A poorly planned digital event can be a disaster for those who attend as well as the business. An effective and informative digital event is about more than just choosing the right platform and using the best equipment. Understanding who the target audience is, defining the purpose of the event and understanding the appropriate access for attendees are important factors to consider.
Who are you trying to reach? Is this a product launch for existing customers who are already familiar with your stellar customer service? Is this an informational meeting for prospects who have shown some interest in your company? Perhaps it is simply a meeting with employees across several locations who need training on a new process.
Each of these situations is a different audience with different needs and preferences.
Consider other factors of prospective attendees. Identify everything from age, marital status, socioeconomic status, geographic location, gender, job title, industry affiliation, tenure in the industry, existing knowledge of the industry and relationship to the company for the individuals you want to reach. This information can impact the advertising of the event, the best platform to choose, how the content is presented and the style of speaker.
Understanding the target audience and their needs is the first step to creating a digital event that includes the specific information that audience will find most valuable.
Identify the objectives specific to the target audience and build an agenda around them.
Consider WIIFM – What’s In It For Me – why would a customer or prospect or employee want to attend this event? What kinds of information are you going to share that is going to directly impact the attendee? If a customer is going to take time from their busy schedule it is important that you share information they need in a way that is interesting and engaging.
Choose guest speakers not only for their knowledge, but for their ability to keep an audience interested. It is very easy for someone to ‘multitask’ while they are listening to a presentation they find boring or irrelevant.
Keep the agenda on point. Don’t add extra information just because it helps to fill out the time.
Choose a platform that supports your objectives. If you will be having a Q&A option or perhaps allowing attendees to chat with each other make sure the option works.
Review the event objectives and expectations when choosing the platform to verify it has all of the necessary functionality. An audience that expects to be able to see each other through video will quickly be disappointed if that feature isn’t available.
There is a wide variety of options available for users to access digital information. Part of understanding your target audience is knowing if they prefer to use a laptop, tablet or smartphone. What operating system are they likely to use?
Test the platform you intend to use on several different options. Check how the presentation looks on a tablet vs a desktop. How does the video work on a smartphone?
Have someone who has never used the platform log in and get feedback on how easy it is to navigate. Use this feedback to create instructions for participants.
Test early and often to ensure a smooth event.
Keep it simple. Simple means attendees can easily access the event, intuitively navigate the platform and clearly identify the most important features.
Provide directions on how to use the platform before the event so that new users can familiarize themselves as needed. Minimize unnecessary options so that participants don’t get distracted from the message. The more cluttered the screen is, the more difficult it will be to capture and keep the audience’s attention.
Planning a digital event involves more than choosing a speaker and platform. Take the time to understand your audience, create specific objectives and keep it simple to host a successful digital event.
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