With global conditions restricting social gatherings, virtual events have been the new hype since 2020. Virtual events basically take place on a virtual show platform or a social media channel. They involve the use of internet bandwidth, an extremely necessary commodity to survive nowadays. The third aspect is a device like a smartphone, PC, or laptop through which participants can attend these virtual shows from any geographical location.
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Virtual shows and events are still an emerging concept. It is natural for people to take time to get used to new-age technology. Many brands, companies, and individuals are still not very adept at using technology to conduct virtual shows and events and need to begin at scratch. Listed below is a step-by-step guide on how to host a virtual show:
1. Build and strategize
At scratch, the virtual show would require an activity map to be built in order to layout information and answers to questions concerning the know-how of the show. Details like venue, marketing, advertising, sponsors, guests, volunteers, and budget are included in this map.
Additional elements like ideas to engage the audience, the date and time of the show, feedback collection post-event, tools to be employed, and the number of potential participants can be brainstormed.
It is also important to strategically decide the date and time of the virtual show. Similar to an in-person event, fixed dates and times are required since people obviously cannot be expected to just show up on a random day with no prior information. It should be identified which days and what hours would be most suitable to host the virtual show in terms of audience attendance.
This should be done very cautiously and wisely since the wrong day and wrong time can lead to wastage of precious efforts since there would not be an audience to attend to in the first place if things go south.
2. Pick the right virtual show technology
Just as a physical event requires a location, so does a virtual one. It is important to pick the right online show platform since this will serve as the digital location of the show where all guests and attendees will come together and interact. There are many virtual trade show platforms available on the market to choose from.
These platforms consist of various tools and features that can help customize the virtual show with all necessary outlets like information lounges, auditoriums, and even theatres for dramatic effects. Additional elements like a live social media feed can be added to the virtual event to make it more exciting and engaging from the audience’s perspective to promote an interactive experience.
The choosing of the platform must be done in accordance with the audience size, event objectives, and the activities the host plans to conduct.
3. Marketing and promotions
It is profitable to market and promotes an online show to people in order to generate hype around it. Reaching out to the target audience across social media channels and e-mails helps in acquiring an audience for the show. These promotions are a good way to spread awareness about the online show and increase attendance.
4. Prepare and rehearse the show
While preparing to host a virtual show, it is important to be prepared for any errors and malfunctions that may occur during the show. It is of utmost importance to identify and test all the tools and equipment being used to host the show to check for any technical difficulties and glitches beforehand.
In case of a camera malfunction or an audio issue, a spare camera and extra audio equipment must always be kept handy. Various unpredictable errors must be prepared to tackle on the day of the show if they occur.
However, no amount of planning and rehearsing helps without properly trying and testing every method and procedure. A test run must be conducted before the actual show. This test run can be conducted with speakers without the audience to make sure everything is in place and everyone is prepared.
5. Encourage the audience to interact
Audience engagement and interaction during the show is the paramount metric that determines the success of the show. Hence, it is significant to keep the audience hooked and encourage productive audience engagement throughout the virtual show.
To make people participate and contribute, elements like Q&A sessions, chat feeds, interesting discussions, sharing videos and images, etc should be implemented. Maximum audience engagement is promised if gamification tools are incorporated.
6. Post-event feedback
Another important determinant of the success of the virtual show is the post-event feedback. Knowing the audience’s experience is beneficial in understanding analytics. Feedback can be collected via emails, social media channels, and various other means. These are important in evaluating the show’s performance and if the desired objectives were fulfilled or not.
While collecting feedback, it can also be mentioned if there is another upcoming event of relevance. This is a great way to increase lead acquisition and brand promotions. The recording of the virtual show can also be provided to the attendees post the event highlighting their engagement.
Virtual shows, needless to say, can be conducted on any platform. It could be a virtual fashion show platform, a virtual motor show platform, or a virtual award show platform. No matter what the virtual show entails, what really matters is how well it is planned and executed and how well the audience responds to the show.
The step-by-step guide mentioned above can help build a virtual show from square one and result in sensational success. Virtual shows have a variety of categories and industries like conferences, webinars, concerts, etc. many platforms, like Dreamcast, allow to make required modifications as per the needs of the show.
Virtual events are the future and will be around long after the pandemic is over. The digital has given the world a new perspective, a new means to obtain the desired ends.