As we all know, virtual events have been the go-to option for keeping people connected over the past few months since live events have been off the table. With the rush to move meetings into the digital world there has been a lot of 'learning as you go' for many companies. News stories have proliferated about “Zoom fatigue” and “death by PowerPoint”, with presenters sharing copious slides while droning on at their audience. Those attending also have endless distractions while working from home. Email, phones, children, pets, that Amazon delivery… the list goes on. If anything, content now needs to be even more creative and entertaining, as it’s up against stiff competition.
When considering your content, whether virtual or live, you start with what you need to communicate and then plan how best that can be delivered. The main difference with virtual is that you generally have a shorter time to get the message across but your story telling and how it’s illustrated can still have limitless possibilities. Making your event entertaining and interactive has to be part of the planning process.
Subject to your audience size, profile and what you want to achieve within your agenda, entertainment can turn an ordinary virtual event into a chance to bring something memorable directly into their home. It will keep engagement high, create a buzz and make your virtual event stand out.
Here are just a few ideas to help you get those key messages across.
How to Bring Your Key Messages To Life
1. Use dynamic video, music, animation and motion graphics to illustrate content. This can be edited into pre-recorded content or cut into live presentations. To mix it up consider digital live scribing to create illustrations during the sessions. It provides a graphical takeaway that is fun, informative, but most importantly, widely sharable post event.
2. Audience size makes a big difference in virtual when it comes to interactivity. With larger groups use voting, polls, live Q&A sessions and panel discussions which are more manageable and deliver instant feedback.
3. Incorporate icebreakers and energisers to keep your audience engaged and drive interaction and networking. This can include setting some tasks pre-meeting so people come prepared for activities like a virtual show and tell.
4. After long months working from home a team building session could be just the boost your staff need. From virtual escape rooms and team quizzes to game shows and code breaking; teambuilding experiences strengthen communication and can help build those connections when people are working remotely.
5. Think about a health and wellbeing aspect for your event. You can add energising breaks like yoga, meditation or even a personal training session to break up more intense business sessions and keep your audience refreshed and with the right mindset.
6. Even through difficult times it is important to continue to motivate, recognise and reward people - and there's nothing like entertainment to do so. How about a live-streamed set from a band or singer, or even an after-show DJ set? You can still go for a celebrity host or comedian as they have all quickly adapted to hosting virtual gigs. We are even seeing magicians creating shows that work specifically online and with audience interaction, so anything is possible.
The main point to remember is to think of the attendee experience during a virtual event just as much as you think of it for an in-person one. The only limits are budget and imagination!