Taking a look at virtual events
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that virtual events are the way of the future. From virtual conferences to live-streamed events to pre-recorded events and more, virtual events can help us connect and learn from individuals all over the world. Recently the Bogle Agency investigated HubSpot’s Guide to Planning and Hosting Events to be better prepared for the future.
While a vertical event takes out the planning of parking and security logistics, these events require just as much planning as live-events. Once your team has decided to do a virtual event, your first major step is to decide what kind of virtual event fits your purposes.
One type of event is virtual conferences. These events are industry lead events targeted at educating its attendees. They can include panels, microsites or record speaker sessions, live conferences with breakout sessions, summit conferences, training sessions, and networking opportunities. Virtual conferences can be live-streamed, pre-recorded, or a mix of both.
Live-steamed virtual events provide exclusivity to attending the event. Live-streamed events also give the host the option for it to be recorded and distributed at a later date to those unable to attend. Another form of live-streamed events is live broadcasting. Live broadcasting is a great fit for a one-to-many audience event. Due to the nature of live broadcasting, these events offer better long-term storage and file management.
Pre-recorded events offer flexibility for the audience to attend the event at their own time and pace. However, pre-recorded events can seem like a barrier for networking and interaction between attendees. When deciding to host a pre-recorded event, consider including an online platform such as Slack to allow for breakout conversations and networking opportunities.
Another type of event is a video conference. These allow for a more interactive interaction in a one-to-some setting. However, video conferences are not as easy to access and secure, have limited quality of visual content, and don't include long-term storage and file management.
Preparing for Event
Once you have decided what kind of virtual event is best for your needs, it is time to get behind the scenes together. When planning your events’ budget, you must consider the wifi and backup, testing cost, hardware such as cameras or lighting, and the software your event will be streamed on.
Streaming services can vary in quality, privacy, accessibility, content management, analytics, distribution, customization, and cost. Knowing your event and its reach is important in determining what software is best. When choosing your streaming service, it is also important to note whether your attendees will have to make an account to attend and any extra steps to make them aware of.
Virtual events can take place at multiple locations, from a professional stage to a sound stage to your home. The location of your event will depend on your resources, budget, and type of event.
When it comes to a virtual event, even your audio and video are big factors for the audience. Any virtual event you have will require quality sound and video. It is best to test these out before hosting your event to ensure quality. For live-streaming events at home, equipment recommended is a portable studio such as HD550, monitor(s), external USB webcam, wireless remorse, recorder, laptop(s), and a secure internet connection.
As a host of an event, you must have a strong wifi connection, ensure everyone can access the event, be prepared for questions, and know how and where the event is set up. It is recommended that you have a dedicated individual to field questions before, during, and after the virtual event to ensure attendees are communicated within a timely manner.
When promoting your virtual event, it is important to give your audience a clear picture of what to expect at the event. This can be done by setting expectations, encouraging speakers and your team to promote the event, co-brand the event, and use social media. When your attendees are unaware of what to expect, it can lead to confusion about the event and your organization’s ability to host an event.
As we continue to navigate the virtual events world, new tips and tricks will be discovered. Check back in soon with the Bogle Agency to learn more about evolving trends within the industry!