How to leverage virtual events to improve your community’s experience

Sourav Aggarwal
• August 7, 2020
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W

e have all attended broadcast-style virtual events, where audiences are mere listeners and know which direction the engagement in these events goes after a little while. The engagement nose dives. 

Whereas, in interactive events, your audience slowly turns into a community. And when communities create a sense of belongingness, and liveliness, it makes the participants believe that they are not alone. That is how an event becomes an experience.

But, how do you create such an engaging experience in virtual events? You need to bring the audience together by engaging them in a dialogue, encouraging them to share their views, and making it valuable for them.

Remote events can create real connections if you strategically leverage them and help improve the experience of attendees. 

The biggest thumbs up for the virtual event technology here is that the online events do have the potential to encourage immersive interactions and networking among attendees. Well, to guide you better with hosting such events seamlessly, we’ve listed out the following 10-step process.

Step 1: Organize events that validate community building

Keep your attendees’ interest in mind to plan your event, so that people following similar passion come together and build a strong community. Plan the content, theme, speaker and other details such that it is exciting for the audience.

Step 2: Start early

To maximize success, you should launch your community much before your event. If it’s done a few months in advance, the participants can familiarize themselves with the community’s goals and agenda. The attendees get a chance to know the people around them and thus have better communication during the event. 

Step 3: Select the right event platform

Your choice of platform should be based on your audience type and their persona. Select a platform that is easy to use and one where your attendees can spend a reasonable time. 

Check where are your maximum followers? Also, consider what platform suits best to your team members so that they can function more efficiently. 

Airmeet is an inclusive platform which is easy to use, delivers great viewing experience and does not require any downloads to get started.

Step 4: Mark the event and meeting schedules on the calendar

Presently, most people use digital calendars, including iCal, Outlook, or Google Calendar, otherwise, to mark the events/ meetings they want to attend. 

Therefore, if you have an online registration process for your virtual event, add a feature to sync the event information directly with attendees’ calendars. Airmeet allows you to add a virtual event to your calendar with a single click. 

The scheduling of the meetings should also be done in advance. It ensures that the participants get most out of the experience and can plan accordingly.

Step 5: Publish every event companion post

Having a companion post with every event session allows you to share a preview of the event, giving an idea to the attendee on what to expect and encourage more attendance. Such posts can be continued even after the session, as a recap. 

Step 6: Audience feedback

Your community should be designed in a way that keeps the audience invested. You should gather feedback from the participants from time to time about various attributes of your community and events hosted. 

By doing so, the audience feels more connected and valued and this brings into their notice that their feedback does hold value. Additionally, it helps fill gaps and gives ideas to create an excellent community experience and hence drives loyalty. You may also reward them for being active.

Step 7: Compelling content

Make sure your virtual event content is engaging because the content is the king. You can use gamification as part of the sessions to boost engagement. The content should keep their interest piqued. 

Get a little creative with your content. Use different formats during your event, like videos, e-sessions, webinars, etc. Airmeet enables speakers to share their screen to present more efficiently.

Step 8: Engage influencers

Influencers need not be celebrities, but use your community people to be your influencer marketers. Tagged as Micro-influencers, they have their niche audiences who often manage better engagement than big-time influencers. 

Your board members, event speakers, and sponsors can act as influencers in their networks too. 

"Remote events can create real connections if you strategically leverage them and improve the experience of attendees."

Remote events can create real connections if you strategically leverage them and improve the experience of attendees.

Step 9: Content marketing

Passing on the correct information to your stakeholders from time to time about what’s coming, creates a sense of satisfaction, and excitement, in their minds. Don’t wait until the main event to share all the information. You can give the attendees a taste of what’s to come by giving them some engaging content like guest blogs, speaker videos, social media posts, and more. You can send out teaser snippets of the speaker’s session to make them feel interested.

Step 10: Stay connected post-event

Even after the event is over, find ways to stay connected. It is your community, and you need to keep nurturing it. 

You could share your event recordings and key takeaways from the event. Ask them for their feedback on the event. Analyse insights from the event and keep working on them through your community. You will be able to reap long-term benefits through your community.

Once you analyze your audience and their requirements, you can fine-tune your future event to enhance their experience and grow your community. A more engaging community will lead to an impactful event and bring you closer to achieving your goals.

(Read:  Dos and Don’ts of an online Airmeet Event)

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