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!

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

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7 tips to save money when planning an event

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.

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

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.
Nine tips to promote your online event effectively.

Nine Tips To Promote Your Virtual Event Effectively

Do you know how to promote your virtual event? There are a few things that you have to do to make sure you draw the right audience. Here are nine of them.

How to promote your virtual event

If you’re like a lot of us in the event planning industry, you’ve had to do a lot of hustling in the last few months to quickly recalibrate your business model. You’ve had to remake yourself into a virtual event planner fast because if you didn’t you would sink. You’ve been learning new skills on the fly, and if you’ve been successful, you’ve been able to shift an existing event online or even launch some new ones.

An essential skill to master when planning online events is how to effectively market them. 

Seven steps to remember when you promote your virtual event:

1. Make sure your event will be effective online.

Think about your event’s different aspects, and envision to detail how they will play out in an online atmosphere. What platform will work best? Will people be able to engage? Is this a message that will translate onto a screen in a way that is easy to interpret and participate in? For example, a hands-on workshop might not work online.

2. Get a dedicated website up and running.

If you want to get marketing, you need to have a landing pad first. When you begin to promote your virtual event it’s vital that you have an engaging, informative website for people to go to, and don’t forget to make it searchable using SEO tactics. Spend time making this website a quality place to be because you want your potential participants to spend time there exploring your message and what they will gain by taking part. 

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.

3. Brand your event.

Generate excitement and anticipation by branding your event. This means considering who your target audience is and tailoring the look and feel of your branding to suit their tastes and needs. Do a little bit of market research and comparison, and use colors, messages, themes, and fonts that will appeal to who you are marketing to.

4. Blog about it.

Get writing! An important aspect to remember when you promote your event is blog power. If you have a blog, write a post that reflects your excitement about the event. Then share it on social media and contribute it to other blogs as well. You can also get other bloggers to promote your virtual event by writing a guest post on their blogs or asking them to write one and share it with their followers.

5. Make social media work for you.

Using social media doesn’t stop at sharing on your own accounts. Create dedicated accounts for your event across several platforms and get interactive. Participate in online discussions, share lots of content; basically, make your event a consistent presence online that people will start to notice. 

6. Leverage your speakers.

Use the star power of your host or speakers to get the word out. As part of your branding you will have graphics and logos to share; provide them to your speakers and ask them to share them on their own social media platforms. This will spread your marketing net even wider.

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.

7. Make a snappy video.

People love watching videos. Invest some time and money (if you have it) into creating a fun, engaging video that demonstrates what participants will have in store if they register. Share it all over social media and even send it out in your email invite.

8. Get your attendees to market for you.

When your attendees’ register, provide them lots of links and shareable material that they can use to let their own networks know about the awesome event they just signed up for! Word-of-mouth doesn’t need to be face-to-face—if you can leverage social media sharing, it can be an extremely effective way to get people talking about your event. 

9. Don’t drop the ball. 

The day of your event is an incredibly powerful day to continue marketing and generate interest in your next event. Share lots of snippets and highlights throughout the day. This will give people a taste of what they’re missing and will bring lots of attention to you and your team at the same time.

COVID-19 has likely changed the landscape of the events industry for good. There will be a return to live events again, but online events will be more prevalent than they were before the pandemic. Knowing how to effectively promote your virtual event every time will help position you for more success in the future.

Happy planning!

Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments.

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.
Ten event planning tips for absolute beginners.

6 Steps For Putting On A Virtual Event That Works

You’ve been thinking about putting on a virtual event for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. 

Putting on a virtual event can seem really daunting if you’ve never done it before. The technology to learn, the different platforms, how to advertise to an online audience…there are a lot of questions and new things to learn that surround a virtual event. Even if you’re an experienced event planner, putting on a 100 percent virtual event presents a whole new set of issues and problems to troubleshoot and solve.

With current events keeping almost everyone at home to do most of their work and leisure activities online, now is the time to put on your first virtual event.

So, how does one actually put on a virtual event? If you go step by step, it’s not as complicated as you think. 

We’ve broken it down into steps for you, to help you put on your first virtual event without a hitch. 

6 Steps For Putting On A Virtual Event That Works

1. Assess your audience. 

Before you can do anything else you need to know who your audience is. Your audience will decide all the components of your event, from which platform to use, to what topics to focus on, to how to market most effectively. It all comes down to what your audience is so make sure you ask yourself a few questions about who they are, such as what are they interested in? How tech-savvy are they? And how do they interact online? This will help you figure out how to market to them and keep them interested once you have them at your event.

2. Figure out your format.

Just like live events, there are several different configurations to any virtual event so use your now defined audience to decide which one would be best for them. Are they a more passive audience or do they like to interact? Are they skills-based or experience-based? How much time do they have? Based on these and other questions, you can design your event’s format accordingly. Maybe your virtual event will be a single simple seminar with a question-and-answer session at the end. Maybe it will be a complicated multi-event format with plenty of real-time interaction, polling, and audience participation. Use your audience research to decide on what will keep them engaged.

