Online events have been on everyone’s lips lately. If you think it’s just a passing trend, you're wrong! Webinars are here to stay even after a return to in-person conferences. To keep up with the pace of pioneers, you should break out of your comfort zone and enter the virtual world. It might sound confusing, but in order to be prepared for face-to-face events, you need to have experience with hosting online ones. Why? This study shows that a whopping 97% of marketers think that hybrid events will become more important from now on. That's what the future is going to look like: in-person and digital experiences will merge.
To get the best of both worlds, you need to combine realities. If you're still wondering how to do that, we've prepared a complete guide about online events to take you step by step through the whole process.
#1 Why are we scared of moving events online?
Throughout 2020, the number of events hosted online increased sharply. Conferences, expos, and other mass business meetings - no matter if in NYC, Tokyo, or Amsterdam - were forbidden, so many of them moved to digital. Although it's now becoming common practice, lots of brands are still unsure about running their events online.
In the first part, we'll start from scratch and think about why people might feel insecure about running a digital event. It turns out there's a specific psychological phenomenon behind this feeling! The fundamental question is: “how do we overcome the fear of change?” By understanding the background, we can define the problem precisely and find solutions to overcome it.
You can learn to move out of your comfort zone and start planning a successful, profitable digital event from this article. Besides a general explanation of the problem, you'll find tips that may come in handy when you’re considering running an event. We've also prepared a list of helpful automation tools that might be game-changing when hosting an online event.
Learn from famous business events like Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference and Infoshare in order to stay one step ahead of your competitors.
#2 Online events over offline events: how to turn flaws into advantages
In this article, we'll face the fact that we've all grown accustomed to offline events and that this often leads us to overlook (or even look down upon) online ones. It's high time to debunk the myths that have arisen about digital conferencing once and for all in order to unlock the full potential of webinars. That's what the big players already seem to be doing, considering that 26% of event planners expect an increased budget for the next 12 months and many others believe it will remain the same. This means the event industry doesn't want to cancel all of its planned conferences and expos, but find a solution that allows for running them instead.
The key questions we're going to answer are "why should I host a virtual event?" and "how exactly can I benefit from running one?", as they are what's what's crucial at the end of the day. But simply knowing the nuts and bolts might not be enough if you don't know how to make the digital experience successful.
Find aspects of online events that might be perceived as flaws and turn them into advantages with this article.
#3 How to turn an offline event into an online event? (CHECKLIST)
Turning an offline event into an online one can be a challenge. That's why we're here to tell you what to do so that the whole process is as smooth as silk! In this article, you'll learn how to move your offline event into the online world seamlessly.
As we know the nuts and bolts of digital conferencing and we're aware of how to turn flaws into advantages, we can take online events to the next level. Learn about the most popular commission types and which would suit you best. Find out how to move registrations online and why doing so matters in terms of data analytics. And besides that, get to know which measurements are worth tracking instead of following vanity metrics. Only set relevant KPIs because having too many irons in the fire will serve no one.
Find out more and use the checklist here.
#4 How to promote and highlight the value of online events to get more attendees
If there's one element of your webinar that's the most important regardless of your conditions, goals, or other aspects, it’s the attendees. After all the hard work that comes with putting together an online event, it would be a shame not to tell anyone about it! Besides, let's get down to earth - in order to generate a satisfying return of investment and reach your targets, you need to gather the right audience. But how to encourage people to participate in your online event?
You know the value of your conference better than anyone else, so promoting it and pulling in a large audience is not an option but a necessity. Actually, this should be one of your first steps, since people have to become familiar with your project long before it goes live.
This article outlines the best ways to promote your digital event and shows how to use FOMO to your advantage.
#5 Aftermath - what is to be done after an online event?
What goes around comes around. No one wants to be ghosted, so don't leave your attendees hanging after an event has finished. Although you might think that the last part of your conference means the end of the project, you'd be mistaken. The beauty of online actions conducted by businesses is that you can retarget your potential (and current) clients and analyze your strategy more precisely thanks to specific data your attendees will leave. Don't miss the opportunity to build a loyal community around your brand with virtual events!
Be sure to keep in touch with participants even after your webinar has ended, retarget them, and encourage them to join your future events as well.
It takes a few tweaks in your strategy but it's worth the effort, and you can read all about the aftermath here.
#6 Welcome to the world of hybrid: how to run online events when offline goes live (and should you?)
Online events, conferences, webinars… All of these terms might sound similar, and what most organizers want is a return to in-person events. Hybrid versions, however, can be the perfect mix of these two formats, and implementing one can lead you to the cutting edge. The questions right now are “what's coming up next?” and “how to get ready for the new system?”
We want to show you around the world of hybrid events that are revolutionizing the events industry. Technologies that enable you to run such conferences allow you to combine the best elements from both in-person and digital meetings.
Let this article be your guide for transitioning to hybrid events.
#7 Learn to run digital and hybrid events with Alex Theuma, SaaStock CEO [interview]
Learning from practitioners is extremely valuable when planning your own digital event. That's why we interviewed Alex Theuma! He's the CEO of SaaStock, a conference that gathers experts from all over the world annually to share business experiences. As hybrid events aren't going away anytime soon, don't let yourself get left behind! We know that hosting digital and hybrid events can be a challenge, but learning from the best can be a great way to overcome any fears.
In this comprehensive interview, we raised topics such as event marketing and organization changes, pricing strategies for digital events, and tips for adjusting to the new conditions.
You can get to know these and more of Alex’s insights from this conversation.
#8 Why is a virtual conference better than a face-to-face event? [Benefits & ideas]
Running a digital event might seem profitable, yet still not as appealing as an in-person one. Perhaps if you try to change this way of thinking, you could leverage your virtual conferences and provide a more meaningful experience.
Don't think about your digital event as a copy-paste of the face-to-face equivalent. Focus on providing an entirely new experience, not a replacement. Each reality is different and requires a unique approach, so we've gathered unique ideas that can make your events unforgettable. You might just be surprised by how much virtual events can boost your business strategy.
Learn to implement content repurposing and calls to action that actually work for sales and marketing.
All the knowledge at your fingertips - time for action!
Now it's time for your move. With all this knowledge, you can start planning your online event today. Just pick the articles that you find most helpful and dive into the digital world.
When you decide to run a virtual (or hybrid) event, keep in mind that a lot depends on the software provider. The platform that you choose should be able not only to manage the fundamental technical aspects, but also rise to the occasion when it comes to flexibility. LiveWebinar is a customizable platform whose features can be tailored to your needs. Don't think about the impossible, but ask our team to find a solution that will make it come true instead!
P.S. We've also prepared a whole ebook about virtual events that has everything you might need to help you choose the perfect software provider. Read industry insights from experts and pick the best option for your needs. Complete the exercises in order to identify your needs and make an informed decision.