🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

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Why Virtual Events Are the Future of Event Management

Virtual events offer increased accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility.

Events help bring people together, facilitate connections, and share knowledge.

But recently, the events industry has experienced a seismic shift – virtual events have taken center stage.

While adapting to online formats was initially a stopgap during the pandemic, data shows virtual events are now integral to any forward-thinking event strategy.

Despite the virtual setting, today’s event technology facilitates global community building in powerful ways.

At We & Goliath, we’ve witnessed firsthand how virtual and hybrid models create immense value for organizers and attendees alike.

In this guide, we’ll explore why interactive online events represent the future of audience engagement, data capabilities, cost efficiencies, and strategic impact.

You’ll understand the unique advantages of virtual – from amplified accessibility to invaluable data insights.

While in-person will always have a place, blending virtual elements future-proofs your approach and unlocks new opportunities.

Get ready to rethink possibilities for event participation, branding, and business growth.

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Join the Virtual Event Revolution!

Let our crew of creative tech wizards cast an online engagement spell to mesmerize your audiences into a virtual frenzy! 

A Shocking 59.4% of Brands View Virtual Events as Essential Going Forward

There are compelling drivers behind this trend.

  • Expanded Reach and Accessibility: Virtual removes geographical barriers, allowing you to engage audiences worldwide conveniently and cost-effectively.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Online platforms generate invaluable data about attendee behavior, preferences, and engagement levels – insights you simply can’t get from in-person events.
  • Lower Costs: Avoiding expenses like venue rentals, catering, travel, and accommodation means virtual events deliver more impact for less investment.

I’ll explain more benefits shortly.

All that is to say that with careful planning, virtual events captivate audiences, spark conversations, and cultivate community… All from the comfort of people’s homes and offices.

Innovative technology now enables dynamic, engaging online experiences on par with live events.

Expanded Global Reach and Accessibility

One of the most transformative benefits of hosting events online? 

The way it dramatically expands your potential global reach and makes the event more accessible to a wider audience.

By eliminating physical barriers related to travel and location, you can now market to and accommodate attendees from virtually anywhere across the globe.

💭 Just think about it – your previously Toronto-based cybersecurity conference could now have eager participants joining in from Sydney, Cape Town, and Tokyo without a single person having to hop on a plane or choose between attending and other important commitments.

Virtual platforms allow you to tap into entirely new demographics, geographic markets, and industry niches that may have been inaccessible in the past.

Online events also significantly enhance accessibility for those individuals who may face challenges with attending in-person, whether due to health conditions, disabilities, tight budgets, or simply jam-packed schedules.

Offering an online option helps make your event more inclusive and gives people the flexibility to participate in a way that works best for them.

So what’s the end result of all this?

Higher overall virtual attendance numbers that translate into a broader reach and more meaningful opportunities to share your content, build relationships, and showcase the value your business can provide.

The increased accessibility of online events expands your potential impact and audience in a truly powerful way.

Major Cost Savings

Let’s be real – hosting a large in-person conference or meeting requires some serious cash.

Between pricey venue rentals, AV equipment, fancy printed materials, feeding hordes of hungry attendees, flying in speakers from all over, and the sheer person-power needed to run the show… the costs can add up faster than your morning coffee bill.

And as any event planner knows, pesky factors like rising hotel and airfare prices always seem to take an extra chunk out of your budget.

But when you take things online?

Suddenly those massive, stress-inducing line items simply vanish from your expense sheet.

With virtual events, you can deliver an immersive, content-rich experience for a fraction of the cost of an in-person production.

Plus, attendees get to avoid those wallet-draining travel costs and can join in from the comfort of their own home or office.

It’s a win-win!

The huge cost savings of going virtual also means you have the budget to host more events throughout the year, making it easier to maintain consistent engagement with your target audience.

And more events equals more opportunities to attract leads, nurture relationships, and drive growth for your business.

Human Connection in a Digital World

Some argue that virtual events lack the human connection and engagement of in-person gatherings. 

The truth is that with the right strategies and tools, online experiences can be just as interactive and impactful, if not more so.

From live Q&A sessions and breakout rooms to gamification and networking lounges, virtual platforms offer a wealth of features designed to foster meaningful interactions between attendees, speakers, and exhibitors.

Leveraging these capabilities and getting creative with your format creates an atmosphere of genuine connection.

In fact, virtual events actually enhance the potential for human connection. How?

