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Best Practices

Best Practices

Six Virtual Learnings that Will Improve the Way You Plan for Your Event

27 May 2020 | Heather Pryor | 2 minutes

Hosting a virtual event can feel like taking a shot in the dark. Anyone can attend your event, but how do you ensure that they were engaged? While virtual events introduce new complexities, there are also incredible opportunities to learn from new event metrics. Over the past three months, we’ve carefully monitored virtual events and observed a few trends. Below are six key learnings that you can apply today.

Expect registration overload and rush attendance

From what we’ve observed, it’s likely that you’ll reach an audience 4-6x larger than that of your physical events. Plan for a rush the day prior to your event with up to 50% of registrations needing to be authenticated and passed into sessions.

Plan for decreased engagement

While your attendance numbers will be up, it’s likely your engagement rates will decrease due to short attention spans and distractions. Keep sessions short and encourage attendee engagement with interactive chat, Q&A, 1:1s, gamification, and more.

Refine your understanding of engagement

While engagement at physical events is typically tracked with a session scan (comparable to a click to attend a session in virtual), virtual offers the ability to track duration in session. Duration tracking will enable you to determine which sessions are of most interest to individuals and help you curate meaningful recommendations. You can use those same insights to inform topics and agendas for future events.

Tip: We recommend defining session attendance virtually as a duration of ten minutes.

Reach different audiences

Oftentimes many would-be attendees cannot attend your event because of budget or travel limitations. You’ll find that when you take your event online, you’ll attract attendees from a wider variety of positions. While not every attendee will be a key decision-maker, those who choose to attend your event have the potential to become great advocates for your brand in the future.

Use virtual as an opportunity to gather insights

Organizations that gather information on content consumption, preferences, and thoroughly analyze metrics for cohort journeys will be better equipped to prove ROI and raise the bar for next year’s events.

Focus on conversion

From brand awareness to maximizing revenues and delighting attendees, conversion data is your secret weapon for quantifying event success. Even though you may experience lower engagement and conversion rates for virtual, the total amount of engagement can exceed physical. This helps teams compare events while finding ways to increase conversion to maximize engagement and encourage more attendees to return to your physical events the following year.

In addition to gathering insights from virtual events, we’ve also compiled a guide about how to conquer uncertainty around future events. Click here to view the full guide and learn more best practices from our industry-leading technology experts.