Online events have now replaced real and physical events for quite a while since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, you no longer get surprised by receiving an email telling you about the suspension or cancellation of the events you wanted to physically take part in. Hence, you might now be wondering if there will be in-presence events in 2021.
How Organizational Events Have Changed Due to Covid-19?
Organizing online events are one of the things to do in this lockdown to benefit your brand. Regardless of the importance and size of the event, almost every organization now prefers to hold its events using online platforms. They actually have no other way out due to anti-covid regulations. As a result, real in-presence events have been replaced by online events through modern virtual platforms.
Thanks to the growth of technology, online events are possible through virtual platforms which used to be totally impossible to imagine before such growth. Moreover, advanced technology has caused almost every organization to align themselves with it so that they can still provide services, sell products, and organize online events for their customers.
Since March 2020, many event organizers have lost their jobs as there have been actually no real events. However, the silver lining of Covid-19 is that those who were still eager to find a way to organize online events, webinars, online masterclasses, etc. could survive the pandemic wave. They have continued to work by managing the different time zones, poor connections, technical problems, hacker threats, and a lot of unpredicted issues.
What Are the Predictions on How Organizations Will Approach Online Events in 2021?
Regarding the facts of the current situation in the world, it is highly likely that the online event approach is still adopted by organizations worldwide in 2021. If you are looking for a clear answer, there is, unfortunately, no clear date to announce. The reason is that it is not possible to foresee the ending date in which the virus would finally and successfully be eradicated. Despite the production and distribution of the vaccine, it is still not clear when all the countries will get rid of the virus and can resume the previous plans they used to carry out before the emergence of the virus.
As a consequence, it is inevitable to have online events instead of physical real ones. Accordingly, it is wiser to still focus on more strategic ways to organize online events than to hope for a time when organizing real events becomes possible again.
How to Engage Participants for Your Online Event in 2021?
Changing your strategies for better engagement is essential if you want to have a stronger performance. One way to increase your engagement is to do lead generation by considering the needs of your audience. Ask yourself why your audience should spend time and money to participate in your online event. You can think of ways to educate your participants during your online event, for instance. That is to say, meeting the needs of your participants is one way you can engage them in your online event. Here are other ways:
1. Train Your Experts
If you are organizing an online event, you should instruct your experts who are going to hold your online event. The instruction should involve the relationship between your participants and experts. Your experts can start the online event sooner or finish later in order to have time to build up an efficient relationship.
2. Provide a Resource
Every event has some resources such as presentation slides, brochures, and other extra material. Such resources are provided by the experts of the events in order to make it easier to engage the participants with the activities, topics, etc. of the event. Sometimes, the resources are the extra material that the participants can read in order to gain more information about a particular topic.
The same is true for an online event. You should upload the resources in a drive or the platform that you are using for your online event so that the attendees can get the same benefit as an in-presence event. The advantage of doing this is that you engage them with the educational and supportive information that you provide for your attendees. Another advantage is that the participants find your online event worth the time and money they have spent.
3. Organize Q&A Sessions
Complimentary sessions such as Q&A sessions can help you realize the problems and issues that your customers or participants have faced while using your products and services. These sessions provide the opportunity for your participants to ask the questions they have in mind.
Running these sessions should be done by the experts so that they exactly know the right answer to a question. These experts should also have a high communicative skill so that they can get the participants to talk. You should also tell them to brainstorm the possible questions that the participants may ask so that they are ready for a better answer.
4. Keep It Less Populated
When the live event that you organize is less populated, all the participants have the opportunity to talk and share their ideas. Therefore, the engagement is much higher when there are not so many participants in a live event. If there is a high demand for your online event, you can divide the participants into two or more groups so that everyone can participate efficiently and effectively. Consequently, there will be less noise, more concentration, and better interaction.
5. Add Coffee Breaks
Break time has dual importance. On the one hand, you do not give a long tiring talk to your audience. On the other hand, during the coffee breaks, you can still be connected and get your attendees to have an informal talk with you so that they are better engaged with your organization. Think of asking general questions and icebreakers.
In addition, break times can create an opportunity for you to promote your social media channels. Of course, you should already know which social media platform is the best for your brand. For instance, you can grow the number of your Instagram followers through mass follow on Instagram or by using your online event as well as the available tools such as Gramblr alternatives that give you a 1000 free Instagram followers trial.
6. Think of Gamification
Gamification and entertainment is the best way to get bored-in-the-house participants engaged. Therefore, you should consider adding some fun and games for your online event. You can give away prizes, badges, gift cards, promotion codes, etc. to encourage your attendees to respond to the game. The gamification ideas depend totally on the type of your business which can be figured out by your marketing experts.
7. Ask for Feedback
It is actually impossible to get everyone satisfied no matter the context. But you can still try to get the majority satisfied by providing their needs and expectations. As for business, you can ask for the feedback of your participants about your online event by posting a survey on any platform, direct discussion threads, etc.
Taken as a whole, the article argues about the predictions on how organizations will approach online events in 2021. Though suggesting clear estimations is not possible, it can be said that organizations will continue to organize online events at least in the upcoming months. Therefore, as an event organizer or organization, it is more strategic to consider better and more useful ways of running online events. Keep up the good work and look forward to a promising future!