Virtual events are revolutionizing conferencing, changing the way we meet and connect. Learn how they can help you reach a global audience while keeping your attendees engaged. And discover the importance of picking a single platform that can provide interactive experiences. XtendLive is a customizable and scalable 3D virtual event platform designed specifically for hosting virtual events. It creates unique environments while ensuring seamless interaction among participants.
5 Advantages of Hosting Virtual Events
Virtual events are more cost-effective than traditional face-to-face gatherings, plus going digital makes logistics easier without compromising on quality. And your Audience size is no longer limited by geography.
1. Welcome a Global Audience
Virtual events can connect you with potential customers in far-flung places. Attendees from all over the world can attend without worrying about travel arrangements or time zones.
2. Lower Overhead Costs
Venue rentals and catering services for physical events can be expensive. Attendee transportation logistics can swell your budget as well, and there are many other physical factors that cost money. Switching to a virtual format negates those factors while delivering a high-quality experience.
3. Be Eco-Friendly
Physical events can have big environmental footprints. Virtual events avoid the carbon emissions caused by:
- The physical waste of disposable swag, printed marketing materials, printed tickets, food and beverage items, etc.
- The energy needed to light and temperature control a venue, power exhibitor booths, and more
4. Include Everyone
When guests can join you online, barriers to attending your event disappear. A virtual event means you get to include people who:
- Have disabilities that make it difficult to travel or physically take part
- Can’t leave their children at home
- Have limited budgets
- Don’t have time to travel
- And more
5. Collect Better Data
The analysis you can do on traditional corporate events is impressive, but the data that can come from a virtual event is staggering. You can gather valuable information through things like:
- Logins: At the point of event login, you can access everything an attendee does at your event. That includes insight into what content they consume and how long they spend on it.
- Presentations: Learn how many people watch a presentation and how many turn it off before it’s over. Additionally, discover the exact moment people turn off a presentation and what event content they turn to next.
- Demographics: Match demographic data and user data to understand how different people interact with your event.
- Click-through rates (CTR): CTR and other indicators can track data like levels of engagement for exhibitor content, speakers, and sponsorships.
- Event registration forms
- Pre- and post-event surveys: Email matching can correlate event activity with survey data.
Ideas for an Engaging Virtual Event
Keeping a virtual audience engaged is the primary challenge of online events. That’s because when your guests are at home or consuming your content on the go, they have to tune out every other distraction. It can sometimes be a struggle.
The good news is engaging attendees is possible. It just takes a little more planning.
3D Studio-Produced Audio and Video
Webinar-style sessions are a hallmark of virtual events. Participants learn cutting-edge information from industry experts and thought leaders, but they attend from the comfort of their homes or offices. And scheduling is no issue. With robust virtual event software, you can easily schedule webinars to run simultaneously, and attendees can catch up on sessions they missed by using on-demand content libraries.
Video conferencing levels up with XtendLive’s 3D virtual studio production. Speakers and presenters are filmed and inserted real-time into a three-dimensional virtual world, enhancing the visual production attendees expect from an online event. A 3D virtual studio like the one used by XtendLive can do this with multiple people at once, even from different physical locations.
All the tech in the world can’t make a weak speaker engaging. Choosing a keynote speaker or other presenter for your virtual event isn’t the same as choosing one for an in-person event. Why?
An online speaker doesn’t have a captive audience. Attendees are at home or work, environments where they can get up and move or multitask. They are free to do anything else that feels more urgent or interesting. The presentations they’re watching have to feel more interesting, important, and enjoyable than their other options.
Virtual speakers have to understand something unique about the online audience: To each online audience member, the presentation they’re watching feels like a one-on-one interaction. For that reason, speakers need to make their presentations feel warmer and more intimate to reach the people you want them to.
Different Types of Discussion Formats
Almost any discussion format you would have at a physical event can work virtually. And you should use a variety of them! For instance:
- Panel discussions bring together diverse groups of professionals for lively debate.
- Interactive Q&A segments bring everybody into the conversations.
- Town hall discussions bring together a panel of experts and the opinions of their audience.
