fbpx

How to host a successful Virtual Event

With the global outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus, the events industry passes through challenging times.  As health institutions deal with the outbreak, exhibitions and events are postponed or cancelled. This unprecedented situation forces many businesses to adapt accordingly and make temporary decisions to keep operating.

There is no doubt that face-to-face interactions will never go away, but there are times when going virtual appears to be a better alternative. In this article, we will go over different ways that can make your virtual event truly Stand Out!

Meaningful Social Interactions

It seems like one of the main criticisms of online events is that participants don’t have the same opportunities when it comes to networking and interaction, compared to face-to-face events. While this is partly true, the available technologies in today’s world are doing a great job to tackle this inconvenience.

As a result, organizers that decide to go the ‘virtual way’ can opt for easy to implement solutions to keep their audience engaged.  Innovative apps enable attendees to stay engaged right from their smartphones. Interactive content, such as live polls, reactions, chat rooms and quizzes are efficient ways to keep them entertained during and after an online event.

However, if you decide to provide your audience with virtual networking tools, keep in mind that social doesn’t just happen, or at least not initially. It is the organizers job to remind audiences that great interaction features are available. Therefore, try to send out newsletters at least a week in advance and include step by step instructions to avoid any concerns.

Streaming Solution and Gear

First, determine if your virtual event will take place in a physical place, or if it will be fully virtual. If you decide to stream it from a physical location, find a solution that integrates with quality stream providers. Usually, online events are streamed in three different ways: 1. Real-time stream 2. Stream with a short delay 3. Record and upload the stream at a later time. The first one seems to be the most popular, because people can interact and attend Q&A sessions.

Live streams can be quite simple if you prepare beforehand. With no room for mistake, using proper software and hardware is very important. Therefore, choose a streaming solution that is configured to withstand the volume of viewers you expect and that is somewhat popular on the market. Keeping aside the streaming aspect, the quality of your equipment can make a huge difference. If you plan to host multiple online events, investing in top-of-the-line gear is a must.

Choose the right Time and Date

Since your event will take place online, location and accessibility are not to be worried about anymore. However, the time and date are just as relevant as ever. Even if we all know that weekends are for events, there are still other things to consider. Is there another important event that might distract your audience? Does the event time coincide with a major sporting event? 

Do your research before setting up a time and date for a virtual event. You can even create a short survey and share it with your prospective audience. This way, you can assure that most of them won’t complain about this matter. Besides that, you should establish if your target audience is overseas or if it’s part of the same time zone, especially if you opt to host a live stream. Anyway, you can always upload the video after the show if time difference is a real concern, but keep in mind that live streams can keep audiences more engaged. 

Find a Venue when it’s Safe

Just because you host a virtual event, it doesn’t mean that you can simply run it from your office. Obviously, you can do that and it will save you a lot of money, but it’s not going to be as effective as if you were to host it in a real venue. However, during this time of uncertainty, your audience should understand that it’s safer to host events from home rather than hustling around to search for venues. Anyway, once the pandemic has passed, you should find a venue for your virtual events. No need for a spacious venue, just find one with the basics (a podium and audio/visual equipment).

Hopefully, we convinced you that hosting a virtual event is no rocket science and it can actually prove to be efficient. At Oveit, we are currently working on setting up a dedicated platform for virtual events. If you have time, try to complete this short questionnaire. It won’t take more than a few minutes and it will help us develop a solution based on your preferences. Stay tuned for more information and feel free to drop us a line!

A different way to connect festival sponsors with attendees

During a festival, sponsors contribute to the attendee experience and entertainment. It’s very unlikely to attend a large festival without noticing heavy signs of branding across the grounds. Ranging from exclusive vendor booths to branded stage names and traditional banners, sponsors have become an integral part of a festival’s success.

