How to make virtual events work for organisers and attendees

Virtual events are now part of our lives. Even with the end of the pandemic almost in sight – or at least conceivable, given the rapid distribution of vaccines – it is hard to imagine going back to the pre-Covid scenario, where the vast majority of events were held in person. We will continue to hold virtual events not because we can’t do without them, but because we don’t want to. Because out of the many difficulties of this situation we have been able to draw advantages that open up new and interesting possibilities for the whole events industry. Once you have chosen to organise virtual events, however, it is essential for you to understand their specific features, so that the experience will be both useful and exciting for you as your event’s attendees. Here’s how to get the best results from your next virtual event.

Stimulate communication with a wider network

We have already discussed how virtual events can potentially reach a wider audience than in-person events. This is undoubtedly an advantage for the organisers, but it can also be an advantage for the attendees. By stimulating interactions between users, a large international virtual event with an audience of tens of thousands of people automatically becomes an unprecedented opportunity to expand their network. This creates more value than in-person events, especially for small and medium-sized companies with limited PR budgets.

Create personalised experiences

Remember the beginnings of YouTube? The first Youtubers? The content was awkward and seemed to miss its targets. Today, however, Youtuber is practically a profession and video streaming platforms are indispensable to any self-respecting communication strategy. What has changed? It’s simple: in the beginning, YouTube users tried and failed to imitate the language of television. Today, however, content creators use the languages of the platforms through which they communicate with ease, maximising their effectiveness. The same is happening with virtual events: the most successful ones are those that do not simply seek to reproduce a digital version of familiar event scenarios, but rather exploit the strengths of these formats to their full extent. A perfect example of this is personalisation: an in-person convention welcomes hundreds or thousands of people and it is therefore impossible to tailor every attendee’s experience to their needs. In the case of virtual events, on the other hand, the degree of customisation is much higher and organisers should exploit this by focusing on interactivity and creating an interface that allows users to design their experience according to their own specific requirements.

Experimenting with different content

Digital formats are many and versatile and can be adapted to the most diverse needs. This makes it possible to create a much more varied offer in terms of content than can be achieved with an in-person event. A real-time virtual conference, for instance, allows users to focus on interaction, recreating life-like situations that enrich the whole experience. An on-demand webinar, on the other hand, focuses on the personalisation of the experience, offering attendees the opportunity to choose when to consume the content and to review the same content several times, to focus on the most interesting aspects.