Want to Make Your Virtual Event Stand Out? Try This!

In-person events used to rule industries of all kinds as there’s nothing quite like face to face interaction in creating relationships and connections. Now that things have forever changed, virtual events are taking the lead. So how exactly do you make your virtual event stand out?

There are hundreds of virtual events taking place, and they’re all doing everything they can to grab the attention of their target audiences.

While virtual events are becoming more and more saturated, the great thing is that they are mostly uncharted waters. There’s plenty of opportunities to get creative and create a memorable and exciting experience for those who attend your virtual events.

If you need to move an event online at the last minute, you can check out our tips for doing so here.

Tips to Making Your Virtual Event Stand Out

In order to make your virtual event stand out, it’s imperative to brainstorm new ideas on how you can grab your virtual audiences’ attention and keep it.

We’ve done the groundwork in putting together some creative tips on how you can spice up your virtual event and make it one that attendees are going to want more of in the future!

Don’t overdo it

While you might think it’s best to pull out all of the bells and whistles to help your virtual event stand out, your event actually becomes more memorable when kept under 20 minutes.

When virtual events are shorter, it’s easier for attendees to stay focused, and for you to get your main points across.

Use visuals

Many people are visual learners and can majorly benefit from seeing examples on prepared slides or images to go along with your presentation. It’s also important as presenters to get your speakers to enable their video features.

Your audience makes a better connection when they can see the person they are listening to.

Take a personal approach to your virtual event

Virtual events aren’t a one size fits all solution. Use technology to add a personal touch for your specific audience.

Some event platforms provide features that allow you to assign attendee titles or ticket types and then create agendas based on those unique functions. Targeted audiences, such as those at corporate events, will appreciate a virtual event that feels catered to them specifically.

Focus on transitions

The flow of your virtual event can make all the difference in keeping your audiences’ attention throughout. Planned out and smooth transitions make for a better event as attendees are free from distractions and don’t need to do anything on their end to go to the next slide.

Make use of sound

Music is a game-changer when it comes to making your virtual event stand out. Turn up the music to increase energy and use it as background music for when people enter your event. Music can strike emotion in audience members and help them to stay engaged.

The message is in the medium

Keep your audience on their toes by mixing up your formats. Whether it’s a live broadcast, pre-recorded video, or TV-show style chat, you want to keep your audience guessing.

If they know exactly what to expect from your virtual event then there is more of a chance of them losing interest. Keep things interesting and use different mediums to your advantage.

Engage your audience throughout

There are numerous ways to encourage your audience members to interact within your virtual event. You might try polls, games, quizzes, or ask them questions.

You might also use a Q&A session to allow time for audience members to engage with you and get answers to their burning questions.

We talk about how and when to manage audience Q&A here. Check it out for more information!

Deliver the unexpected

When you offer the element of surprise through your virtual event, it instantly becomes more memorable. You might use a contest or scavenger hunt to get audience members excited. Gamification can be an incredible way to get audience members involved.

You might also introduce special guests or get them to open your virtual event.

Unleash the Potential of Your Virtual Event

If you’re looking to plan a virtual event that will stand out with speakers, eSpeakers can help to bring enterprise-quality tools to the professional speaking industry. Become more connected to more audiences that want to hear your message and increase traffic

Interested to hear more? Contact us about our services today!

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7 Ideas for Virtual Event Sponsorship Revenue

There’s no denying things have changed due to COVID-19. And with that change comes new ways of doing things – including getting virtual event sponsorships!

Virtual event sponsorship is something that becomes a little more difficult to execute as the usual methods aren’t available. Sponsored banners, branded signage, face-to-face meetings, and individually named spaces are a lot harder to implement without the valuable in-person element.

Luckily, there are ways to now bring your events into the virtual space without losing current sponsorship opportunities. The online environment provides tons of ways to shift your current sponsorships and even develop new virtual event sponsorship opportunities.

Virtual Event Sponsorship Opportunities

With a little creative thinking (and the help of this list) you’re sure to find valuable ways to include sponsorships in your virtual event. Always be sure to think about what it is your audience will be happy to see sponsorship wise so you can leave them with the positive experience they’re looking for!

(Speaking of creative thinking, here are 10 virtual event ideas to keep you ahead of the curve!)