Sponsors aim to build genuine connections with participants through innovation. According to a recent study, millennial attendees perceive brands that sponsor festivals as more authentic and trustworthy. As we live in a world where data is the new gold, being able to follow up and form a lasting relationship with your prospective clients is essential. As expected, festival-goers don’t like to lose their precious time with providing personal details, especially in this environment.

What if sponsors could collect valuable data from attendees with a simple tap of the hand?

Great news! Oveit Interact is the game changer in this case.

Sponsors using Oveit Interact

To collect data as a festival sponsor with our solution, the process is straight forward and user friendly. There is no need to ask individual attendees for personal information and manually input it. Instead, the NFC chip placed inside the branded wristband does the magic. Sponsors can create unique accounts and personalize the interaction screen as they wish. After each interaction, participants give their consent and agree to share their information with sponsors (GDPR compliant).

At the end of the festival, you can simply export the collected information from your account by pressing a button. If there are no add-ons attached to a particular ticket category, the interaction can only take place once. In other words, if someone tries to connect with a sponsor for the second time, the App will notify that an interaction has already occurred.

Austrian Airlines using Oveit Interact to connect with participants

Attendees using Oveit Interact

Recently, I attended a festival with a variety of brand activations (sponsors) on site. All of those activations were completely unique and truly inspiring. I found it annoying to participate in their campaigns, because I had to repeat myself every time to provide relevant details, such as my e-mail address or phone number . But guess what … I still did it because their freebies were quite amazing and worth claiming.

With Oveit Interact, providing those details in an environment where music is banging in your ears is not necessary. You can simply enjoy those cool freebies with a tap of your wrist.

Oveit Interact interface (it can be fully customized to represent your brand)

Main takeaways

As previously mentioned, data is the new gold. Oveit Interact enables festival sponsors to step up their game and collect valuable information in a matter of seconds. As for keeping in touch with the ones who passed by your booth, you can customize the follow-up email and the App takes care of sending it out after each interaction.

As for the attendees, it is important to mention that sponsors don’t have access to sensitive information. The information collected comes strictly from the registration form, included in the ticket purchase process. With that being said, don’t hesitate to contact us for additional information!

Event management world: small improvements to increase your revenue

                                                   –without increasing the ticket price-

As companies from every industry, event management companies to need to be profitable in order to survive. In my experience, money is not the main reason for which somebody starts a business in this industry, but even event planners have bills and salaries to pay. And unfortunately smiles, the best currency exchange in the industry, aren’t able to do it. Today’s article is based on a very simple principle (yet many times ignored) on how small changes can increase your revenue. The key is to look at the journey attendees have from the moment they first come into contact with your event until the moment your event is over (and even farther)pexels-photo-990818

From  prospects to buyers

When you first start marketing your event lots of people will see your message. But only a small percentage of them will convert into buyers. Assuming that 200.000 people hear your message and 2000 buy tickets to your event, this means you have a 1% conversion rate.

There are ways you can increase the conversion rate, and we have written multiple articles on this subject. You can write better marketing copy, use influential marketing or use the right social media tools for marketing. And later in this article, you will see why any small improvement can dramatically improve the overall financial result.

So, if your average ticket is 500 USD and you have 2000 paying attendees, your ticket revenue will be 1.000.000 USD. You have invested a considerable amount of money to convince people to come to your event, but let’s exaggerate and think that all of your attendees are the result of your marketing campaigns. A great experience will bring people back to your next event(s). And considering the fact that it’s 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new client than to retain an existing one you should definitely make the most out of this opportunity.

good to know:

In average, event profs invest in marketing between 1 and 8 percent of what they expect the event to return. We can use a 4,5 average and consider that 45.000 USD brought you 2000 attendees (22,5 USD/attendee). A job done right gives you the opportunity to sell tickets to next year’s event for 4 USD to at least 15% of your current attendees. Of course, figures are not quite exact, but I am sure that you see where I am going.

