We Can Help Your Next Online Event Be Successful!

But First, Some Helpful Tips

Everything from networkers to conferences to fundraisers are being moved online. Previously held beliefs about why events "had to be" held in-person are dissipating as people find new ways to interact online. People living in a remote-work world often crave human-to-human social interaction, idea-sharing, collaboration, networking, and face-to-face contact.

For more simplistic event structures, such as meetings, smaller gatherings, and certain types of webinars, we recommend Zoom + Breakout Rooms for events and meetings with less than 200 people, and Zoom Webinars for webinars and larger events.

Recommended Structure: Simple Events With Less Than 200 People

A recommended structure is as follows:

  1. Begin the event with a large-group discussion or keynote presentation.
  2. Begin speaker session, or divide people into breakout rooms
    1. For breakout rooms, use the Zoom Breakout Rooms feature.
      1. Use this for purposes of networking, or for dividing people up by speaker or presentation.
      2. Let Zoom do this for you automatically, or manually assign a facilitator from your team to each breakout room.
      3. Do a practice session first. The breakout rooms can be a little tricky.
  3. Reconvene with a large-group discussion or presentation.
  4. Repeat as necessary.

 

Webinars

Webinars are not traditionally as interactive as smaller online events and meetups, although they definitely can be. We put webinars in their own category since people craving human-to-human social interaction, idea-sharing, collaboration, networking, and face-to-face contact through video usually do not associate the term "webinar" with that kind of interaction 

While there are many, many webinar offerings out there – some more evergreen than others, and some meant specifically for live webinars – we recommend Zoom Webinars due to its simplicity, ease of use and setup, and cost structure, especially since many people will use the regular Zoom platform for day-to-day meetings and non-webinar activities.

 

Recommended Structure: Smaller Conferences or Events of 200+

We have seen conferences like MidCamp move completely online following this sort of structure:

  1. Create a Zoom meeting room for the "lobby" where new guests can enter with questions, or where folks can hang out in between sessions or on their lunch break, just as you would have a sort of "reception + hang out" area at any smaller conference.
  2. Create a community Slack channel for folks to chat and hang out. Create sub-topics/rooms as needed.
  3. Create a Zoom meeting room for each "room" you would normally have at a conference, i.e. "John Doe is speaking about XYZ in Room 202" – create a Zoom meeting room called "Room 202", and be prepared to ensure the speaker(s) can be unmuted, share their screen, whiteboard/draw on their screens to visually illustrate any points, and potentially become a meeting host if needed.

Voilà!

For larger or more complex conferences and similar events, see below.

Larger Events and Conferences

If you are attempting to emulate a conference with multiple speakers or facilitators, you may want to consider other options, such as the following live events platforms:

  1. Hopin
  2. INXPO Live Events
  3. On24

Hopin seems like the most robust, albeit not as polished or enterprise as Zoom. That's a pretty moot comment, however, since Zoom definitely can't do all that Hopin can.

 

The Role of Social Media and Slack

Social media and Slack are important components to keeping attendees connected during the little "in-between" moments of a conference, both for in-person and remote conferences.

Social media considerations

  • Twitter event hashtags. Twitter has been popular for real-time event communications for a long time now. Consider creating a Twitter event hashtag, which is an effective way to engage attendees, allowing them to follow and interact with your event, while also spreading public knowledge and awareness of your event and organization.
  • Live streaming. Consider incorporating live streaming platforms into your event logistics and strategy, such as Instagram TV (IGTV – create your own Instagram TV channel), Facebook LiveLinkedIn Live, etc.
  • Simulcasting. Most social networks and video platforms now offer some sort of live streaming solution. Consider "simulcasting", i.e. streaming to multiple platforms at once with LiveStream.

Slack

  • Slack Communities, i.e. open Slack channels that folks can join are a great way to keep people engaged and enjoying the event. 
  • You can create sub-topics that match the topical groupings of your event, moderate to keep things friendly, and get listed in public directories as a source of event promotion.

Fusing In-Person Event Experience With Digital Marketing

What We Do

We partner with local Minneapolis-based event production companies to create online events that closely replicate not only the experience but the business outcomes of in-person events.

Event Promotion Through Online Marketing

  1. Paid ads (Google and social media ad platforms)
  2. Social media management (posting and engaging)
  3. Organic traffic (SEO) 
  4. Digital media:
    1. Event branding and graphic design 
    2. Messaging 
      1. Persuasive messaging and copy editing to promote the event and increase conversions (i.e. event registrations)
  5. Landing and registration pages
    1. Any assistance Lady K needs
    2. Can spruce up / add graphics / etc
  6. Analytics and tracking
    1. Attribute sign-ups to marketing spend.
    2. Ensure event marketing spend leads to a satisfactory number of event registrations. 

Event Implementation and Coordination

We work closely with our local event production partners to handle the implementation and coordination of your event:

  1. Event logistics
  2. Event design
  3. Online event technology selection and setup
  4. Client management
  5. Planning meetings

Learn More About How You Can Master Online Events