with modern technology, it has become easier than ever to create online events. Event planning, whether in-person or digital, requires many of the same processes. Luckily, event planners are notoriously resilient folk and take the new paradigm in stride. Virtual events are opportunities for people, connected by common interests, to share their thoughts, ideas, knowledge and opportunities. The best virtual events will find a way to capture this and celebrate it — and you can do this effectively by using a social wall. Here’s how.
Bring Social Into Your Virtual Events
A major draw of conferences is the ability to connect with like-minded people. Digital event organizers should create opportunities for people to network. Assume that most attendees will have a social platform (or three) open in other tabs. Think about how you can drive activity on social during the event and provide a social wall for all to interact. Make sure you have a clear hashtag and a team that is monitoring social for feedback and engagement.
Ways to incorporate engagement on a social wall:
- Encourage attendees, presenters, sponsors, and staff to submit content and questions using a hashtag.
- Ask attendees to create a micro-video of their favorite event moment.
- Have presenters submit short videos that are included as part of the pre-roll or cutaways.
Events are still social gatherings. A social wall has the added benefit of keeping your audience engaged between sessions. Attendees are thrilled to see their tweets, photos, and content featured on the virtual social wall. Sponsors appreciate additional exposure on slides and featured videos. Event organizers can include reminders to buy merchandise, sign-up for future sessions, and other calls-to-action.
Engagement with Speakers and Presenters
Online events can be tough for presenters who are accustomed to gauging the room based on audience feedback. Another benefit of social walls for virtual events is that they make it easier for presenters by providing a channel for attendees to engage and share in real time via social media, not just during Q&A at the end.
Co-Marketing with Sponsors or Exhibitors
Organizers are still working to crack the code for the perfect way to bring sponsors and exhibitors into virtual events. There are still some challenges in activating them in a meaningful way, but one surefire method of using and supporting them is through a social wall. They are able to bring the event to new audiences. You are able to showcase your sponsors and drive traffic their way. Together, you create social proof that your virtual event is worth attending.
Extending the Value of Content Long After the Event
It can be difficult to “show” a digital event, especially after it’s all over. One way to do so is to utilize your social wall content, or the user-generated content that attendees and/or speakers submitted during the event. These photos and videos can be used for future events to show that people are engaged, even if attending from home.
Testimonials, reviews, or even pre-testimonials are options as well. The point is: Don’t solely rely on brand-generated content; let your audience guide the conversation.