Many events have been canceled/postponed that people rely on to maintain their professional networks and also advance their domain knowledge. Keep people connected by moving planned in-person events to a virtual forum. Communities are where these new virtual events can become interactive and engaging for an audience.
Tips for Going Virtual
Determine how much lead time you have:
1 - 3 weeks out from in-person events the focus is more tactical. How do you record and distribute relevant presentations?
4 - 8 weeks out is an opportunity to get more strategic. Provide interactive opportunities or gamification with those viewing the content.
8-weeks or more is the time to develop your ‘going digital’ contingency plan. Know when you are going to make the go-no-go call and have the graphics, emails, and community engagement prepped and ready.
Define your virtual guest experience. Do you expect them to be at a desk, working from home, on their mobile device? Start the content with a recipe for a ‘make at home chai tea latte’ or provide ‘snack breaks’ during longer content sessions. Does Q+A need to occur at the end of a virtual session or can it occur in the middle? How do you plan to distribute a post-event survey? Is there a follow-up email or a personal outreach from a representative of your company?
Be clear and concise in messaging. Events are in the business of getting people to be social and there is no better way than in person. Let people know why you are moving to virtual vs. cancellation. Virtual should not be framed as a cancellation, but a shift in programming. Canceling an event would mean rebooking at a new date OR not being held at all. Be clear on what opportunities you have provided for people to connect digitally and still have meaningful conversations.
Restructure Goals + KPIs. Going virtual may change the goals of the event. What’s the key message you want people to learn from this experience? Make sure to outline that in your virtual content. Are you measuring against viewership, how long they view, or how many questions you get?
How to make a virtual event more interactive
One of the main ways to make an event virtual is to set up video, and a community can enrich those video streams by making them interactive.
Current customers can sign up for a Professional Services project to help embed video in their community today! Find more details in this post (customers only section of Atlas)
Virtual events can replace presentations, but at least half the value of a conference is the Q&A, hallway conversations, or random interactions at the breakfast/lunch tables. Communities provide a variety of discussion formats to help make up for the missing value of in-person events:
Consider methods of embedding your livestreams using Custom Components in Khoros Studio. You can place the component on prominent pages on the community and broadcast out with relative ease. Here is documentation on how to create Custom Components.
Forums for Q&A
Promote a ‘live’ Q+A experience. Encouraging users to log in at a dedicated time after watching an on-demand presentation or live stream to get real-time answers to their questions.
Idea boards to crowdsource innovation and improvement
Knowledge bases to record the best information shared
Contests to replace those raffles - to add back in a physical experience
Use any pre-purchased swag items as contest rewards. Give people a physical piece of the event, even though they could not attend in person.
Did we miss anything? Do you have any good examples? Here are a couple of our customers who are doing this right now.