With the Coronavirus outbreak resulting in a lockdown of global economies, from the United States to many European and Asian countries, major events and conferences have either been cancelled, postponed, or switched over to a digital platform.
Event Organisers from all around the world have been in discussions to answer the time-sensitive question on when and how to re-open the events. A lot of risks are involved in hosting outdoor events, with some saying the likelihood of virus relapsing and affecting will be more if the events are to be opened soon. While some argued that keeping things shut may lead to a substantial loss for event industries and economies.
In response to the outbreak, event creators, organisers, and innovators across the world have responded quickly with a bunch of innovations to the urgency posed by the pandemic. Most of the companies have dramatically shifted to hosting digital-only events including web-hosting, summits, and pre-recorded keynotes. The most recent example of a digital-only event was done by Adobe in March 2020 that was originally planned to be hosted in Vegas. Adobe Digital Conference Summit enabled participants from all around the world to attend and enjoy the event in a safe environment.
The impact of the Coronavirus outbreak has changed the dynamics of how events work and hosts. Companies like Facebook and Microsoft have announced cancelling and suspending all public live events, conferences, and meetings until 2021. The timescales to host a public event in 2020 with all the restrictions on social and public gatherings carry a very high risk.
It is clear with the fact that large events with a gathering of more than 50 will be more complex and riskier to execute as compared to the smaller events that are now perceived to be the future of the event industry in 2021 and years to follow.
Despite the challenges Coronavirus has put in front of us, the pandemic has quickly broadened the innovator’s space by creating a digital hosting solution-based approach for events in a very short span of time.
In this blog, we will discuss some of the steps event organisers can take to host a successful digital event amidst social restrictions and lockdown. In the end, we’ve summed up the topic with ideas on what type of equipment or tools will be needed to keep your target audience connected and entertained all the time.
How to Shift your Event Strategy to the Digital Platform?
Event organisers are looking for quick ways to adapt and host digital events, shows, video conferences, and other virtual events.
Taking the entire on-ground experience to the digital world makes it easy for event organisers to switch from a physical environment, however, it comes with its own challenges and complexities.
Here are some of the event marketing strategies to host a successful online event.
- Host Online Trade Shows - Hosting online trade events requires the same amount of care and attention as a physical event. With both events, organisers and creators need to effectively promote, engage, and create quality content, and prove event success to the marketers, sponsors, and to the people attending it.
Virtual trade shows or events proved to provide a value-added, engagement-driven experience that extends beyond a virtual world. Digital events are dynamic in format, and with platforms like Zoom and GoToMeeting provides a solution-focused approach where you can easily record videos and make them available for on-demand screening.
- Pre-Recorded Keynotes or Conferences - If your conference is educational or technological in nature, opting to pre-recorded video sessions with a speaker line up can help you reach a wider array of audiences than an in-person hosting of an event. Companies like Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Google often host live events and keynotes with a speaker or a host line up when presented with a new product or technology in the market.
- Live Webinars or Events – Short webinars or events provide a similar experience to that of a virtual trade show, however, webinar packages are small interactive versions of a large trade show divided into segments to create an immersive and interactive content that will engage the audience for a long time.
- Social Media Live Feed – Taking advantage of social media platforms to let your audience take the experience of seeing you live will create a more engaging and interactive session available to masses for free. Another way to let your audience know how serious you are with pandemic situations is to be transparent on how you are protecting your employees and customers in these serious times.
Tools for hosting a Digital Event
Technology plays one of the important roles in increasing the attendance, retaining your customers and sponsors, decrease overall booking costs, and increase in response time to the requests for proposals.
The impact is vastly significant when it comes to taking quantitative restrictive measures. Event technology and tools are being used to optimize the event planning, implementation, and execution process. However, there are many companies offering a range of different tools that are engaging such as Audio-Visual and Virtual Reality for a more immersive experience.
The basic tools required to host a virtual event are-
- A Desktop or Laptop – An access to a laptop or desktop is a must in hosting live events successfully. Features like managing database, users, live hosting, tracking of events, video and audio editing is what you all need.
- Smartphone or Landline – As an event organizer, you need some way of calling out and ensuring that people can get hold of you. You might already be having some method of communication but consider increasing call, text, and data allowance to attain more audience.
- Wi-Fi Access – Access to a Wi-Fi network with a good bandwidth and speed is a must to host an online event without any lags or glitch.
- Insurance – It is most important and not something you can neglect. This is to cover you financially when the circumstances change or uncertainty arises like the COVID-19 outbreak.