In 2019, hosting virtual events still sounded a bit futuristic. Even though internet users have been engaging in livestreams or attending webinars and conferences over the past years, virtual events did not feel like a real competitor for real life gigs.
2020 has already changed more than anyone could expect, and these changes have significantly influenced the world of business. While virtual events used to be an option for bigger companies, more and more influencers and small businesses started exploring the digital offer. Today we will go through the benefits of hosting virtual events as a business owner.
What is a virtual event?
A virtual event is any organised meet-up that takes place online rather than in a physical location. These events can range from short livestreams and sessions to enormous conferences and webinars.
Why choose virtual events?
Despite what many may think, digital events present a wider range of choices when it comes to choosing your event. While interviews, Q&A sessions. Whilst planning your virtual event, you won’t need to worry about organising a venue or catering. Hosting a digital event is usually free and easy to advertise to your audience on social media.
In the past 6 months, safety measurements such as lockdowns and social distancing rules have played a major part in deciding what can and what cannot take place in real world. Hosting an event online will help you avoid worrying about potential changes in lockdown regulations or COVID-19 outbreaks in your local area. You are also more likely to appeal to your customers as they will not have to leave their house to attend your gig; all they will need to do is join your meeting from the safety of their home.
What virtual events can you host?
Depending on the nature of your business, there are many options you can choose from. Some of the most popular and effective choices are:
If you are planning to host a giveaway, it is worth considering scheduling a mini event for presenting the results. In the video, you can go through singular submissions and appreciate each participant’s work. A live video will increase your visibility and will encourage more viewers to participate in such competitions in the future.
Interviews & Q&A sessions
Hosting interviews and Q&A sessions is a brilliant way to connect with your audience by answering their questions or generally telling your viewers more about you and your business. If you host an interview, make sure that this is carefully arranger with the interviewer. If you plan to schedule a Q&A sessions, make sure to prompt your audience by asking them to submit their questions. These can be used as a warm-up in your event and will help you break the ice with your viewers.
Live product launch and promotion
If you have just added a new range of products to your shop, hosting a livestream is a brilliant way to promote it. Hosting a live event will enable you to talk and show your new products as well as take any questions from your audience. Hosting such short events will help you maximise your audience’s interest and gather initial feedback on your products throughout the session.
Depending on the nature of your business, you can host a live event such as a cooking, painting, singing or a DYI session. These can be fully professional or a bit more spontaneous, depending on whether you think about showing your audience behind-the-scenes content or you want to show your These events will make your audience become more aware of what you really do and help them appreciate your passion and dedication.
Training and webinars
If delivering training sessions and classes is a part of your business’ offer, you should consider moving your services online. There are a number of free platforms that will enable you to schedule and run online sessions for your customers. Applications such as Google Meets, Zoom, Skype or Discord will allow your audience to join and actively participate in your session. Some of the available options are: screen sharing, online chat and digital whiteboards. You will also be able to automatically record your sessions, send the participants attachments directly in the meeting as well as arrange breaks and offer remote support.
Conferences and networking meetings
Networking with other professional is certainly a good practice. Participating in such events will increase your brand visibility and help you make meaningful contacts and exchange good practice and market knowledge.
Social Livestreams Or Videos?
Some of you may wonder what is the difference between social livestreams and uploading videos. Even though these two might seem similar, there are a few key differences between these two types of media.
In our post about the benefits Instagram Stories as well as our #DigitalLiftIG series on our Instagram, we discussed a few content ideas you might have recognised in today’s post. However, the difference between organised virtual events and features such as Instagram or Facebook stories is that a live event requires your audience to participate in it while it is happening. Instagram Story is a video that will last 24 hours but will not allow your audience to actively be a part of this event.
Social platforms that enable both video and livestream functions are:
When choosing whether you want to schedule a livestream or a pre-recorded video to upload as a Facebook or Instagram story, think about the quality of your content. Are you ready to interact with your audience live? Are you prepared to run the meeting for more than 10-15 minutes? How much preparation are you willing to do for the video? These prompt questions should help you identify which option will be best for that particular occasion.
Our post highlighted the benefits of hosting virtual events as a business owner. As you can see, virtual events are not only a feasible alternative to physical gigs but also have their very own qualities that can help your business grow.
Digital Lift can help you plan, organise and promote your virtual events. Whether you want to start from scratch and let us help you brainstorm most effective ideas or you would like us to help you promote your event on social media, we have the right skills and tools to support you and your business.
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