As a professional in the event planning industry, you’re in the perfect position to help your colleagues find the right speakers to make their meetings great! Connect with our SpeakerShare program to learn how you can make a commission from referring speakers!

3. Pick a platform.

Based on your format, now is the time to research your platform options and decide on the one that will best optimize your virtual event, for yourself, your presenter(s) and your audience. Make a list of what you need to make your event a success, find the ones that meet those criteria, and utilize their free trial packages (most online platforms will offer this) to test them out and find which one fits best for you. Don’t forget to keep your audience in mind—will they adapt easily to a new platform, or would a familiar streaming service such as Facebook or Youtube be best for them?

4. Pick your presenters.

As in a live event, having a host and speakers who are engaging, knowledgeable, and quick-on-their-feet is essential. In the case of virtual events, it is also important that your speaker can adapt to an online audience and is tech-savvy enough to troubleshoot tech issues on the spot and engage seamlessly with a virtual audience. 

Are you a speaker? Read this post to learn how to let the world know you can present virtually.

5. Choose your “when and where”.

Just because your event won’t be with a live audience, doesn’t mean you don’t have to commit to a time and place—don’t think that these particulars don’t matter. You can have the most interesting virtual event in the world but it won’t do much good if half of your audience is asleep because you’ve scheduled it in the wrong time zone. So pay attention to your audience and what their needs are, time-wise. You can even poll them to figure out what their optimal time is to commit to an online event. And venue matters, as well. You might be tempted to host in your living room, but keep in mind that your background can make your event look cheaper than it is. Consider renting an office space or boardroom for a more professional presentation.

6. Let the world know!

Okay! You’ve finally got the basics of your virtual event figured out. Time to let the world know! Maximize social media and your mailing list to get the word out in as many ways as possible. Promote as many aspects of your event as you can, including your presenters, your venue and your themes/topics. Don’t forget to use hashtags to maximum effect, and if you’re using a social media platform to stream your event, use that platform for leverage as well.

Good luck with your virtual event! And happy planning.

Looking for the perfect speakers for your virtual event? Search our speaker marketplace here—we’ve even added a new “Virtual Presentation” filter to our search criteria.

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Let The World Know You Can Present Virtually

All of us here at eSpeakers want to send our best wishes to all of you in the speaking industry during this challenging time. These are these unprecedented times in this industry, but there’s something you can do right now

When we see a challenge, we also see opportunity. Many companies are instituting work-from-home policies and social distancing. This new work environment is challenging for many employees, creating a more fragmented workforce and straining company morale.

We believe that you can help ease concerns and boost morale through virtual presentations. We see virtual events becoming extremely popular in the upcoming months.

How is eSpeakers Helping?

We have added “Virtual Presentation” to our search filter on eSpeakers Marketplace and other directories we power. This allows event organizers to find those experts who are able to present virtually using a tool like Zoom. 

We are currently promoting virtual presentations to event organizers around the world as an alternative to live events, and to help build company morale. This is live as you read this, and we are already seeing increased profile views for speakers doing virtual presentations.

How Can You Help?

If you are equipped and capable of presenting remotely using a tool like Zoom, you need to identify that capability in your eSpeakers profile. We’ll take care of the rest.

MARK YOUR PROFILE AS VIRTUAL READY

To be found in the “Virtual Presentation” search filter above, tag your presentation(s) with the “Webinar / Virtual Presentation” presentation type.

You can do this in two ways.

  • Login to eSpeakers and go to MY PROFILE. Then select PROGRAMS and then click edit next to the programs you can present virtually. Once you are in edit mode on your program, click the program type drop-down menu and select WEBINAR / LIVE PRESENTATION. Save your change and now that program will be found when an event organizer searches with the “Virtual Presentation” search filter. The only draw-back to this option is that when all the restrictions are lifted and you go back to your regular business, you may want that program listed under a different presentation type.
  • The other option (preferred) is to add a new program just for virtual presentations. You would add Virtual presentation as the program title, and you would write something like this in the program description. “I can present any of my programs virtually. My office setting is professional and I have high-quality equipment to broadcast my virtual presentation.” You wouldn’t have to make any changes to your existing programs with this option.

If you are ready now to present remotely, take 2 minutes to identify yourself that way on your eSpeakers profile so that you’ll come up when event organizers filter for that.

We have one additional suggestion we have for you: incorporate “epidemics and pandemics” into your Force Majeure terms in cases where a client is hesitant to sign off.  

We’ve faced hard times like this in the past as an industry, and we’ve battled through them together. Here’s to brighter weeks and months ahead. 

Sincerely,

Joseph Heaps & Dave Reed

eSpeakers