When potential business partners aren’t in the same city, or even country, a Skype call is often a great alternative to a meeting that’ll see you lose valuable hours travelling. But what about when it comes to hosting an entire event virtually?
Live-streaming events has become popular as technology has improved, costs have come down, and planners tap into the opportunity to reach a much bigger audience. But when does it make sense to produce an event solely for online participation?
Kevin Larstone of Create If, an event production company that predominantly works with corporate clients throughout Canada states “There’s always value in doing a live meeting, but the return on investment is something that can only be measured by how deep a client’s pockets are. If you are plotting your course based on what your audience needs, that will tell you whether you should do a live presentation or a virtual presentation,“ he says. “With either one, the outcome you are looking for is some level of engagement. Just passively providing a feed to an audience without engaging them is a waste of money.”
Here are some of his suggestions for when a virtual meeting may be the appropriate strategy and tips on how to execute it effectively.
Consider a fully virtual meeting when:
- The in-person audience would be small. If the number of people attending your event in person would be much less than those tuning in online, consider eliminating the face-to-face event.
- Cost is an issue. Hosting a physical event comes with a variety of potential costs, and by eliminating the physical event, resources can focus on creating a high-quality online experience.
- There are logistical issues. For example if you need to inform multiple offices about a company update, rather than sending a team around the country delivering a presentation the same team could contribute to infographic or a video series.
To produce an effective virtual event:
Model it on TV programs, prep your speakers, try to engage with your online audience and structure content in segments. Also keep it short! Less than 20 minutes ideally