Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 18 2014

Guest Column: 5 Tips to Ensure Virtual Event Success

Emilie Barta

Virtual events will never replace in-person events, but can be utilized as a beneficial complement. I believe that in-person events, virtual events, and hybrid events should all be considered within a 365-day event portfolio. Each type of event comes with its own benefits and challenges, and should be used appropriate to the strategy, goals, and objectives set forth by the conference organizer and that which is best for the audience to derive benefit.

With that being said, here are 5 tips to ensure virtual event success:
  1. You must start with figuring out the “who” and the “why.” Then you can start thinking about “what” to give your audience based on their personality, their needs, their learning styles, their attention spans, their technology aptitude, and so much more.
  2. Any event requires a combination of content + engagement. The content gets people in the door…the engagement keeps them there and makes them want to come back for more.
  3. Engagement is what turns your virtual audience from passive viewers to active participants...so keep your virtual audience top of mind throughout the entire decision making process.
  4. Ensure that all of your vendors understand your vision and have the same commitment to quality as you to allow for a seamless experience for your virtual audience.
  5. The platform, the technology, the buttons are all tools. Tools are not engaging. People are engaging. So ensure that there are moderators, hosts, and/or virtual emcees to be the conduit for the virtual audience and enable them to have a warm and welcoming experience.
The largest barrier to virtual events is a lack of understanding of how to plan, design, and execute them. Whether an event occurs in a physical space or online…it is still an EVENT and needs to be treated as such!

About the Author
Emilie Barta is a Host / Spokesperson / Presenter / Virtual Emcee / Consultant at Emilie Barta Presentations. This article was originally published at www.virtualeventhostemcee.com.

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