Updated: May 4, 2020
For the MICE market I jumped onto a webinar organised by IBTM. Their guest speakers were Boston based Dahlia El Gazzar and Stefania Conti-Vecchi, founder of Italian event company EVENTagist. Both talked about Virtual Events and you will find below a list of DOs and DON'Ts that came out of this.
Make sure that virtual events are included in your company's yearly strategy. Virtual events are no longer optional they are a must!
Start by formatting the event and then seek the best supporting technology/platform, i.e. STRATEGY FIRST, TECHNOLOGY LAST.
Make sure that the exhibitors get valuable data. LinkedIn allows you to produce QR codes of each exhibitors profile that the buyers can then scan using their phone and subsequently get connected to the exhibitors.
Give attendees an opportunity to engage themselves on a regular basis during the event.
Here are some suggestions:
Prompt the attendees to survey questions every 10 to 15 minutes (this can be done via Slido).
Create a social media wall within the exhibition platform and incentivise the attendees to upload their selfie (which can be themed) and hash-tagged.
For a more fun element, create a customised 3D filter prior to the event (this can be done via Spark AR) and prompt visitors to use the said filter and apply it to their profile picture before uploading to the social media wall.
Create dedicated areas on the portal that address special interest (i.e. sustainability, winter sun, beach holidays, long haul, etc.).
Try to replicate a live event
Format your event around a platform
Organise the event for free
A few short surveys were actually organised during the webinar for the 800+ people who joined. Whilst most of them were "fun" surveys to keep the audience engaged - e.g.;
What is your go to food to snack on whilst you attend a virtual event from home?
C. Sweet, Savory, Sweet, Savory and start again
Here are the responses to the more serious survey question "What are your plans for your 2020 events?":
73%: Postpone to a later date on the calendar
19%: Move to a virtual event
What's your feed back on virtual events (leave in comments)?