Planning online events has become part of our new virtual world. When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, the events industry accordingly adapted at an accelerated pace leading to the meteoric rise of virtual experiences. For any forward-thinking business, they’re now a key part of any events strategy to engage and entertain employees and clients.
The pandemic will (hopefully) be over soon, but online events are here to stay.
Over the past 10 months we’ve organised nearly 1,500 virtual experiences for businesses. So here are our top 7 learnings so far for planning online events:
1. MATCH YOUR GOALS AND AUDIENCE WITH THE RIGHT EXPERIENCE
What works best for one group, might be less effective for another. The first two questions we ask a client when booking virtual experiences are “so what are your event objectives?” and “who is attending?”
Some experiences, like an ‘exclusive online English sparkling wine tasting’, are better suited to an intimate 10-person client event, whilst others such as a ‘brilliant online interactive magic show’ are ideal for a 500+ person global office party. A good understanding of your group’s preferences and what they are looking to get out of the experience will always lead to a successful online event.
We organise our experiences into event type categories (team social, client entertaining, staff wellbeing etc.) so we can point you in the right direction.
2. MULTI EXPERIENCE EVENTS = HIGHER ATTENDANCE RATES
If you’re arranging an event for a larger group (50+), know that you can maximise attendance by booking multiple experiences (running at the same time) and letting your guests choose the one that’s right for them.
Our clients who book one of our Multi Experience Events improve attendance by 23% on average.
3. LEAD TIMES ARE STILL IMPORTANT
Many people think that because these experiences are hosted online, therefore they take less time to arrange than a physical event. This is a myth!
It’s true in some cases (the simplest events can take as little as 2 weeks to execute), but complex or customized experiences (think of pack deliveries to hundreds of attendees across 5 countries) can take multiple weeks to arrange.
Just like in-person events, the more time you have to prepare and nail down the details the better.
4. DUE YOUR DUE DILIGENCE WHEN IT COMES TO INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING
Over 25% of our events include international attendees and it’s never been easier to share experiences with people globally.
But international shipping (particularly when it comes to alcohol and different governments) is complex. As you might expect, delivery to certain EU countries has also now become a challenge in a post-Brexit world.
Whilst even the most experienced suppliers can experience delivery delays, when it comes to these events, we highly recommend picking one with international delivery expertise. Through us, our experience suppliers have delivered event packs to well over 100 countries!
The key question to ask is “have you delivered to this country successfully before?”.
5. HAVE TECH SUPPORT ON-HAND
You want to avoid those awkward technical difficulties, especially when it comes to impressing your important clients. We assign an Event Specialist or Technician to each of our virtual events to ensure all event tech runs smoothly.
This is crucial because it means our clients can relax knowing someone is on-hand to help resolve any issues. Our Event Specialists also take care of technical requirements like breakout rooms, ensuring that our event hosts can solely focus on providing exceptional experiences without any interruptions.
Learn more about our Event Management Services.
6. CUSTOMISE THE FORMAT OF YOUR EVENT (IF YOU NEED TO)
One of the many benefits of virtual experiences is that they are so easily adaptable. Experiences shouldn’t just be replicated – each is unique and special to the people that were part of it. That’s why we offer flexible formats for 90% of our experiences, adapting them to each client’s needs.
7. USE ZOOM TO RUN YOUR EVENT
Whilst most of our experiences can run on any* video conferencing software (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Webex, Hangouts), wherever possible we advise clients to run their event on Zoom.
Currently, no other readily-available and affordable software offers the same visual or audio quality as Zoom, or has the same breadth of features.
Other applications are catching up but until then Zoom should be your first choice if you want your guests to have the best experience possible.
*Experiences that require specific tech features can only run on Zoom.
So, has this helped you? Find out how Avva Experience can help your company plan incredible online events.