On-site payments

But the revenue an attendee brings doesn’t limit to the ticket he pays for. If you are hosting a 2-day festival and attendees spend on average 100 USD per day, food and beverages will bring you 400.000 USD. But what if I tell you that Oveit can help you increase on-site revenues? Reports show that people tend to spend up to 30% more at events where a cashless payment system is in place. Using the right event management tool will definitely help you increase the revenue.

print screen with Oveit's digital wallet report

p.s. We know sponsorship is a crucial piece of the puzzle. And to help event planners offer a great experience for sponsors too, we have developed our NFC built-in technology so that it can be used to engage attendees and collect data. Read more here.

Increase your revenue: the practical example.

Scenario A:

So, the figures that we have until now are :

200.000 (prospects) X 1% (conversion rate) = 2000 (ticket buyers)

2000 (ticket buyers) X 500 USD(ticket price)= 1000000 USD (income)

+

2000 (attendees) X 200 USD (spent on-site)= 400.000 USD

total income: 1.400.000.

Assuming that you have a 20% profit rate you will make  280.000 USD profit

Scenario B:

Now, starting from this figures, let’s assume that you use our blog and technology and make just a few improvements. Maybe you refine your marketing strategy (better copy, better targeting etc.) and use an online ticketing system that allows you to sell tickets directly on your website. And buyers to use their mobile phones to place the order: your conversion rate goes from 1% to 1.5%.

200.000 (prospects) X 1.5% (conversion rate)= 3000 (ticket buyers)

3000 (ticket buyers) X 500 USD= 1.500.000

+

On-site, using Oveit’s cashless payments system, people spend 10% more, with an average of 220 USD.

3000 (attendees) X 220 USD= 660.000

Total income: 2.160.000

with the same 20% profit rate you will have 432.000 USD profit.

As you can see, just some small improvements can increase your revenue without increasing your ticket price. Having the right partners can be the difference between failure and success, so make sure that you choose a smart tool as your event management system. Read here another great example of how small changes can bring huge improvements.

 

Create copy that sells your events

You work hard to create the (almost) perfect event. And nothing compares to the feeling that you have when seeing the smiles on peoples’ faces, smiles that are a guarantee that they will attend your next events as well. You know that they will tell their friends, colleagues, and families what a great time they had and will act like ambassadors of your great work.

But what about those that never attended one of your events and neither do they know any of your past guests. How will you convince them that you deserve their time (and money)? What will make them decide to come to your events and not do anything else? The event management industry is highly competitive, nowadays there are so many events to choose from.

Here is where the power of words comes to the rescue. And even though marketing works on many channels (and we have talked about keywords, Twitter, Instagram and more) one thing is more important than anything: the way you tell your story. Words have the power to transfer feelings and the message that you choose can bring people towards your events or it can make you go unnoticed.

open laptop with "create copy that sells your events" text

Here are 5 things that you should have in mind when creating the message for you future attendees:

  1. Define your audience

You will never know how to adapt your message if you don’t know who you are writing for. Defining your audience should be the first step when building a marketing campaign. The better you know your potential customers, the higher the chances are that you will speak their language. And speaking their language is the key to getting to their hearts. Why get to their hearts? You will see later in the article.

  1. Have (just) one goal

Setting too many goals can keep you off track. After all, we all have a limited amount of time and energy. If you want to gain more from your texts you should create them by having just one goal in mind for each of them. Trying to build a road that leads to too many directions you may end up with a road that leads nowhere. What is the ultimate goal of your text? To convince people to buy tickets for your event? To convince them to read your blog posts? To subscribe to your newsletter? No matter the goal that set up for your message you should make sure that it leads the reader towards it.

  1. Look for the emotional response 

In sales, there is a theory stating that “people buy based on their emotion, and afterward use logic to justify it”. If you want to convince people to come to your event try to call for their emotions, dreams, and aspirations. Planning a business conference? We all want to be our best version of ourselves, and your conference can bring us one step closer to it. A 3-day festival? We all deserve a break from work, calls, and emails. We all crave for a long weekend surrounded by friends and good music in a landscape worthy of a fairytale.