Blog post feature

You might start by looking for virtual event sponsorship opportunities on your registration page. Including a featured guest blog post is a great way for sponsors to get their name out there, all while providing valuable information to potential sign-ups.

Order in and send out ahead of time

Just because you can’t be in person doesn’t mean sponsored items can’t be sent off or ordered in. You might look to send out branded swag to attendees ahead of time, along with a digital event bag.

It’s also a great idea to order a sponsored lunch or snacks for attendees at home to enjoy a meal together virtually.

Email and social media opportunities

As the world becomes more and more digital, email and social media are thriving! As you send out communications, use logos and messaging as sponsorship opportunities. You might consider a special area on your email communications for sponsored logos or sponsor messages.

Social media is also a fantastic space for sponsors as you can create specific posts about them or even include their logos in your profile banners and imagery.

Here’s your perfect 7 step social media marketing event strategy.

Branding opportunities

Brand signage is still possible with virtual events – especially virtual trade shows. Add sponsors to signage or use their logo on laptop covers and visible props.

Logos can also be used on your registration pages or as wallpaper backgrounds.

Video

You might consider using promotional videos before the event starts to display sponsorships or during the event during break times. Quick promotional videos are great for getting messaging across as they pull attention on screen.

Questions, Games, and Q&A’s

One of the best ways to increase audience engagement at any kind of event is by mixing in questions or games to get them involved.

By using these as sponsorship opportunities, you also increase engagement from audience members with the sponsored brand. You might also provide digital prizes in order to further audience engagement.

Q&A’s are also a great way to get your audience involved while getting sponsors noticed in the virtual space.

We talk about how and when to manage audience Q&A here. Don’t miss it!

Keep the exposure going

After the virtual event is over, the sponsorship opportunities don’t need to end! As you plan to keep up the relationships gained from your virtual event, you’ll likely send out further communications.

Whether it’s company blog posts, smaller follow up discussions, or monthly newsletters, there are plenty of ongoing opportunities to include your sponsors. You might consider getting your sponsors to offer free trials to try out the offered services. Don’t forget to include contact information to ask any questions they might have.

Unleash the Potential of Your Virtual Event

If you’re looking to plan a virtual event with sponsors and speakers, eSpeakers can help to bring enterprise-quality tools to the professional speaking industry. Become more connected to more audiences that want to hear your message and increase traffic!

Interested to hear more? Contact us about our services today!

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you:

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7 Questions to Include in Your Virtual Post-Event Survey

7 Questions to Include in Your Virtual Post-Event Survey

You’ve done it–you’ve pulled off your first virtual event! But your job isn’t entirely done. Now it’s time to create a virtual post-event survey to hear from your audience.

Whether for in-person or virtual events, post-event surveys are an incredibly valuable tool.

They provide you with critical feedback about what worked in your event and what didn’t. That way, you can use this information to improve your next event, and so on and so on.

But if you want your virtual post-event surveys to really be effective, you need to ask the right questions.

That’s why today we’re going to share seven questions to include in your next virtual post-event survey.

7 Questions to Include in Your Virtual Post-Event Survey

1. How satisfied were you with the virtual event?

There’s a reason this type of question is almost always included in post-event surveys: it’s a great way to get an audience member’s overarching opinion of your event.

Whether you have them rate on a scale of one to 10, out of five stars, or any other rating system, you can use this feedback to get a broader vision of audience satisfaction.

One or two dissatisfied audience members might not be the biggest red flag. But when it becomes a common theme? It’s time to make some changes.

2. How can we improve our next virtual event?

Use this opportunity to pick your audience’s brain. They’re often an untapped source of inspiration and ideas for improving your next event. After all, what’s better than hearing it right from the horse’s mouth?

One innovative way to improve your next virtual event is by using attendee avatars. Find out more about this here.

3. Why did you decide to attend this event?

One of the best ways to get attendees for your NEXT virtual event, is to find out what brought attendees to your last virtual event. Then, you can use that information to craft your marketing efforts and content for future events.

And what better way to do so than with a virtual post-event survey?

4. What was your favorite part of our virtual event?

The answers to this question are incredibly telling.

Maybe you invested in a gamification tool or another exciting feature for your virtual event thinking everyone would love it. When you take a look at these answers, maybe you’ll find out it was actually the interactive polls during your virtual event they liked best.

