Live events are a critical component of every organization’s communication strategy. Events ranging from corporate town halls and shareholder meetings to conferences and training sessions give employees, co-workers, customers, prospects, and stakeholders the chance to gather, listen, learn, collaborate and become inspired.
While live events are more logistically challenging than other communication channels, organizations depend on them to deliver their most important communications. While a CEO can send an email or pre-recorded video to her workforce announcing an initiative, a live all-hands meeting will give that same announcement far more weight.
But with the pandemic, live events are suddenly off the table. So, what now?
Taking Events Virtual
Like so much of life in 2020, live events have gone virtual. For example, Microsoft’s Build developer conference was able to quickly shift from an in-person event held in Seattle to a multi-day, online event, allowing the company to move forward with product announcements, developer training and more. Adobe, LinkedIn, SAP and countless other companies big and small moved their meetings, events, festivals and training classes online.
By reimagining the way live events can be delivered online, a business can still capture the energy and power of an in-person event while keeping attendees safe. In addition, many organizations are discovering that virtual events provide an opportunity to include more attendees at the event, are less challenging to produce, and cost significantly less than the travel and logistics fees even a small event like a shareholder meeting can incur. Even once a vaccine gets developed and life goes back to normal, live virtual events are here to stay.
Evaluating Your Virtual Event Platform Options
For communication professionals, technology is as critical to the success of a virtual event as venues are to in-person events. The right virtual event platform can enhance the quality of your event, ensure attendee engagement, and make it easier to repurpose event content like recordings for later use.
When considering your virtual event platform options, it’s vital to keep a few things in mind:
- Reliability: You cannot afford to have a live event stream fail in the middle of a presentation, be difficult to access by attendees, or deliver choppy video and audio. Just like your AV equipment at a live event, your virtual platform needs to be able to deliver a high level of quality with reliability.
- Scalability: Not all solutions are created equal. Some are great for small groups, while others are made to broadcast to tens of thousands. Your virtual event platform needs to be able to handle your specific event requirements as you grow.
- Adaptability: A virtual event platform should give you the data and insights you need to understand what resonates with your audience so you can optimize everything from your event stream to the effectiveness of event invitations. It should also provide features that can help you customize the event to make it more engaging for online attendees.
In our checklist, 7 Questions to Ask Your Virtual Events Vendor, we walk through everything you need to ask when evaluating potential solutions. Use it to find the partner you need to execute flawless virtual events now and, in the years, ahead.