, uncertainty forces many physical events to adapt and become virtual. In the current climate, COVID-19 has caused numerous events and gatherings to be canceled or postponed; however, to continue enticing consumers and raising awareness, events should be transitioned to the digital world. Rapid transitions require much planning to be executed properly. Follow GROWL’s guide to transition your physical event to a virtual one!
Set your virtual event goals
First, set the foundation. A successful virtual event requires brands and internal stakeholders to have an understanding of the goals. Start by aligning your marketing strategy with your event goals, then assess the climate and available resources. It’s critical to ensure that events create or retain familiarity with your brand, engage customers, and generate leads. Throughout the process, focus on adapting brand messaging and personality while emphasizing the experience.
Create an event strategy
Strategy is the foundation of success. Consider the following: When is the event? Where will it be hosted, and on which platform(s)? The number of sessions? Participants?
Create an itinerary and try to offer various format options or virtual events for your attendees to join. Here are some popular virtual event formats:
- Pre-recorded videos: Videos give your audience the power and freedom to watch on-demand. Create a captivating video presentation that locks your viewer in using strong branding elements and clear, concise language.
- Animated, educational content: Walk attendees through a product demo or setup process. Try to utilize virtual or augmented reality to set your presentation apart.
- Livestreaming: Viewers will want to tune in to catch what is happening as it unfolds – so create an enticing stream that draws your audience. Offer them the opportunity to engage by holding Q&A sessions and asking questions in this community format.
- Virtual event panels and forums: You have the capability to livestream from anywhere, but make sure that you have a reliable setting for hosting the event. Going LIVE is another excellent way to engage with your audience virtually, so give them the opportunity to engage with you and build connections.
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Prepare your team
Be sure that your team is on the same page and prepared to do their part for a virtual event. Walkthrough the platform to familiarize yourselves with the platform and troubleshoot any kinks beforehand. If you have guest speakers, allow them to host a test run, and always clear instructions beforehand. Engage your audience by promoting the event multiple times across all platforms.
Brand your virtual event!
From logos and colors to virtual banners and video intros, create continuity across all digital platforms so that your brand is easily identified. For virtual events, it is vital to develop strong, branded images that are specific to the event and your company. With more events transitioning to virtual platforms, it’s crucial to have a consistent aesthetic and execute your branding strategy on any platform. Remember to test all graphics and execution in advance.
NOTE: If your event has sponsors, create event-materials that include their branding elements (i.e., logos) into your event and media presence.
Just like in-person events, proper planning beforehand is the key to success. By using these tips, you can successfully transition an in-person event to a virtual one. As always, if you need help making the transition to virtual, contact the GROWL team!