Virtual Events

Four Best Practices to Deliver Highly Successful Virtual Events

by Jackie Davis

One of the first signs that COVID-19 was going seriously upend the world as we knew it was the response of global companies to in-person events. What started out with major players, like Verizon, AT&T, and IBM withdrawing from the RSA show in February, 2020 over concerns about the virus and the safety of their employees. From there in-person events tumbled lie a house of cards from HIMSS to SXSW to Dreamforce

But like most aspects of pandemic life we’ve found ways to adapt and marketers have adapted very quickly to this most unfortunate loss of in-person events. We noticed an article from SYNNEX Comstor’s Nichole Wolf on Edge360 that explores four best practices that marketers can use to deliver a successful virtual event experience.  

Read on to find out what four best practices Nichole thinks every marketer should follow to continue to deliver success to their organization. 

When the pandemic hit, nearly every aspect of our lives was impacted. From going to the grocery store, to working remotely, and overall social distancing to stay safe. With safety top of mind, corporate events, conferences, and exhibitions within the IT channel were quickly cancelled. Yet, it still remains critical to connect with customers, partners, and industry peers. The event must go on – virtually.

It is important now more than ever to bring marketing and brand awareness to the forefront. Continuing to maintain relationships with customers, virtually, is what will help organizations survive these difficult times. For the many organizations that are seeking to create virtual events, here are four things to keep in mind to ensure success:

Planning and Promotion
Even though travel is not required for virtual events, planning and proper promotion most definitely are critical components to success. Just because an event is digital does not mean customers are available at the drop of a hat to attend your event. People need notice, reminders, and proper planning to dedicate large segments of time on their calendars. Be sure to plan and promote your event well in advance. Build anticipation!

Simplicity
Make sure your platform is simple, easy to use, and intuitive. Too often tech companies get into the weeds and forget the true purpose of their event or message. Customers who attend your virtual event want to easily be able to access content that is relevant to them, watch a presentation, ask questions or even chat with your experts. Make this easy. Don’t let clunky platforms prevent your customers from benefitting from the full experience.

Educational and Relational
Your content and presentations should be educationally focused. Your visitors are there to learn more or engage with your staff. Don’t oversell. Your customers already know you – or they wouldn’t even be attending. Be sure to give them information that will help them grow their business or solve an issue they are facing. Make attending worth their time.

Follow-up & ROI
Follow up, follow up, follow up! Don’t leave your customers hanging. You didn’t just put in all the effort of planning and hosting a virtual event for your customers to hear nothing from you afterward. Be sure to follow up and ask them if they found your event useful, what they liked most, and if there anything you can provide to further help them. We have a lot to learn from the changes that are occurring during the pandemic. While there will be a time where we can all meet again in-person, it will take some time. Make sure that you are still connecting with your customers, partners, and industry community – virtually – to keep the education, learning, and communication going.

This article originally appeared  here on Edge360.