Creating Memorable Virtual Events: Top Strategies for Success tips and tricks

Updated Feb 1st, 2024 by   Nicolas Zenker

We’re not saying your next virtual event should compete with whatever new thrilling miniseries is on Netflix. Still, there are certainly ways that good old-fashioned virtual events can be spiced up to be more valuable for both the host and attendees. In this article, we’ll be diving into some strategies to help you elevate the experience you’re building. 

We’ll start with tips for goal-setting and making sure your program is aligned with your objectives all the way through the post-event communications. No time to lose; we’re live!

Establishing a goal for your virtual event

Many virtual events ‘’fail’’ because they haven’t determined what success would even look like. And, spoiler alert: hitting a certain number of attendees or sign-ups is rarely something that actually turns into tangible success. Let’s dive a bit deeper.

Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, educate your audience, or test the waters for a new product? If your goal is lead generation, quantify it. How many leads do you want to generate? If it’s brand awareness, decide how you’ll measure this – through social media engagement, website traffic, etc.

This will help you develop a program and format for the event that fits your goals and doesn’t leave anyone thinking, ‘What in the metaverse was that about?’. 

These goals should not only match your company’s objectives but also your audience’s needs, which is what’s next on the list. 

Understanding the difference between virtual events for B2C and B2B 

Virtual events are so much more than just webinars or online talks. As a B2C company, you can also find creative ways to engage your audience online. But what is the difference?

Both B2C and B2B events aim to connect with audiences, but the underlying goals will differ. B2C is more often about creating experiences, brand building, or creating hype. B2B, on the other hand, typically focuses more on delivering value and fostering business growth by building relationships. This difference again underlies the importance of getting clarity on what the goal of your event is.

Choosing the right technology for your event

Now that you’ve established what you’re hoping to achieve, it’s time to find the technology that will help you do just that. 

For B2C events, think about platforms that can handle high traffic and provide an immersive experience. B2B events want platforms that are great at facilitating networking, offering easy access to content, and hosting interactive sessions. 

Key features to look for in virtual event hosting software

Here’s a quick rundown of essential features to keep in mind:

  • User experience: Ease of use is paramount and should be combined with a visually appealing interface. This will help people stay focused on the event and not struggle with the UI.
  • Customization: You want it to be an immersive experience, and a customizable platform helps with that. Check if you can adjust branding options, session formats, and interactive elements. Make it look and feel like your event!
  • Marketing tools: To ensure a smooth experience and clear communications, opt for a tool that integrates with your favorite marketing tools to handle everything from your first automated welcome email to the last survey post-event.
  • Scalability: Depending on how many people you expect, ensure your platform can host them without any issues. 
  • Data collection: To measure the success of your event, make sure that the platform you work with allows the right type of data collection for relevant metrics. Check to see if it integrates with free CRM tools that allow you to keep track of everything from registration details to session interactions.


Setting up a hybrid event

If you’re hosting an in-person event, look for ways to make it hybrid. Hybrid events open doors for those who might be unable to attend in person due to physical, financial, or time constraints, making your event more inclusive.

Technology that helps set you up a successful hybrid event:

  • Live streams for talks and workshops: Choose a reliable streaming service to broadcast live talks and sessions, and use high-quality AV equipment to enable attendees to experience the event in real-time, and great quality.
  • Interactive platforms: Go for a platform that supports interaction between in-person and virtual attendees. Features like live Q&A, chat rooms, and virtual networking spaces can bridge the gap between the two audiences.
  • Mobile apps: An app can provide a unified experience for both in-person and virtual attendees. It can offer features like schedules, notifications, session streaming, and interactive elements. An app can also help with the last thing on this list…
  • Polling and feedback: Real-time polling and feedback tools are essential for engaging both audiences, and an app is a great way to make it happen. They provide valuable insights and make every participant feel heard, regardless of their location.

Creating an exciting experience with innovative visual and audio elements

A virtual event is, in many ways, mainly a visual experience – so plan to make it a great one. Visuals and audio can set the mood, capture attention (and keep it), and help convert your message in a way that text alone can not. 

Some tips for incorporating multimedia elements into your virtual event:

  • Choose quality over quantity. High-definition visuals and clear, crisp audio should be a priority. Anything else can distract an audience.
  • Be consistent. If you choose a theme, make sure it’s everywhere, and tie it in with your brand identity. 
  • Add in interactive elements: using visuals doesn’t necessarily mean you want people to just watch. Make them interact with polls, Q&A sessions, live audio responses, and more. 
  • Test, test, test! We all know that technology can sometimes take a second, but make sure you’ve rehearsed everything that involves audio and visuals before the event to avoid any unnecessary delays or mistakes.


Adding in personalization for your attendees

Virtual events don’t have to be a synonym for impersonal events. Sure, sometimes people just want to be spectators, but for most virtual events, people are looking to be seen as well – making your virtual event a two-way street. 

You can achieve this with personalization in different ways:

  • Customizable agendas: Don’t force everyone to follow the same program. Allow attendees to select sessions that interest them most. 
  • Breakout rooms: Allow for smaller group interactions and networking, where people can give their input as well. This makes events feel more intimate and tailored.
  • Ask for feedback during and after the event: Once a session is done, allow people to share their thoughts and any takeaways. This will likely give you better feedback than waiting until the end of the event – you want the experience to be fresh in their minds. 

Engaging your audience and combatting screen fatigue

The beauty of live events is that they allow people to step away from their screens, and most people aren’t super keen on spending their spare time behind their computers. 

If you want to avoid dwindling participation throughout the event or hear feedback about the program running too long, keep this in mind:

  • Keep sessions concise and dynamic. An hour-long talk by an expert can be challenging to focus on, so opt for shorter talks or make them more interactive.
  • Incorporate breaks. If your event is live, make sure that people can take a break here and there and jump right in without having missed too much. 
  • Use engaging visuals and change up formats. An hour-long talk by one expert is challenging, but three in a row is borderline impossible. Switch things up by combining workshops with talks and Q&A sessions. 

When designing your program, try to prioritize your audience’s comfort. Don’t try to overload them with information in a short period, but opt for highlights and a dynamic day. 

Taking time to reflect after the event

Once the last person has logged off, it’s time to celebrate – but the work isn’t over yet. What you do after the event can bring its impact to the next level.

  • Follow up with attendees and thank them for joining. Ask for feedback and give something else in return, like a discount.
  • Make it clear where they can find any additional resources or anything that has been discussed throughout the event.
  • Check-in with people who missed the event but did sign up, and offer them content as well. 

Measuring your success with data

Here’s where we come full circle and look back at the goals you’ve established for your event. Time to dig into the data and look at the metrics that define your success. Use your findings to refine future events. Maybe certain topics resonated more, or specific formats were more engaging. Post-event surveys can also provide invaluable insights. 

So…when’s your next virtual event?

Virtual events are not just about being online at the same time as your target audience but about creating meaningful and accessible experiences for everyone. 

Now, it’s your turn to take the stage. We encourage you to apply these insights to your next event and have a peek at our beginner’s guide for planning virtual events. Experiment with hybrid formats, engage with your audience in new ways and break the barriers of traditional event planning. Let the planning begin!

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