While digital events were already reasonably popular before the global pandemic began, they became even more popular (and necessary) over the last few years and are definitely here to stay.
More affordable to host and more affordable for attendees as a result, there are many benefits to digital conferences, networking events, parties, and the like.
If you’ve chosen to go down this route and will be hosting an online event in 2023, here are some crucial factors you must remember.
Know Exactly Who You’re Targeting
Start by ensuring you’re clear about who you’re targeting for your event. It’s vital to know your audience to target your offerings better. Understanding who you want to attend your event will make it easier to know which topics to focus on and which speakers will likely best connect with attendees.
You will have a good idea of when to run events, and the types of inclusions people might want with their tickets, such as bonus content, small group workshops, Facebook groups, breakout rooms, etc. Research your intended audience so you know their general wants and needs. Learn where they live, their work type, their family life, socioeconomic status, hobbies, interests, common problems, benefits they enjoy, and so on.
Think about what is most likely to impress people and make them talk about the event later, whether with their social media followers or family, friends, or colleagues. For instance, are they seeking specific knowledge, inspiration, motivation, new social connections, productivity templates, savings for other events or products or services, or other key takeaways?
Find a Point of Difference
Next, work out how to create an event that stands out from the competition in some vital way to help you sell tickets, maximize profits, and boost engagement. Increasing numbers of organizers run events digitally now, so you have lots of competition for consumer attention, not to mention wallets. You, therefore, need to know how to best position your event in the market.
There are all sorts of ways your event might differ from other offerings. For example, this could be in the type of customer you target, the topics explored, the type of speakers you feature, the event format, pricing, or even whether exclusive access is provided, among other things.
Get the Timing Right
You can create a more fruitful event for your business if you carefully consider the timing of it, too. Choose a time of year to run your digital offering when you know your target market is likely to be free and available, rather than when they’re having a hectic period. For example, if you’re running an event for fashion types, avoid the big fashion weeks of the year, or if you’re running retailer-focused occasions, avoid putting online events on during Black Friday or right before Christmas or the end of the financial year.
Consider the day of the week and the time of the day or night when you run your events, too. For some customers in some areas, weekends will be better for them, while for others, this might be impossible. The same goes for scheduling your events before, during, or after standard work hours. By understanding your prime audience, you’ll have a good idea of what will suit people best.
Plus, think about the timing session-wise. How long will each event go for and how long will each speaker, workshop, masterclass, etc., run for? Some audiences prefer short, sharp offerings that are 15 or 30 minutes at a time, while others will like an hour or two-hour-long classes or even full or multi-day events to immerse themselves in.
Pick a Suitable Tech Platform and Be Mindful of Digital Security
Lastly, one of the other crucial components of a successful online event is choosing a suitable tech platform on which to host the conference, workshop, talk, etc. Pick a service known for running optimally with few outages and tech glitches. It should be a trusted name in the market that will work effectively on mobile devices and provide you with all the features and functionality you’re after, too, such as potentially recording sessions, running concurrent ones, setting up breakout rooms, and more.
Also, digital events can be hacked just like other online offerings, so you need to cover all bases in the cybersecurity area. You want the platform you run the event on to focus on security with encryption software and other safety tools. Plus, take digital security measures on your end of things to decrease the chance of the event or your attendee list being hacked.
Follow top cyber risk management steps to keep data and connections safe. Utilize comprehensive security software and firewalls on all business computers, keep software updated, choose hard-to-crack passwords, and use secured internet rather than public Wi-Fi when logging into accounts and making online payments.
Follow these steps to help your digital event become a raging success and boost your business now and into the future.