A Library of On-Demand Content
In today’s fast-paced world, people expect content at their fingertips. This is especially true in conferencing. Providing on-demand content is essential for ensuring attendee satisfaction and engagement. Enhance the value of your virtual event with a library of recorded presentations and resources that attendees can tap into any time.
Keynote Speeches On-Demand
The keynote speech anchors your conference, but not everyone can attend in real time. After the live session streaming is over, offer the speech as on-demand content.
Enhance your virtual event with an online library of white papers, case studies, articles, and videos from sessions. With XtendLive’s customizable platform, creating immersive experiences that cater to individual learning preferences was never easier. Attendees who may have missed a presentation or want to revisit specific points can explore the online library at their own pace. Your library can also include corollary materials, research, or handouts.
This strategy can increase engagement and promote long-term knowledge retention among audience members. Among the benefits of an online library:
- Extend your event’s lifespan: The library lets participants benefit from the conference long after it has ended.
- Widen your reach: On-demand content boosts engagement and adds value for attendees. Participants can share materials with colleagues who weren’t able to attend live sessions.
- Increase user satisfaction: Attendees can maximize their learning potential without feeling rushed.
Options for Interaction Within Your Event
- Gamification: Build in engagement features like interactive games, quizzes, or scavenger hunts. Points-based rewards systems and leaderboards can help keep guests invested in the outcomes of games.
- Social media: Integrate LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media platforms within the virtual environment. This encourages attendees to seamlessly share their experiences.
- Surveys and polls: Implement live polling during sessions to collect valuable feedback from attendees. You can also send a post-event survey via email.
Dedicated Networking Spaces
Conference attendees connect with like-minded individuals and build valuable relationships. It’s a major reason people attend corporate events. An event online shouldn’t sacrifice this social aspect. The right virtual conference platform can host a networking event or dedicated spaces for networking sessions, breakout groups, live chats, and more. These interactive elements encourage people to engage with each other and share about your event content.
Ensure a Seamless Virtual Event Experience
Your attendees will login to your online event platform expecting an experience as seamless as a physical event would be. There are a few things you can do to meet that expectation.
Communicate: Before, During, and After
Before: Contact attendees via email as soon as they register for your event and maintain contact through the day of. That includes:
- Providing clear instructions on how to access and navigate the online environment
- Sharing relevant social media platforms and hashtags
- Encouraging engagement on social media
- Explaining what to expect on event day
- Keeping participants in the loop about schedule changes, speaker announcements, and new content
During: In-platform notifications keep communication going during your event, with push notifications letting attendees know about upcoming sessions, discussions, and virtual networking opportunities.
After: Send a short email campaign to attendees after the event is over, including things like:
- A post-event survey to get their feedback
- Links to content they may have missed
- Information about how to keep in touch with you via social media and email
- Updates on any upcoming events you’re hosting
Provide Technical Support and Troubleshooting
Prioritizing technical support is essential for a successful virtual event. Beforehand, provide detailed guides to your guests on how to access and navigate the platform. Offer live assistance during test runs or rehearsals. This way, you address any potential issues before they can impact the actual event. Also make sure attendees know how to contact tech support should they run into trouble during the event.
Invest in High-Quality Video and Audio
Choosing a seamless, all-in-one virtual event platform; using professional equipment; and hiring an experienced production team is well worth it. The best way to avoid technical issues and negative attendee experiences is to start with quality products from the start.
Why Does the Virtual Platform Matter?
Going virtual expands your event’s reach beyond geographical limitations. It can reduce the costs associated with traditional events, and it provides valuable data about attendee engagement that can improve future events. For all these reasons, the virtual event platform you choose matters. While webinar software has its place, it lacks the features that truly engage attendees. Without attendee engagement, you won’t gain the loyalty, customer base, data, and clout you’re looking for.
How to Choose the Right Virtual Events Platform
Your corporate event success heavily relies on the virtual event software it’s built upon. A comprehensive virtual conference platform should focus on attendee engagement and seamlessly deliver content, while providing you with the data you need.
Here are elements to consider when vetting a virtual event platform:
- Usability: Unless you’re hosting a tech event, your audience won’t have high-level technical knowledge. The virtual event platform they login to needs to be intuitive.
