Virtual events are here to stay. They’re affordable, scalable, and a great opportunity to connect with a global audience. Add in that they require fewer logistics than real-world happenings, and it’s no wonder folks are embracing events going online. However, the all-digital, all-easy virtual event is hiding a few challenges. How do you make people feel engaged and present when they’re looking at a screen?
Here are 7 suggestions to help you plan for the digital opportunity:
Practice Makes Perfect
Is this your first virtual session? Don’t be nervous! Run through everything you want to say in front of a mirror, in front of your pets and family and even consider having your first session (either event or an event in your subscription plan) be for your close network. They are the feedback loop that will help you find your voice and confidence.
Prepare Your Environment
A lot of people leave their set-up until the last possible moment. Do not make this embarrassing mistake! Make sure you’re in bright, clean space. Practice doing any demos “on set” in advance, and check your lighting and sound ahead of time, too. Photobooth on a mac or Zoom with a friend in advance is a great way to make sure you can be seen and heard.
Get The Gear
Ring light: Lume Cube can make any virtual session or self-produced photoshoot shine bright. They make it mega easy to find your spotlight with an online quiz!
Stay Steady: Ubeesize also has ring lights, but they can really steady your operation with their helpful phone and camera tripods!
Sound: No matter what your budget might look like, here are 30 mics that will work for you.
Right on Schedule
Run your sessions at times that make good sense for your sanity. This might seem obvious, but it’s very important to take this to heart and avoid any extra stressors. Do you have children? Time it so they’re in bed and you can focus on the show. Does your event include a happy hour? Make sure you time the event to be after work for the bulk of your guests. Get the gist? Good. ;)
Craft Your Invite
If you’re trying to tell people about your virtual event for the first time, send personal e-vites! It’ll help people track your event amidst their other obligations, and ensure they actually show up. You’ll also want to write an invite to impress. Your e-mail invite is basically a piece of personalized content. Give it the time, space and extra love it deserves. Including personalization and imagery can go a long way.
Give it Some Spice
To set the stage for your audience and guests, consider opening your session with an intro. Monica, a beloved subkitter and owner of The Spice Club, has mastered the art of the intro video. She’s poised, clear and sets a fun yet educational tone, all with some exciting music. Check her out here. If you’re not quite ready to take on a video, consider making a slide. A simple, attractive visual off the top letting people know what to expect throughout the event can really bring professionalism to your session. Canva is great for creating such things for free.
Leave them Wanting More
Similar to how a good intro can set the tone, you should also plan an outro. Create a video, play a farewell song or include a slide to thank guests and let them know what exciting things you have on the horizon. Following the event, be sure to do a follow-up email thanking guests, sharing some session highlights and linking them to your next virtual offering. This will help create a recurring clientele AKA your subscription base.