The virtual events environment is not problem-free. There are some challenges that need to be considered before starting to think about creative and engaging solutions.
From our experience, there are 3 main challenges you will encounter when you utilise virtual events to galvanise your audience.
To make sure you don’t miss an exciting opportunity to promote your brand or organisation and connect with your target audience, we’ve asked 3 of our global experts to share advice on how to overcome those 3 big challenges.
Keeping your audience actively engaged is even more important while they're remote. You’re competing for their attention against work chats, inboxes, their phone, and many other distractions.
Audience participation is a fundamental part of making a virtual event valuable. If your audience isn’t engaged and contributing to the event, shaping the discussion, you may as well just pre-record all your content and host it on a website.
“People attend events because they want to see, learn, share, and network with peers. While formats differ and need to adapt for the online space, it is key to ensure that the virtual edition delivers the intended expectations.
It is crucial that every minute of content is well planned, similarly to a TV experience where every segment of content builds a narrative through minute-by-minute programming.
Breaking content into bite-sized chunks allows people to digest and assimilate content more effectively. Make sure the information you’re presenting is timely and relevant. Don't bombard your audience with content, better to spread it out over time, even in multiple sessions. And trigger the right emotions – it'll help attendees learn better and increase overall engagement.”
Juliano Lissoni, Managing Director MCI Canada
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Many speakers assume they can simply take existing slides, story and structure of in-person events and deliver them in the virtual environment. This is a misguided assumption.
“Seasoned speakers and presenters are very much like performers, in that they feed off from the energy of the audience. And the opposite is just as true, the audience also feeds off the energy of the speaker. That is then amplified by stage and show craft to bring about powerful feelings and energy.
Hence, presenting to a camera and speaking to an audience who are viewing it through their laptop screen or mobile screen is a different animal all together. Speakers needs to reset how they present to capture the attention and deliver the content effectively. Here are few ways to do this:
Treat virtual as a friend and you’ll find that in every challenge is an opportunity. There are advantages of being in a virtual setting and making use of different tools can bring alive an experience that was not possible previously.”
Victor Darmawan, Corporate Director MCI Singapore
Virtual events are totally dependent on technical platforms that enable, among other things, video streaming and online discussions. With each platform, come new opportunities for engagement, but they all have some serious limitations as well. Each service provider will try to steer the overall design in a way that suits their platform.
In a situation like that, it is easy to lose focus of the overall event design.
“Designing virtual events is not about the platform, it is about the message, the audience and the story.
Digital experiences must be tailored to the audience. Short and sharp, interactive and digestible, not to mention memorable to engage all persona profiles.
The virtual experience design process enables the development of individual and highly effective solutions - structured and co-created. Objectives and challenges, as well as the needs and requirements of the target group, need to be analysed first.
These findings are used to outline the big picture and to create the attendee journey right from the start.
Once the key to a communicative challenge is found, solutions will be designed and implemented. And this is when platforms come into place. At the end, not at the beginning! Then you design value driven virtual spaces where you can share stories and build communities around brands, products and topics.”
Andreas Laube, Managing Director MCI Germany
The true challenge of running a digital meeting is not just the technology but a reinvention of your meeting to work in a virtual space. If you’ve encountered any of these challenges in your process and you’re in need of some guidance, you can get in touch with our virtual events experts.