Strategy, Not Just Technology, Makes Successful Virtual Events
Technology alone cannot produce a successful virtual event — there is so much more that goes into it. From creating an engagement strategy for your audience to accurately portraying your brand to create a dynamic experience, thoughtfully mapping the program and attendee experience to execute your vision is paramount, no matter what technology you use.
While technology is the venue for a virtual event, strategic planning is key — this part of the process architects the connection with the audience and ensures the brand, the inspiration, and the sense of inclusion are front-and-center at your event. Developers may be able to refine technology as quickly as audiences shift — but without strategy backing up the event and providing thoughtful direction, they will not be able to captivate and connect with audiences. Often, bringing in an outside agency can be the best way to get the strategic support and guidance you need to create a successful virtual event.
How can event strategists help you create a successful virtual event?
An event strategist helps develop your vision, providing an outside and expert perspective to determine exactly what is needed to bring your event to life. Strategists create the roadmap and guide you to explore what is possible, connect your audience to your goals, and align stakeholders to drive your event to success. They integrate creative visuals, content, and storytelling with production to create a comprehensive experience for your attendees.
The “why” is more important now than ever, and it gives purpose to your program. It is critical to start every event with an understanding of your “why” to more easily plan for the experience, create a route, and identify a destination. The strategist asks all of the important questions to make sure you have a solid foundation and clear goals from which to build a successful virtual event, like:
- What is the impact you are trying to create?
- What do you want attendees to walk away with?
- Why is this event relevant to your audience? How is it valuable?
- Do you have the resources you need to create this experience successfully and smoothly?
Strategists work with different departments, engagement tools, and technology to explore your vision to see what it can affect and how. A virtual event is a vehicle for engagement with your audience, an opportunity to connect digitally and in ways you may not have been able to before. In order to build an event that is going to create an impact with your audience, it’s critical to create a strategy first and design the event from that in order to provide an experience that is accessible, reliable, relevant, and valuable to the attendees’ time. A strategist can help you make all of that possible.
What does this process look like?
Virtual is just the newest challenge in storytelling and audience connection. If you invest in creating an event strategy, you will maximize your connection to your audience, no matter the platform. We approach event strategy to create the most impactful and engaging experience possible through an in-depth, five-step process:
Identify what you want your audience to take away from this experience and explore your goals, challenges, and key messaging to build the foundation of your event.
Create a vision for your event — map out the attendee journey through points of engagement tactics, storytelling, theme-building, and creative content.
Bring your vision to life and align it with your budget, schedule, and values to reflect your unique brand.
Rehearse beforehand, then fully execute the event — prepare your team to run a flawless show and ensure your engagement strategies are utilized successfully for a dynamic virtual experience.
Evaluate whether or not your goals were achieved during the event, analyze audience engagement metrics, and take notes for the next time.
This five-step roadmap provides the structure you need to help you bring your idea to life and ensure your event achieves what it was designed to do. Download our playbook to learn more.
How to enable your strategy with technology.
Strategy and technology are both necessary for a successful virtual event — they go hand-in-hand. Just having the technological components for an event does not mean the event is able to achieve its goals, and likewise, the right strategy cannot be executed without the appropriate technology needed to make it happen.
Virtual events need a reliable platform, but it’s important to understand how selecting the right format and platform for your event can make or break its ability to resonate with your audience. A strategist can help you narrow down what format to package your program and the best platform to deliver it to your attendees. Finding a platform that offers features for digital engagement, that runs smoothly and seamlessly for attendees, that has the level of service and support you need, that fits with your brand’s expectation of production value, and promotes immersive human connections will ultimately drive success.
Bringing someone onto your team whose consistent, main focus is technology and strategy — who has expert understanding of the platform capabilities, what you want to do, and how to make it happen — is a vital component to add to your team in order to execute a successful and dynamic event.