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10 things to consider on digital-first delivery and design

Need-to-know insights from Hubilo’s recent flagship event ‘The Future of Events’.

Hubilo recently hosted ‘The Future of Events’ on its virtual event platform, which featured speakers and event professionals from the industry, including Chris Powell, Founder of The Event Expert, Ritam Bhatnagar, Founder of India Film Project, Sophie Ahmed, Co-founder and CEO of VEI, Simon Burton, Co-founder and Director at VEI, Emma Hilditch, Content Director at VEI and Courtney Stanley, Event Emcee and Moderator.

The three-hour event featured insightful sessions on designing, planning and delivering successful virtual events.

Here are some planning and design tips for running virtual events:

1. Use pre-event market research to identify your event goals, define your audience profile, understand the problems that the event intends to solve, outline the audience’s behavior/skills/knowledge/attitude before the virtual event and the desired change targeted through the event.

2. In order to market the event, understand the new audience: Who is it? Is it the same? What’s the age range? Are they looking for the experience or knowledge or networking? Are they willing to pay and how much? How much time do they have? Then use your answers as a starting point for drafting all communication.

3. The general rule of thumb when it comes to resource and cost implications is to overestimate and underestimate revenue forecasts.

4. When shifting to virtual, ensure you don’t lose any of the USPs of your physical event. Adapt the marketing and branding to the virtual environment but make sure your event doesn’t look like a Zoom call. For this, invest in an event-tech platform that can replicate the live venue experience.

5. Plan the event experience for attendees thoroughly. Think about the color palette, platform design and mobile-friendliness. Also, think about how you can offer enhanced visibility to your sponsors and partners, rather than limiting them to mere logos on the screen.

6. Ensure you create engagement touchpoints to provide some form of tangibility to your virtual attendees and put out hooks that appeal to different kinds of audiences.

7. Build innovation on top of the virtual event platform. Explore beyond the platform’s nomenclature and think of how you can best utilize the functionality and mold it to your requirements.

8. Keep a balance between ‘engagement’ and ‘focus’. Divide your audience into two sets: One set that wants to participate in various activities, network and win prizes; the other set that wants to watch sessions and consume education content. Cater to both sets of attendees and tailor all event-related communication accordingly.

9. Use contests and gamification to give points for activities conducted by attendees, both on and off the event platform, and use prizes and offers to drive offline attendees back to the platform.

10. Don’t just think about having one virtual event as the centerpiece. Rather, focus on community building through a series of virtual events, even if they vary in scale, size and tone. This provides year-round engagement and boosts event revenue, even creating a new revenue stream in the form of a subscription model.

For more useful tips and best practices, you can access the on-demand sessions of the event.

Author Bio: Falguni Jain is a content marketer for Hubilo, a virtual and hybrid event platform with notable global clients that include the UN, Siemens, GITEX, NYU, AWS and Tech in Asia.


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