  • For one, people to engage on their own terms, without the distractions and limitations of a physical environment.
  • Attendees can easily move between sessions, join conversations that interest them. 
  • They can even connect one-on-one with speakers or fellow participants – all with the click of a button.
  • And with the ability to participate from anywhere, virtual events open up opportunities for connection and collaboration that may not have been possible otherwise.

So while it may all seem impersonal at first glance, the reality is that virtual events have the power to create deeply human experiences that inspire, educate, and unite us in powerful ways.

Valuable Data and Analytics

Traditional in-person events have always been kind of like a mystery novel when it comes to attendee behavior and engagement.

Sure, you can make some educated guesses based on head counts and enthusiasm levels, but concrete data?

Not so much.

But with virtual platforms, it’s a whole different story.

Suddenly you have access to a gold mine of valuable analytics that helps you better understand your audience and craft events that truly resonate.

💭 Think about all the insights you can glean: detailed attendee profiles and preferences from online registration forms, instant feedback from live polls and surveys, visibility into which sessions had people glued to their screens, and data on networking patterns and interactions.

It’s like having a secret window into the minds and hearts of your participants!

And the best part?

All of this powerful data allows you to continually fine-tune and optimize your event strategy.

You can quickly identify what content struck a chord, where to focus your resources for maximum impact, and how to design increasingly personalized experiences that leave attendees happy.

With each event, you’re collecting a treasure trove of insights that helps make the next one even better.

It’s like having a virtual event genie that keeps granting wishes for success!

And who wouldn’t want that kind of magic at their fingertips?

Get “The Event Success Playbook”

Our proven event planning playbook has step-by-step strategies to increase qualified leads 25%+, grow revenue, and boost engagement.

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Driving Engagement and Interaction

A common misconception is that virtual events can’t match the engagement and human connection of meeting face-to-face.

Thanks to innovative technology and platforms, that’s no longer the case.

Let’s explore how virtual events foster active participation.

Networking Opportunities

Virtual platforms replicate real-world networking capabilities through tools like:

  • One-on-one video chats
  • Group networking lounges
  • AI-powered matchmaking based on profiles and interests

Rather than aimless mingling, you get intelligent matchmaking paired with modern video/audio to enable focused, meaningful connections.

Some would argue it’s even better than the in-person free-for-all!

Gamification

Who doesn’t love a bit of friendly competition?

Gamification hooks like leaderboards, point-scoring, quizzes, and contests incentivize attendees to engage actively.

Humans are hard-wired to enjoy gameplay, so layering game mechanics into your virtual environment boosts participation.

You can even award prizes to top scorers or most visibly engaged attendees.

Audience Engagement Tools

Throughout sessions, moderators use tools like:

These create a two-way dialogue just like you’d expect from an in-person presentation or panel.

Attendees can ask questions, provide input, and be active participants rather than passive viewers.

Immersive Brand Experience

With a virtual event, the entire online environment represents an opportunity for branding and engagement.

Smart organizers design an end-to-end branded experience from start to finish.

The lobby or landing page sets the tone with branded visuals, sponsored booths, games, and more.

Session pages integrate your look-and-feel through backgrounds, overlays, and custom scenes.

Even breakout areas and networking lounges get the branded treatment.

You fully control the aesthetic and user journey to reinforce your brand identity at every touchpoint.

It envelops attendees in a cohesive branded world tailored to your messaging and objectives.

Savvy brands take it a step further with immersive extended reality (XR) elements like:

  • 3D product models and renderings
  • Interactive digital showrooms
  • Augmented reality (AR) demonstrations

These cutting-edge tools create an elevated branded experience that leaves a powerful impression.

The possibilities for creativity and differentiation are limitless.

One-on-One Meetings

Don’t underestimate the power of personal connection, even in virtual settings.

Most platforms allow attendees to request and schedule 1-on-1 video meetings with speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and other participants.

These private meetings recreate the “hallway convos” that are so valuable at live events.

Attendees get face time for their specific questions while you facilitate lead generation and networking.

One Central Hub

Perhaps the biggest engagement driver?

Having everything housed in one intuitive virtual venue.

Rather than dispersing audio, video, and chat across different tools, a unified platform streamlines the entire experience.

Attendees seamlessly navigate between the main sessions, expo floor, networking lounges, and sponsored activations.

They don’t get lost bouncing between disparate applications, so they stay focused and engaged throughout.

The holistic environment centralizes and simplifies participation, ultimately boosting overall activity levels.

When everything just works effortlessly, attendees are freed up to enjoy an immersive experience.

Easy starting packages • Advanced options • Proven results

The Virtual Event Technology Landscape

Choosing the right virtual event platform and tools directly impacts your ability to execute dynamic, engaging online experiences.

