We have been helping our clients to shift their live events to virtual events in order to stay connected and engaged with their customers during the pandemic. We wanted to share our experiences, things to consider and give you some insights on what we have learned along the way.
Step 1. Do The Research
Regardless of the type of content you are producing it always starts with the messaging and that requires knowing your audience. This might seem obvious but the right content creates better engagement and better results.
What do you want the audience to take away?
What do you want your audience to do with the information?
How will you engage with your audience?
What is the ultimate goal of the event?
For more information on video goals and outcomes click here to download our Client Video Questionnaire.
Step 2. Choose Your Format Type & Length
One of the biggest challenges and questions our clients have had was deciding on the type of virtual format. Is your event going to be live streamed or pre produced? Is it a ticketed or free event? What is the appropriate length of the virtual event? Is 60 minutes too long?
Prerecorded / on demand event
Live stream event
Hybrid event- Pre recorded and live stream content
The majority of our clients have been producing content between 30 to 60 minutes and that is what we would recommend. Anything longer should be looked at a series of events or have a very specific captive audience.
Producing a live virtual event can create some challenges because of all of the x-factors like internet connection speeds, switching between cameras, power outages and let us not forget about on screen talent mistakes to name a few. Our clients have been pre producing their events because it is less of a risk and gives them more control.
Step 3. Selecting Your Distribution Platform
There are a lot of platforms on the market to choose from and it can be a bit overwhelming when it comes time to selecting the best fit for your event.
Things to think about:
Audience Size- some platforms have size restrictions or additional fees for larger audiences.
Cost- Some platforms are free while others charge. It really comes down to the type of functionality you need for your event.
Engagement Tools- different platforms have different ways to engage your audience during the event.
Ease of Use- How familiar is your audience with the platform and how easy is it to gain access and engage in the event.
Event Sharing- what platforms allow you to share your event through other channels.
Here are the ones we like and use.
You really get what you pay for when it comes to the distribution platforms for your event.
We feel that Vimeo is a great option because of the cost, quality and functionality and here's why we made the choice:
It is familiar. We were already using the platform and so were our clients.
It's affordable and easy to implement and use.
It includes great tools to engage your audience.
It allows you to simulcast your event to other channels like Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Step 4. No Need To Reinvent The Wheel
You still need a run of show for your virtual event. If you are transforming a live event to a virtual event like a yearly fundraiser for example, you will be able to leverage and convert that run of show to your virtual event. It obviously will not be exactly the same but you will also not starting from scratch.
There will still be fundraising goals, sponsors to thank, great stories to tell and programs to promote. The question is more about how you will logistically produce the content, especially during a pandemic. Here is what Vital has been doing.
In Studio- Our studio follows all Covid guidelines set forth by The State of Ohio which allows for safe production in studio.
On location- We film on locations with smaller crews and follow Covid guidelines to ensure safe and socially distant production.
Online Video Recording- We capture interviews via Zoom video
Mobile Phone Recording- We consult with individuals on how to capture user generated content on their mobile phones, laptops and other digital devices.
Step 5. Promote Your Event
Every event requires promotion and virtual events are no different.
Leverage your existing event footage to create 15 & 30 second promotional videos for your paid and organic advertising. Like- save the dates, sponsor interviews and program highlights.
Leverage your relationships with your partners and sponsors so that they can share your videos through their digital channels to reach and attract a larger audience.
Step 6. Rehearse
Let’s not forget about the dry run. Regardless if it is pre produced or live, most streaming platforms have the option to make the stream private or unlisted, so you can practice the show without any onlookers.
Step 7. Engage & Follow Up with Your Audience
It is important to find ways to engage with your audience which will depend on your distribution platform and your resources. One important detail is to have a dedicated member of your team be responsible for communications and messaging during the event. They become the voice of your brand and can interact and respond in real time with your audience.
Here are some engagement tool options.
Live text chat is a great way to connect with your audience and react in real time to the content they are viewing. It's also a great way for the audience to connect and engage with each other.
Q&A's provide an opportunity for your audience to to ask the hard questions.
Polls can provide your visual feedback quickly.
Audio & Video Chat's- allows your audience to take part in a live stream via video and audio.
Chief Marketing Officer | Partner
Vital Companies | vitalcompanies.com
m. 614.270.51400 | e. firstname.lastname@example.org