With the modernization happening since 2020, we all noticed the uplift of virtual events and virtual event platforms. Similarly, the virtual fest is another big name that is creating a buzz in recent times. The online format of the fests, trade shows, or exhibitions provides immense opportunities to businesses of all scales to showcase their products, offering, and content to a wide range of attendees across the globe.
If you are looking to plan a successful virtual festival, let us take you through the essentials steps and ideas;
Step 1: Set Definite Objectives
Before you start making strategies for the success of your virtual fest, prepare a set of definite event goals. Make sure that your event goals harmonize with your business needs. Ask some relevant questions to yourself;
- Are you hosting the event to increases revenues and profits?
- Is it for obtaining more leads?
- Do you want to boost the brand value?
Getting answers to these questions will help you learn the purpose of your online event and hence prepare strategies accordingly.
Step 2: Know your target audience
Once you have determined your event goals and objectives, outline the expectations and aspirations that attendees would anticipate. Understand your potential audience, study the latest industry trends, and observe the recent developments. It will help you create a more valuable and fruitful event experience.
Step 3: Carefully choose the date & time of your virtual fest
The date and time of your event play a crucial role in determining the number of registrations. Hence, do thoughtful research while deciding the fest date and timings. Make sure that the date of your virtual festival does not collide with any other notable online event. Also, try avoiding weekends, national holidays, or the time around Christmas or New Year for your online fest.
Step 4: Leverage the right virtual fest platform
With the availability of multiple virtual fest platforms, choose your enterprise solution wisely. Look for an all-in-one software that can smoothly run on Android and iOs platforms. Also, lately, we have observed 3D virtual event platforms that are gaining popularity. So, you can try including immersive graphics, 3D teleportation, lively imagery, dynamic banners, or GIFs to create a replica of the physical environment.
Attendees have most of their experiences on the platform hence, be very decisive while including the features and tools for your event. Make sure that your platform is backed by 24/7 customer support to offer real-time assistance to the participants. Also, remember to take a platform demo before you come to a conclusion. A complete demo will give you an overall view of the virtual venue and design.
Step 5: Noteworthy speakers or industry experts
Speakers play a vital role in delivering the content or keeping the attendees engaged at any virtual expo, fest, or show. Therefore, it is very essential to get skillful emcees onboard to maintain the suspense or excitement at the event. Experienced speakers deliver the content exceptionally and share useful insights for people to learn and acquire.
Consider including a variety of speakers to eliminate the monotony of the virtual event.
Step 6: Keep your attendees involved
Attendee experience should be an important concern for any event planner. Hence, this is why you should look for tools and features keeping the audience’s viewpoint in mind. Here are a few features that you can incorporate to make your virtual festival super engaging;
- On-event announcements can be implemented on the virtual platform to keep the visitors notified about the live and upcoming sessions. Also, try offering an option of adding the forthcoming sessions to their calendars.
- People love to play games. Consider incorporating wondrous games like spin the wheel, temple run, crossword, or tic-tac-toe to make your fest even more enjoyable.
- Try keeping short and crisp sessions to avoid attendee drop-off. It is vital to keep your online attendees hooked and involved throughout the session or event. So, make sure to keep short sessions along with periodic breaks.
- The live chat feature allows attendees, exhibitors, and speakers to interact in real-time. It is an effective way to recreate the experiences of a physical event.
- Conduct frequent live polls and Q&A rounds to make your event super interactive. It will help you gauge the engagement level of the participants during the virtual fest.
Step 7: Offer enormous networking opportunities
Besides learning and engaging, attendees also look forward to making new connections. So, it is crucial to add features and opportunities like virtual networking tables, AI-based recommendations, business card exchange, and B2B meetings scheduler to help sponsors obtain qualified leads. Virtual fests also include customized virtual booths that have accessible content in the form of documents, PDFs, presentations, and videos to offer more information about the exhibitor or their organization.
Step 8: Create a strategic marketing plan
Marketing and promotion are the major moves that help you spread the word regarding your virtual festival. Make the most of social media handles to create hype among attendees at least 2-3 weeks in advance.
Post appropriate event-specific pictures, videos, and content to give people a reason to register for your event. Try using hashtags related to the event to generate more buzz about the virtual fest.
You can also practice email marketing to draw more participation. Send periodic emails to people you expect to be your potential attendee. While sending emails, try writing a catchy headline, use eye-catching graphics, and reveal the names of the speakers to arouse more excitement. You can also write SEO-optimised blogs related to your event to expand the search potential.
Step 9: Live-stream your virtual fest
It is an effective strategy to enhance the outreach of your virtual event. You can perform multi-channel live-streaming on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube to enhance your global reach. You can also keep your live chat feature available while you are live-streaming. It will facilitate 2-way interactions in real-time.
Step 10: Perform a dry-run
With the online format of events, you need to check all the technical aspects and perform a thorough dry-run to avoid unforeseen glitches. Check your Internet connection and perform several system checks to evade system crashes on D-day. Also, try rehearsing with the chief speakers and features that you’ll be leveraging for the main event.
Step 11: Take a follow-up
It is another crucial step that event organizers should not miss on. Getting the valuable feedback of the audience helps you learn if you were able to meet their expectations. You can conduct simple surveys or send feedback forms to the registered emails of the attendees to know about their experience. Also, their feedback will help you understand your improvement areas and make appropriate changes for future events.
Step 12: Meaningful analytics and reporting
Detailed analytics are the key to measure the success of your online fest or track its KPIs. For profound insights, always select a robust virtual event solution that helps you with a comprehensive track of digital footprint, most attended session, most visited booth, the count of applications, and more.
Also, keeping a detailed track of attendee navigation and other useful data will help you learn if the event objectives have been fulfilled.