An events team does not need to be digital experts to mount successful virtual events. What they need are the initiative to learn and the right people to collaborate with.
This is the last installment of our two-part series on virtual events.
With the events industry being a very dynamic sector, events teams know and are geared up to constantly adapt and improvise.
But they need to be mindful of some factors as well:
- Choosing the right event platform and provider. As with physical events, budget is a big consideration. But unlike physical events, the budget can balloon to include web development or event building, which can be expensive especially if the client wants many features and interactivity. Events differ in the features that they require so the platform and provider must be able to deliver on these requirements. Events teams also need to make sure the platform is easy to learn and use for attendees who might not want complicated interfaces.
- Managing timelines. Virtual events need a longer turnaround time. Developing and testing the event platform alone could take a month or more. Then, the team needs to train to use the platform and then train or orient the speakers. Doing a simulation might also be necessary, and this needs preparation as well.
- Managing technology and related requirements. In the Philippines where internet connection is unstable, especially in provinces, streaming a live event can be a big feat. Events teams need not only to understand and master the event platform but plan for contingencies as well, including managing clients who do not understand the technology that well and creating backup plans for when the connection drops.
- Balancing cost and event requirements. Of course, this depends largely on what the client wants and how much it is willing to spend on. The more creative and visually appealing an event is, the higher the cost. Whereas before the bulk of the budget goes to the venue, F&B, styling and setup, now it goes to the event platform, livestream team and production shoots. Hybrid events that require a setup would involve permits, safety measures and, in these times, COVID-19 testing, all of which add to the expenses. Some clients send food to the audience’s home as part of the event experience, which obviously adds to the overall cost as well.
- Creating the same live event vibe and impact. The biggest challenge perhaps is generating the spirit of live events and resonating with the audience as in a physical event but through the screen. Virtual events basically have the same goal, and that is to create that connection with the public. Events professionals therefore must make sure to spark that buzz in their online event and engage with the audiences. Event platforms continue to build on their interactivity features but one problem area is the attention span and user behavior for on-screen activities. This is where creativity in program execution would come in handy.
Experiences and interactions are concepts that have been constantly redefined by the ongoing health crisis. As more innovations are developed and incorporated into live events, we can say that we are not only watching the industry unfold but nurturing it as well.
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