  1. Always tell a story about your events

“Stories are a vital part of any business. And they are one of the most powerful tools you can use to engage your audience.” Tony Robbins 

You create experiences that, over the years, transform into your attendees’ memories into unforgettable tales. Stories have the power to carry us through time and space and show us that dreams can be fulfilled. Let people know your story and the ones of your attendees and they will want to be a part of your remarkable journey.

  1. Keep it simple 

In order for a message to touch us, we first need to understand it. With hundreds of messages that are “pointed” toward us each day we have started to filter things to see what deserves our time and what does not. Things we cannot understand easily will have a hard time getting our attention.

ex:

I can be that your attendees don’t care about the technical details of NFC technology, but will love the fact that they can add credit on a wristband and pay with just a tap of the hand. Too many details will make things more complicated than they need to be.

People should know the passion you invest in your events, but they should also know their gain from attending them. After all, there is one Radio channel that we all listen to and that is WII FM: What’s In It For Me? A medical conference, festival or concert, your attendees will choose to come to your event only if they can picture themselves in your story.

How will your event app increase attendee engagement?

Technology really changed the event management game. From ticketing, badges, or payments, to the way we gather information from our attendees, everything has changed due to tech.

The rise of smartphones offered event planners the chance of adding a new asset: the event app, a powerful tool when it comes to both gathering data and engaging attendees.

EVENT APP

Attendees engagement is crucial for every event planner. And event apps are great when it comes to measuring it. Further than the show/no-show rate, we all want to know if the attendees really were connected to our event. What are they curious about? What made them lose interest? And the event app is able to gather this information for you. You will know how many people downloaded the app, how many accounts have been activated, what messages generate interest and much more. All with the help of the app’s reports and analytics. But first things first:

What is customer engagement?

Customer engagement is best defined by the guys at Intercom in their powerful “Customer engagement” ebook:

“Communicating with your customer over the course of their lifecycle to help them get to the outcome that they want”. I really love the way they put the customer first. “To get the outcome that they want!” So the best practices involve putting your customer at the center of your activity. I am sure it is not the first time you hear this idea, but it can’t harm to hear it once more. When sketching the app for your event, ask yourself: How will it help attendees? How easily can someone create an account? What’s the added value for my guests?

Event app prior to the event

You can encourage your attendees to install the app just after they buy the ticket and supply them valuable information prior to the event. But try not to overwhelm them with your messages and send only valuable information (otherwise, why would they use it?).

Make sure you provide a schedule for the event and info about the speakers/artist, this is something most people will find extremely useful.

Using the app during the event 

The best moment to engage your attendees is, of course, during your event. But make sure you don’t use it to distract them, or it may backfire. Social media integration will help your attendees’ networking efforts, but at the same time can be used to create buzz around your event.

Gamification will motivate engagement and at the same time will help your attendees network. And considering that events are based on experiences more than anything else, it is a great way to ensure a level of loyalty from your guests.  

But don’t create an event app just for gamification, a smart event management app – like Oveit – can be used for gamification without the cost of another app.

Use polls and survey to increase engagement 

What is the best way to find out what your customers really want? By simply asking them. If you can’t read minds, of course. Remember using paper and pen for surveys and polls, asking attendees to “keep one and hand the rest to the person in your left/right/back”. Those days are over and now everybody can vote or offer feedback using the event app, in a much simpler manner. For both attendees and organizers.

Offer certification for your attendees

If your event has seminar sessions hosted by certified trainers your attendees can receive a certification for attending them. And your event app can help you automate this process and send the certification to your attendees. Simply connect their personal profiles to a specific seminar and they will be able to receive the diploma when the seminar is over. You can use the app to test their skills and give certification only to those that have answered correctly to a certain number of questions.

The event app will increase the engagement of your attendees and will help you collect relevant data about your guests. But when aiming for increased customer engagement remember to use your energy so that the attendees get the outcome that they want. And the app makes no exception.