Armed with these answers, you’ll know what to focus your resources on for your next event.

5. What, if anything, did you dislike about this event?

It can be tough to get this kind of feedback but consider it an opportunity to do even better next time.

There’s always going to be someone that doesn’t like something that everyone else said was their favorite. But when you notice a bunch of responses saying they disliked the same thing, take this into account when you plan your next event.

6. How accessible/easy to navigate was the virtual event platform?

Unreliable or difficult virtual event software can ruin a virtual event before it begins. Even if you have stellar content and speakers, your audience won’t have a great experience if they’re frustrated by technical difficulties and other issues.

This question is useful to find out if the current virtual event platform you’re using is the best option for future events.

If you notice a lot of people respond that it was difficult to use or access the platform, you might also consider providing a training video ahead of your next event or more clear instructions for joining.

Are you moderating a virtual event? Here are some tips for helping it go off without a hitch.

7. Do you have any other questions or feedback to share?

This is an especially important question in a virtual post-event survey for helping your audience feel heard. They need to know their opinion is valued, and this question gives them the opportunity to include what’s on the forefront of their mind after your event.

Want your audience to rave during your next virtual post-event survey? A surefire way to achieve this is by hiring incredible event speakers! To help you make the right choice, check out these six questions to ask a keynote speaker before your next virtual event.

Looking for incredible speakers for your next virtual event? Get in touch with us to find the perfect speaker for you!

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Using Attendee Avatars for a Better Virtual Event

When you hear “attendee avatars” do blue creatures from a major film come to mind? Or do you picture the audience at your next virtual event? For today’s post, let’s stick to the latter.

Now more than ever, it’s important for your virtual event to stand out. In a world where you can expect your event to be just one of many your attendees will experience in a given month, you want your event to be remembered for the right reasons.

Engagement and interaction

And to run a successful virtual event, your audience needs to be engaged. There are incredible speakers out there who are known for keeping their audience’s unwavering attention. But this can be really tough, even for experienced speakers, if there isn’t an element of interactivity.

Of course, at an in-person event, your audience can interact with one another, raise hands to ask questions, and they generally feel more engaged being in the same room as a presenter.

But as we all know, virtual events are becoming the norm.

So, what can you do to encourage interaction and help your virtual event stand out in a crowded field?

One of our favorite ways of doing this is with attendee avatars. An exciting option includes giving your attendees the ability to create their own avatars. On the other hand, you can also create attendee avatars to get insight into your target audience.

What are attendee avatars?

Think of avatars as 3D alter egos. They’re digital representations of your audience that can be created to look just like them, down to their hair and eye color or even their shoes.

During virtual events, attendee avatars give your audience an exciting and engaging way to interact with one another. They can even be connected to audio so your audience can use their own voice for their avatar.

Attendee avatars can talk, type, ask questions, clap, and perform many of the same actions you’d perform at an in-person event.

You might also think of avatars in a simpler form: as a profile you create for your event audience. This profile helps you determine who your audience is and what they want out of your event.

Before we talk about profiling these avatars to improve your events, let’s talk about why they’re useful in the first place.

Why use attendee avatars

In a rapidly evolving and growing industry, there are new applications for avatars each day.

As far as audiences go, they offer a unique and creative way to involve your audience. Rather than attendees typing questions and answers in a text box, having them first create an avatar and using that to communicate makes the entire process more fun. Your audience is also more likely to interact and engage with other attendees this way.

Not to mention, your virtual event is sure to be unforgettable if it involves attendee avatars!

Virtual meeting avatars

An increasingly common use for attendee avatars is during remote meetings. With attendee avatars, your audience doesn’t need to worry about being on screen or camera connectivity issues. Instead, they can attend the meeting as their avatar and the meeting can be just as effective (and a lot more fun!).

Team-building

Building bonds between team members is still possible during virtual events. With attendee avatars, your audience has a more immersive way to interact with one another.

Often, an audience is more comfortable interacting as their digital self rather than on video, so it fosters open communication which will lead to more discussion and bonding between your team.

While you’re here, don’t miss this post on the six questions you need to ask your keynote speaker before your next virtual event.

