Chances are most of us have been a part of a virtual event in some capacity, especially during the current COVID-19 world, whether we’re watching a panel discussion, an interactive webinar or logging on to Zoom to partake in discussions with colleagues or friends. But what really makes a virtual event a success?
The consumer marketing team at global sexual wellness company Lovehoney recently ran three online sexual happiness events, Virtual Camp Lovehoney, executed across the US, UK and Australia, where they invited the public to learn and take inspiration from a wide range of leading sexperts in virtual workshops.
Following the success, Lovehoney shares their tips on how to virtualise your own events.
Planning and promotion: With all of the technology on offer, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. What platforms should I use? How will they integrate together? How will the overall attendee experience be affected?
We chose to run Virtual Camp Lovehoney through video conferencing platform Zoom. This allowed us to transform our content into a fully formed virtual event allowing our panelists to discuss their chosen topics together, plus featuring tools such as chat, Q&As and live polls allowing the audience to interact. It also gave us the option to video record the event, so we can exhaust the content post-event on our social media platforms.
As you get into the specific details of what you want your virtual event to look like, it’s important to take into consideration any conflicting time zones when building out an agenda. We scheduled our US workshops for the afternoon, for example, to ensure we were accommodating to both the East Coast and West Coast demographics, so we could ensure we had the greatest number of attendees tuning in.
Social media is one of the best ways to drum up interest before a virtual event. We built a Facebook event prior, which linked to the Virtual Camp Lovehoney landing page, ensuring they were both kept up to date with regular posts, introducing each of the speakers.
Keep it engaging: When participants are spending the day with your brand from the comfort of their own home, there can be no limit to what can drag their attention away from your event. Choosing a diverse pool of speakers who are experts in their field and will deliver strong and engaging content is key to maintaining your audience’s attention.
Design particular engagement points throughout each session such as Q&As and polls and ensure speakers are fully briefed before going live, so they know to shout out these functions.
If any product is discussed, allow speakers to become acquainted with them ahead of the event, so they can be weaved into conversation in an organic way that won’t come across as advertorial. We used the event as an opportunity to discuss any new products, such as the Happy Rabbit G-Spot Stroker Rabbit Vibrator, to give them a spotlight.
The benefits of going virtual: In times of uncertainty, going virtual allows us to open our doors to consumers in an intimate way like never before. Virtual Camp Lovehoney widened our demographic for potential attendees considerably, as people could dip in quickly with no travel time and costs.
Although virtual events are certainly the new normal, physical events will eventually return. Virtual events should be seen as a new format to capture your wide range of audiences rather than an alternative and should be considered as part of a smart marketing strategy.