Are you scrambling to cancel travel arrangements for major outdoor events or industry conferences? If so, then you’re not alone. Facebook canceled its F8 software developer conference. Google switched to a virtual event for Google Cloud Next 2020.
Tokyo Marathon had to be called off, and a whole slew of smaller localised events have been postponed indefinitely or outright cancelled, especially since we don't know when all this Covid-19 danger is going to subside. Recently, many trade shows converted their onsite plans into virtual events.
The coronavirus has people scrapping travel itineraries and signing up for online sessions. Instead of a crowded expo floor, they'll be watching live demos and presentations from their homes or offices.
Online events aren’t new, but converting a large outdoor gathering or huge conference into a remote event, within hours or days in some cases, is fairly novel. Many industry events had a backup plan ready to put into action - for example, organizations like the Open Compute Project (OCP) turned its Global Summit into a virtual event. Attendees will take part in one-on-one sessions and a slew of activities from anywhere in the world.
The Geneva International Motor Show canceled its Switzerland show. Instead, they’ll offer pre-recorded and live-stream press conferences. Attendees can view the latest debuts at their convenience.
Domopalooza canceled its event saying, “We made the decision to transform Domopalooza 2020 from an in-person event for 3,000 people in Salt Lake City, Utah, to one that is 100% digital.” Their virtual event includes breakout sessions and keynotes in an online format.
Lastly, IBM’s Think conference also goes digital this year. The company combines locally-hosted activities with virtual events. It includes live-streaming content and interactive sessions.
These are only a handful of industry conferences canceled within days of each other - but where does that leave companies that count on trade shows, summits, and conferences?
Now's the time to plan for your own immersive online experience.
Let’s face it, you head to a conference for many reasons, but your main motive is to gather leads.
So without that face-to-face aspect, how can you get emotional buy-in from remote attendees? There are a few strategies to tackle here. Must-haves for your virtual events include:
Before heading to any event, you’ve already calculated your ROI - you know who your potential customers are and what they’re looking for. Pivot towards tactics that work for virtual events. Forget stagnant PowerPoint presentations and drop the stale pre-recorded speeches from your CEO.
Instead, look to deliver a powerful experience to your remote audience.
Must-haves for your virtual events include:
So get your virtual events going today and make sure to keep your participants motivated and coming back to track their progress!