Let’s explore how different technologies influence and enable the attendee experience.

All-in-One Platforms

Platforms like Hopin provide an all-in-one virtual environment for hosting events.

They bundle together tools like:

  • Interactive live stage/presentation areas
  • Virtual exhibit halls and sponsor booths
  • Networking lounges with video chat
  • Gamification elements like leaderboards and prizes

These self-contained ecosystems enable an end-to-end branded experience from registration to post-event.

They consolidate everything attendees need to consume content, network, explore exhibitors, and get engaged.

Hopin and similar platforms integrate data analytics too.

You gain insights into overall engagement metrics, areas of high/low interaction, lead generation, and more.

The data informs smarter planning for future events.

Want expert guidance & exclusive deals on top online event software? Contact us today and save!

As a preferred production partner with top virtual event platforms, we get exclusive discounts and pass the savings along to our clients.

Webcasting and Video Streaming

The core of any virtual event is reliable, high-quality video streaming for sessions and keynotes.

That’s where webcasting tools like Vimeo Livestream and BrandLive come in.

Enterprise-grade webcasting provides glitch-free streaming at any scale.

Stable, professional-grade video ensures attendees stay present rather than dealing with constant buffering or technical difficulties.

Many webcasting platforms have built-in interactivity features like live Q&A, polls, and chat to further boost engagement during broadcasts.

Some even support monetization through paid registration or advertising.

Virtual Conference Hubs

Platforms like Airmeet provide environments replicating the experience of attending an in-person event virtually.

Spatial audio creates an immersive feel as you “move” between different areas.

You can easily pop in and out of different sessions, explore virtual exhibit halls and sponsor spaces, and connect with other attendees through AI-driven matchmaking.

The spatial design coupled with intelligent networking facilitates the same organic relationship-building as moving between physical spaces at a live event.

Just from the convenience of your home or office.

Webinar/Meeting Tools

While not full virtual event platforms, webinar and meeting tools play an important role for components like livestreams, presentations, and corporate communications.

User-friendly solutions like LiveWebinar provide simple, reliable streaming without a lot of bells and whistles.

The straightforward interfaces keep attendees focused on content rather than grappling with complex tech.

They offer light interactive elements like participant Q&A, polling, and chat to facilitate two-way engagement.

But the core value is rock-solid broadcasting for things like employee town halls, training sessions, and webinars.

Engagement Apps and Plugins

What virtual event platforms don’t always excel at out-of-the-box?

Highly interactive and gamified experiences tailored to your specific objectives and creative vision.

Third-party apps and plugins like Slido and Brella plug that gap.

They provide specialized functionality for things like:

  • Live polling and word clouds during sessions
  • Quizzes and trivia games
  • Sports-themed prediction games
  • AI-powered matchmaking
  • Gamification elements like points, badges, and leaderboards

These tools integrate with platforms or livestreams to layer in fun, participatory activations that amplify engagement.

The more creatively you incorporate them, the more immersive and memorable the experience becomes.

Today's ecosystem offers a wealth of solutions catering to every virtual event need - end-to-end platforms, broadcasting, interactive environments, engagement layers, etc.

Leveraging the right blend of tools is key to delivering standout experiences tailored to your audiences and goals.

Looking Ahead: The Permanent Rise of Virtual

When the pandemic disrupted the world, virtual events went from nice-to-have to necessity for organizations everywhere.

What started as a temporary pivot has proven virtual events merit a permanent seat at the strategic table.

The benefits and capabilities we’ve covered demonstrate how interactive online events provide incredible value – from globalizing your reach and generating rich data, to reducing costs and delivering sustainable experiences.

Always think of virtual as a core component of your event strategy moving forward, not just a backup option.

As comfort levels and adoption increase across audiences, expect to see more brands embrace long-term virtual event programs and calendars.

They provide an efficient, high-impact way to nurture relationships and consistently engage customers, prospects, employees, and partners year-round.

Let's Slay Your Next Event Giant!

Tired of virtual events falling flat?

Need help to engage remote audiences?

The virtual event revolution is here, but executing strategic, results-driven online events requires expertise.

Don’t go it alone – partner with the battle-tested pros at We & Goliath.

We offer strategic event solutions and advanced virtual platforms.

Create engaging virtual experiences and deliver tangible business benefits for your next big impact event.

Let’s connect to discuss your goals and schedule a tailored virtual event strategy session.

With over 20 years of experience, our slingshot is locked and loaded – together, we’ll take down any event giant standing between you and virtual event success!

Don’t wait.

We & Goliath

We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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