- Sponsorship and Branding Opportunities: Choose a virtual event platform that has built-in opportunities for brand and sponsor messaging, so you don’t have to find workarounds to create them.
- Engagement and Networking Features: Look for gamification elements like achievements or badges and features like chat rooms, virtual whiteboards, and polls. Some platforms even have highly focused features like networking systems and AI-driven networking recommendations that make contact suggestions based on shared interests.
Many platforms have different price points for different features. Others price their services on an individual basis, depending on exactly the combination of features you need. Others set pricing based on the number of simultaneous sessions or speakers at your event.
- Integration: If you plan to use propriety or third-party software or features, the virtual event platform you choose should allow for integration.
- Tech Support: Look for robust tech support for you and your attendees.
- Bandwidth and User Numbers
- Browser and Device Compatibility
Data Collection and Content Restriction
- GDPR/CCPA Compliance: Attendee data should be held in a secure environment that complies with any relevant legislation.
- Content Protection: Your online platform should restrict or prohibit downloading content.
- Data Collection: Find out what kind of data you can collect from potential event platforms, at what points data can be collected, and what kinds of analytics the platform supports. Ideally, your platform should offer a range of data collection touchpoints.
How to Market a Virtual Event to Attendees
If you want to drive demand and increase registrations, you must promote your virtual meeting. Virtual event marketing can look like:
- Leverage social media channels to share updates and teasers.
- Inviting potential attendees using targeted email campaigns.
- Promote your event through industry-specific websites or forums.
- Creating an event website with all the details of your corporate event.
Why XtendLive Is the 3D Immersive Virtual Platform You Need
The XtendLive online platform was designed with you and your attendees in mind. It can fit any event goal you have, whether it’s a one-day team-building event or an annual sales conference. Our clients and their attendees are consistently amazed by how interactive events planned on the XtendLive platform are.
Our Flexible, Interactive Platform Fits Your Needs—and Your Attendees’
The event software of the XtendLive virtual platform is purpose-designed. That means we listen to what you need and bring it to you. Attendees from far-flung places can gather in virtual venues to interact with a variety of content and each another too.
Choose between our adaptable venue templates, or go custom:
- Virtual venue templates: Choose from a luxury hotel, a convention center, an expo hall, and even an island for your attendees to gather.
- Custom virtual venue: This is built from the ground up by our designers and tech teams to do exactly what you need and look exactly the way you want.
The XtendLive online platform can power everything from trade shows to education and training sessions, from pop-up experiences to meetings and conferences. It’s a scalable virtual event platform with customization options beyond the ordinary.
We Understand Attendee Engagement
Engaging attendees is the lifeblood of a virtual event, so engagement tools are part of every virtual space we create. Based on your goals, we can provide a wide range of content types and an equally wide range of ways for attendees to interact with them.
Some examples for increased engagement include:
- 3D virtual environments
- Television-quality production values
- Breakout spaces
- Social and entertainment spaces
- Live Q&A
- Live video presentations
- Gamification elements
- Text- and voice-based chat
We Prioritize Data
The potential for virtual event data is unmatched. From pre-event surveys and registration to day-of metrics, we plan your event to make lead retrieval easy and gather the information you need. That’s information you can use to make better decisions for your customers, offer better products, and plan better events.
We Work with You on Virtual Event Goals
You decided to go virtual, and you know why. But have you solidified the goals and objectives for your virtual event? In addition to virtual event management, we can help you understand your ideal demographics and target them, developing event goals that satisfy everyone’s needs.
Our Background Is Success
With decades of event planning experience tied to our sister companies, ProExhibits and ProGlobalEvents, our creative team is known in Silicon Valley and across the country for designing, building, and implementing innovative experiences that deliver outstanding results and captivate audiences, exceeding expectations.
XtendLive revolutionizes the online experience with personalized event branding and real-time analytics, plus top-notch engagement tools. The organizer experience makes hosting seamless with pre-event technical support, troubleshooting, and regular communication. We encourage you to explore the possibilities of hosting your next virtual or hybrid event using XtendLive. Contact us today!