Updated: Jun 1, 2021
One word - engagement! We have been hearing this term quite a bit these days as virtual conferences are booming and not going away anytime soon. For me, to figure out event engagement strategies is to base them in data and research on human behavior. After, of course, setting goals and objectives of your digital meeting.
Human behavior is an evolving mystery. But there are studies and research out there about human behavior, motivation strategies and personality traits. So get to know your attendees and talk to them before the event i.e. via surveys. Do not wait to engage with your attendees only during the event or right after. The moment they register for your event or express an interest in the event, start communicating with them. When I was asked to speak at a webinar for Houston chapter of IABC "Event Strategies for success in a post-covid world", I have asked planner of the webinar to send out 2 questions from me before the webinar, immediately upon each attendee registering. Either the attendees answered the questions or not, it got them thinking about the topic. This simple gesture showed that I really wanted to know them and their struggles.
Success for virtual conference exhibitors
There has been a study done by one of the virtual event platforms (Swapcard), where it showed that exhibitors have an big opportunity to engage with attendees and get quality leads. One of the event strategy for virtual conference is to invite your attendees to log in and browse exhibitors, who are there to talk to the attendees and show their product before and after the virtual conference – do not rely on attendees to maneuver between breakout session and networking to visit exhibitor booths.
Additionally, just like you want to get to know your attendees, talk to your exhibitors with a goal to find out what they are trying to achieve from having a booth at your show. Include them in the design process - after all they are the ones who pay big bucks to be there.
Success for virtual conference attendees
Return on immersement™. This term came to me after listening to Duncan Wardle, ex-vp from Disney, talking about creativity and reading his articles. His Tedx talk is truly fascinating, and I encourage you to listen to it. In short, he talks about evolution of Disneyland and its approach to immersive experience for anyone who goes to their parks. And if you listen to his talk, you will realize that return on immersement™does not happen overnight. What I want event organizers to know is that we are at the beginning of fundamental changes - changes to how things have been done in event and meetings industry for years. Technology caught up with all of the conference organizers because of COVID. And your organization’s success with return on immersement™ will not be an overnight matter but with carefully designed strategies, I truly believe you will be on the way to start creating a desired level of success for your conference.
For help with these strategies and more, contact Event Strategies