Profiling your attendee avatars

When your attendees create their avatars, they enter important information about themselves. As the event organizer or host, you can use this information to create a more engaging and specialized event.

You’ll learn all sorts of things about your attendees by watching them interact and hearing what they have to say.

This includes things like:

  • Their demographics
  • Their preferred communication style
  • What they want to focus on in a presentation
  • Any questions they might have
  • Particular challenges or pain points to focus on

If you’re not using real attendee avatars, try this instead: Create five attendee personas that could attend your next virtual event.

Try to put yourself in their shoes as much as possible and ask yourself what they would want out of a virtual event. As you learn more about possible event attendees, you’ll create a more personalized virtual event that will be memorable for all the reasons you want it to be.

Understanding your audience

Whether you use attendee avatars to help your audience get to know one another and interact or you create your own attendee avatars to help you get to know your audience, they both help ensure your next virtual event is your most successful yet!

Of course, we can help your virtual events be better than ever too. Get in touch with us to find the perfect speaker or expert for your next virtual event.

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Black Lives Matter

eSpeakers decries racial inequality in any form. No one should be treated as inferior because of their color or race. And violence never has a place.

We support our friends of all colors and creeds and encourage that in our business practices and in our personal lives.

How To Moderate a Virtual Event

So you’ve been asked to moderate a virtual event. Great! 

Do you know what to do next?

There are so many benefits to moderating a virtual event, from endless networking opportunities to the social media oomph, to the elevated exposure. It’s a chance to really put your best face forward and show the world (or a limited audience) what you’re really made of.

So jumped at the opportunity—good for you. 

Here’s a rundown of what a virtual event moderator does, and a few tips to do the best job you can possibly do.

What does a virtual event moderator do?

Well, during live events, a moderator is responsible for upholding the theme of the event and making sure that the message doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. 

Through involvement and keeping the conversation going, she keeps attendants engaged, excited, and glad to be there. She keeps things moving smoothly from speaker to speaker and workshop to workshop. She makes sure everyone knows what’s going on. 

She’s the point person for the whole event.

All these points are still true when you moderate a virtual event, except all of that movement and communication is done online.

Are you a speaker wanting to expand your portfolio to include online training? Being certified is a great way to let customers know you’re a great virtual speaker. We offer certification at eSpeakers….check it out here.

Know your technology

So, it goes without saying, if you want to moderate a virtual event successfully, it is vital that you master the platform that the event is hosted on.

You have to know all the ins and outs of the platform and various other media the event is occurring on, including the social media channels.

If the event has a dedicated tech person, you should at least know how to communicate with them quickly and effectively. And yes, you still need to know how to use the technology yourself. If the face of the event doesn’t appear to know what she’s doing and fumbles in front of the audience, it will make the whole thing look bad.

And of course, always test everything in advance.

Know your tools…and use them

Different virtual event hosting platforms, such as Hopin and Whova, have various in-app tools you can use to engage your audience. Use them! If your attendees are able to chat and meet with each other (and you) they will be much more invested in your event. Therefore, when you moderate a virtual event, it’s important to provide spaces for this networking and connection to happen. 

Allow for 15 minutes before each session to allow guests to connect and chat. This will make for a more congenial, comfortable vibe.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

When you moderate a virtual event, it might be tempting to go with the flow and try to be natural for the camera. 

Don’t.

In fact, your mistakes and stumbles will be even more evident and awkward without a huge room to hide behind. So rehearse all your presentations and talks beforehand so all you have to concentrate on is the connection you’re establishing with your audience.  

Promote, promote, promote!

You can’t moderate a virtual event without being a master marketer. Get out there and let everyone know about the amazing event you’re moderating. 

Go beyond just social media. Use email marketing, guest blogging, video promotion, mailouts….anything you can do to get the word out. 

If you need help with your marketing plan for your virtual event, check out this post.

Prepare your audience

Before your virtual event begins, host an orientation talk for your attendees, letting them know how to navigate your event, what they will need technology-wise, and what they can expect. Go over timelines and encourage them to engage with each other in the spaces you’ve provided.

Let the world know

Just because your event is underway, doesn’t mean your marketing job is done. Now is actually the best time to get the word out across social media about what exciting things are happening in your event. Tweet about it, share stories on Instagram…whatever you do, make sure to use hashtags, and involve the attendees inside the event.

