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3 Ways to Improve the Digital Experience of Event Attendees

3 Ways to Improve the Digital Experience of Event Attendees

April, 08 2020

Each month, we want to bring you the latest knowledge and insights from our 61 offices around the world, uncovering how our local teams turn local projects into successful global strategies for our clients. This month: Singapore.

As travel restrictions and social distancing remain in place, more organisations have and will have to conduct their events or conferences digitally. MCI Singapore shared their experience of designing and delivering an end-to-end digital event and what they've learned.

digital experience

As a company with 61 offices in 31 countries worldwide, we at MCI have been doing teleconferencing for several years – connecting with our network of employees, partners and clients all around the world. We have always relied on technology to maintain relationships despite distances. And while short digital meetings have been an effective way of communicating in small groups, bringing to life and engaging audiences to influence their behaviour requires a different approach. 

So, what about more complex, strategic conversations that can last all day with hundreds of attendees, several speakers and partners involved? How do you make sure you deliver the same informative and delightful experience that you had planned face to face, in the form of a digital event

Bottom line is, it will never be the same. Digital events include situations, tactics and designs that differ greatly from an in-person event. And that’s ok – the job of the event strategist is not to envision a digital experience that emulates a face to face one. Rather, it’s to design and deliver it with the native rules of online engagement in mind. Only this way, the audience can find value in the experience and turn off their computer screens feeling better informed and inspired than before. 

Fresh off their experience of designing an end-to-end digital recruitment campaign for a global insurance and financial company, we reached out to our MCI team in Singapore to hear from them what were the key learnings to create a valuable digital event for attendees. Here's what they shared. 

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1. Apply a digital first mindset 

Marketing for a digital event and a face to face one couldn’t be more different – because the audience’s expectations are.

Think of your weekly trips to the grocery store, versus the experience of buying on Amazon Prime. While the former requires certain steps (making a grocery list, driving or walking to the store, getting a cart, standing in line at the cashier...), in the latter the customer is only a few clicks away from purchase. Similarly, attendees know that going to an in-person event needs some planning in advance, from registering to booking flight, hotel etc. At a digital event, they expect everything to be done almost instantly, just like on Amazon.  

2. Have a technical team ready to support attendees 

A tech-savvy team working behind the scenes is essential to help your audience navigate the digital experience, especially for first-time webinar platform users. For our digital recruitment webinar, we had 2 members of staff addressing over 500 queries in 60 minutes through a chat service. Questions could be very simple, such as “why is my screen cutting off” or “I have audio issue”. So, don’t give your attendees’ digital savvy for granted, but guarantee a smooth experience across all deliverables. 

3. Content is (still) king 

Retaining the audience for 60-90 minutes on an online platform is equivalent to having them attend a full day in-person event. Besides, in this new working from home normal, viewers will likely tune in from their homes, where distractions are plenty, from social media to children who might need attention. Thus, it is crucial that every minute of content is well planned to keep engagement levels high.  

What we in Singapore found useful was to think of the event as a TV-like experience. We took inspiration from news and talk shows, where every segment of content is intentionally planned, building a narrative through minute-by-minute programming. Thinking as TV-producers rather than event producers, we also relied on an experienced host who knew how to engage with the audience and get their attention. 

 

The magic of live events has always lied in bringing people from every corner of the world together in one place. As that’s not possible for the time being, organisations need to find new ways to connect with their audiences and get their message out. 

Are you interested in knowing more on how we can help you translate your live event content into a delightful and engaging digital experience? Get in touch with us

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Benedetta Fadini

Benedetta is a Content Creator with a passion for storytelling and new technologies. She covers stories on the latest innovations in the event industry with lots of research and a pinch of humour.

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