If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that the online event helps us stay connected even when we can’t make it in person. We crave connection, and bringing people and communities together is more important now than ever. But is there a way to maintain that momentum community-building in the long-term?
You’re probably reading this because you’ve decided to take on the task of hosting an online event (or several) in the coming months. Fantastic! Step 1 is complete. But now what? (And if you’re still on the fence about online events, check out a few reasons why you should try them out!!)
Whether you’re adding to an existing in-person event to make it hybrid with an online component or creating something entirely new, the concepts of engagement and user experience remain the same. Your goal is to create distinct value with the material you’re distributing. This added value can be educational, informative, entertaining, or experiential, for example.
To design a successful event, you must first determine what you want to achieve. Why hold the event in the first place if not for that reason? Goals and objectives that are clearly established can help you stay on track throughout the event planning process. They also help you to avoid wasting resources – every decision you make and dollar you spend is bound by one guiding purpose and aids you in achieving your objectives.
Spend some time thinking about your larger purpose before you start formulating your particular goals and objectives. Your mission is the overarching goal that should guide all of your business actions — it could be to advocate for a certain group of people, promote a specific political agenda, or provide educational opportunities in your community.
After defining the larger objective, you can start writing down the more specific goals. The best goals assist the larger objective. For example, if you work in a university admissions office and your objective is to attract prospective students, one of your goals might be to inform them about your program offers and campus atmosphere.
Or maybe your objective is to raise public awareness of your brand. Then you can start keeping track of how often people share or mention your event on social media. Don’t be hesitant to encourage participants to use your event’s hashtag or do anything else that could serve your event objective. Share your objective with your event attendees and achieve it together!
Want to take your events to the next level? Consider creating an attendee journey map to offer a flawless, worthwhile, and memorable experience to your event attendees. The map should show what your attendees will encounter at each stage of the event planning process: before, during, and after the event.
The real benefit of having a journey map for attendees is that you can identify your event’s weak points: where might guests be confused, bored or disappointed? How long does it take to register? Do attendees have to fill out reams of paperwork? Is it simple to locate and download the schedule? You are more likely to improve the attendee experience if you spend enough time identifying (and resolving) such flaws.
Creating an attendee journey map will most likely take some extra time, but the information you can gain from it is of utmost importance to the success of your event. The goal of these maps is to minimize or even eliminate any flaws and make the user experience as enjoyable and trouble-free as it can possibly be. Don’t miss your unique chance to add a little extra awesomeness with just a little brainstorming!
Let us take you for a step-by-step journey in the realm of a well-designed event experience. First, provide your participants with the necessary time to introduce themselves and get to know each other, preferably at the beginning of the event. Remember, half of the motivation to take part in online events is the networking aspect, so facilitate it in a fun and engaging way! You can use our myOnvent Live Wall to ask questions such as where people are tuning in, what their expectations from the event are, what is your favorite way of networking, and so forth. You can even ask your attendees to share a fun fact about themselves to break the ice with the power of humor and vulnerability.
If you don’t like leading discussions (here are a few tips for that too!!), you can assign community ambassadors who can activate people through interesting questions, comments, sharing of content, and many other methods. You can choose who the ambassador will be either on your own, or organize a poll at the event where people can vote and choose the ambassador of their hearts! But remember to mention at the start of the event that, based on active participation and contribution to the event, a community ambassador will be chosen for the next online or hybrid event. This will act as a good motivation for people to be more involved, active and energetic than they otherwise would be!
To ensure that the energy is maintained throughout the entire event, make sure to give frequent breaks where people can recharge and re-energize for better and more lively discussions. Some of these breaks can even be held in breakout rooms: simply break down your wider audience into smaller groups based on similar interests, ideas, or other commonalities, and let them talk about anything they’d like! Breakout rooms offer great opportunities for more interaction and stronger connection, so use these effectively to bring people together on a more intimate level!
Regardless of which platform you choose to host your online event, make sure you can use it to stay in touch with your event attendees as well as give them the opportunity to network among themselves. For example, when you organize your events on myOnvent, you gain access to a full range of interactive audience networking features and functionalities including social media integration, breakout sessions, live chats, and many more. We’ll be thrilled to be a part of your growth and success!
Staying in touch has become so much easier with myOnvent, as our platform enables event organizers and participants to build contact lists within and across events. (Our team works remotely, so we have a couple of ideas about how to succeed online!!) This means that you can stay in touch with your favorite meeting attendees not only during the event but even days, months, and years after the event!
But what’s even more fascinating is that myOnvent provides its users with the one and only Smart Matching feature. This is a community-building tool designed to match participants with other participants so they can connect, interact, and stay in touch with users that share common interests.
In addition to the built-in features that myOnvent provides, our platform enables you to integrate external resources and tools to make your online events even more engaging and exciting! One of our favorites among audience-engagement and interactivity tools is Miro, which is much more than just a brainstorming tool. It also has a collection of tools that assist users in guiding the process from conception to completion for a smooth and seamless visual collaborative experience. For a top-notch collaboration experience, feel free to use Miro together with Google Docs, and see how ideas bloom in both visual and written ways! Google Docs is the most popular online word processor which makes it simple to create, upload, save, share, and collaborate on documents in a shared written workspace. Share texts, share ideas, share success!
Another cool tool is Kahoot!, which is a game-based learning platform that allows users to quickly create, share, and play educational, informative games and trivia quizzes. It’s a shared adventure. Everyone acts and reacts simultaneously, enabling participants to engage with each other in real time. There are numerous Kahoot! games that have already been produced by the general public in the past, so you can duplicate any of these to save you time in the event planning and organization efforts. Or you can create your own game from scratch, for a more personalized and previously unparalleled experience. Because users are likely to be familiar with Kahoot!, it can be easily integrated into an event with little time spent for the users to familiarize themselves with it.
Please note that these suggestions are not sponsored promotions. We recommend using the above services because we and our users have used these, love these, and benefitted from these external resources that can easily be integrated into your event.
We hope our tips will help you create the most vibrant, connected and impactful online communities with myOnvent. Remember to invite people from all backgrounds and all walks of life as bringing together diverse participants will increase sharing expertise in the most diverse and different fields, creating opportunities for learning and growth! Once you succeed in organizing the first community-building online event, keep hosting such events frequently and consistently so that the connection is not only established but also maintained, nourished and strengthened for the years to come!
To find out more about how an online event or hybrid event works in action, get in touch!! We’d love to speak to you about this, just drop us a line at email@example.com and we’ll get back to you ASAP to set up a chat.
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