Finally…follow up!

Now that it’s all over and the dust has settled, don’t just walk away! Check back in with your attendees in an email blast, inviting them to provide valuable feedback. This will help to make sure that you see their faces at your next event!

It doesn’t need to be intimidating to moderate a virtual event. Just prepare, communicate, use your tools, and follow up. With these simple points in mind, you are on your way to hosting a virtual event to remember.

Finding a speaker who’s comfortable online doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Use our handy virtual speakers’ marketplace tool to find the perfect online speaker. Then contact us to get started.

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Six questions to ask a keynote speaker before your next virtual event.

Six Questions to Ask A Keynote Speaker Before Your Next Virtual Event

Do you know the right questions to ask a keynote speaker before you book them?

As every event planner knows, the wrong keynote speaker can sink an otherwise impeccably executed virtual event

You got the theme right, you got the platform right, you got all the other presenters and side events right. But at the moment when all butts are in seats to watch the highlight of the whole event, the keynote speech, the wrong tone, or the wrong message can be a disaster. A bad keynote presentation will be the story your attendees take with them when they leave the virtual event. 

And all your hard work will end on a sour note.

In order to avoid this situation, it is absolutely essential that you know the right questions to ask a keynote speaker before you book them. 

If you ask these questions at the outset, you will be sure to hire the right speaker for your virtual event and avoid any mishaps.

Six Questions to Ask a Keynote Speaker For Your Next Virtual Event

1. How will you interact with the audience? 

Virtual presentations don’t have the benefit of the energy of a live audience and speaker. So if you want your audience to feel involved and engaged in the content and message, your speaker needs to know a thing or two about how to interact with a virtual audience. Ask your speaker for specific examples of how they have successfully engaged an audience with positive results. A bored audience will not speak well of your event, or at all. You definitely don’t want that!

2. How will you tailor your presentation to fit this particular audience?

It’s great that your speaker has a powerful message or an animated delivery. But one of the most important questions to ask a keynote speaker is: how are they going to connect with YOUR particular audience? A canned speech can only go so far to connect with people. But your audience all share a common thread, a reason for being there. So how is your keynote speaker going to connect with that reason? 

3. What is the audience going to take away from this speech?

Every experience of value teaches a lesson or at least makes an audience member consider something they’ve never thought of before. So what will be the main takeaways from your keynote speaker’s presentation? Is this takeaway in line with the message, theme, and other content of your event? If this potential keynote speaker’s message is off point, you might want to consider someone else for your virtual event.

4. How will you market this event?

It’s important as a planner to know what sort of promotion this speaker will do for this event. Will their marketing clash with the tone or message of your event? Will it be on the brand? Are they open to letting you take over their marketing strategy for the event? As marketing is so important to the success of a virtual event, it’s really important to know how a speaker will go about it.

5. What do you know about this industry?

If a keynote speaker comes into an event with no knowledge of the industry of the people she’s presenting to, her presentation will come off as shallow and uninformed. She needs to be able to interact with the audience from at least a slightly informed place, and it would be nice if she could adjust her presentation to make sense in the context of that industry. If she can’t relate at all to the people she’s speaking to, she will seem ingenuine. 

6. What sort of technology are you comfortable with? 

One of the most important questions to ask a keynote speaker who is going to do a virtual presentation is: have you done this before? How many times? And what platforms did you use? There is no wiggle-room here; you need an honest, accurate idea of how comfortable this potential speaker is with using various forms of technology. Not to say that you can’t book a speaker who isn’t experienced, you just need to know how much help they will need on-the-day, so you can accurately prepare.  

There are a lot of choices out there for choosing keynote speakers. At eSpeakers, we have the knowledge and experience to help you find the right speaker who is comfortable presenting to a virtual audience. Check out our extensive roster here, and get in touch to see how we can start working for you!

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Six steps for putting on a virtual event that works.

Ten Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve

If you’re like every other event planner in the world right now, you’re scrambling to think of more and better virtual event ideas every day. Online event hosting has become the new normal, whether you were ready for it or not—COVID-19 has turned the events industry (along with pretty much every other industry in the world) on its head. So where have you landed?

Event planning is a competitive business. And every busy event planner knows, you have to stay ahead of the curve to keep landing those contracts. You are expected to knock every event out of the park with innovative new ideas and impressive results. And to do it all with lower and lower budgets.

Online events are no different. With COVID-19, the whole industry was shifted online. Live events will see their day again. But in the meantime, virtual events are on the rise and planners are upping their online game with every one.

Virtual events have less overhead, lower travel costs, and less personnel involved. This leaves a lot of room for over-the-top marketing and investment in stellar speakers and quality content. 

To help you keep ahead of the game, here are some innovative virtual event ideas to keep in your toolbox. You never know when you might need them.

10 virtual event ideas to keep you ahead of the curve

1. Go 3D

Utilize immersive environment technology to create virtual meeting rooms, stages, and other creative locations. It may not be exactly virtual reality, but this alternative presentation will give your attendees a break from the usual format of flat-screen after flat-screen.

2. Get united

Choose a common goal for your event, such as a certain dollar amount raised for a cause. Use this goal in your marketing and keep the message going throughout the event, getting people excited about reaching the goal. Track the progress and shout the results from the mountaintops. This will contribute to a feeling of community and cohesion among your attendants and strengthen the experience of your event, making it more memorable. 

3. Don’t forget to entertain

Live events usually feature entertainment of some sort, such as a musical act, a comedian, or a keynote speaker. So why shouldn’t your virtual event? Schedule live streaming entertainment and promote it as part of your marketing plan.

Speaker: Ten Fresh Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve

4. Use music

Instead of dead air, liven up your waiting rooms with energetic music, and use it during your presentations as well. 

5. Activity breaks

Don’t forget that your participants are spending a large chunk of time in their homes staring at their computer screens so they can attend your event. Break up the event and add some movement by incorporating some health and wellness breaks, such as a scheduled yoga class or guided meditation session. This will keep your attendees from drifting off to get some exercise elsewhere, will lighten the mood and create camaraderie as they share a healthy experience together.

Meditation: Ten Fresh Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve
A guided meditation session could refresh your attendees during a long event.

Click here for some more virtual event ideas.

6. Get competitive

Shake things up and get people interacting by incorporating some friendly competition into your event. Lead a game that goes on throughout the event, or puzzles or trivia questions that your attendees can respond to in order to earn prizes or rewards. 

7. Live illustrations

There have been some really cool things done with live illustrations at events. You can hire a graphic artist to create illustrations in real-time during presentations or webinars so that your attendees can watch as it evolves and highlights different aspects of your content. At the end of your event, these completed sketches can be used as marketing material or as giveaways or prizes.

8. Use unusual backgrounds

By this time, most people are used to watching webinars hosted in conference rooms, offices, or on stages. Do something a little more unusual such as shooting outdoors or another unpredictable space. Do keep in mind that you should be able to control your audio, so do a soundcheck first to ensure there won’t be any surprises (think wind and passersby). 

9. Go glossy instead of live streaming

Livestreaming is the main mode of presentation for virtual events. But why not invest the time to create pre-recorded sessions instead? While livestreaming is more immediate and can be more interactive by nature, they can also risk being boring and flat if it’s just one person speaking for tens of minutes. A pre-recorded video, on the other hand, can benefit from editing, cutting, and styling which can make for much more interesting, engaging content. If you don’t want your whole event to be pre-recorded, think about incorporating a few shorter elements into your schedule, interspersed with livestreaming. 

Prerecording: Ten Fresh Virtual Event Ideas to Keep You Ahead of the Curve

10. Get creative with your speakers

Sometimes the best choice isn’t the most obvious choice, which is why one of our favorite virtual event ideas is to hire surprising speakers. Search eSpeakers’ virtual speakers’ roster to find a talented online event-savvy speaker for your event.

Online events are here to stay. And just like the live event industry before it, the playing field is going to get ever more competitive and innovative. With these and other virtual event ideas, you can work to keep yourself one step ahead of the pack. 

Happy planning!

Are you a speaker wanting to expand your portfolio to include online training? Being certified is a great way to let customers know you’re a great virtual speaker. We offer certification at eSpeakers….check it out here.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you:

Get certified! Become a Certified Virtual Presenter.
Virtual event planning: 8 tips to move your event online last minute.
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