There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we do business nowadays and seeing as how the virus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, it’s safe to say that the business world will be forever changed by this crisis. Now that companies are adopting a remote work business model and that social distancing rules are preventing large gatherings, the challenge of organizing live corporate events can seem insurmountable for many planners and leaders. While organizing a live event is certainly impossible at the peak of the pandemic, we should be thinking about event management in the months and years to come.
What are events going to look like in the new normal? Will we continue organizing them in the same way as we did before the pandemic, or will leaders have to embrace a new approach altogether? Let’s delve deep into these questions and give you the five key tips you need to organize memorable corporate events in 2020 and beyond.
The push for hybrid events
Nowadays, small and medium-sized businesses are completely relying on digital events, but as the social distancing rules and quarantines around the world start to get lifted, we can expect corporate events to slowly start returning to their offline roots. That doesn’t mean that digital events won’t still be prevalent in the new normal, quite the contrary, as we can expect live events to only account for a fraction of all events around the world. Simply put, just because the COVID-19 is not as drastic, that doesn’t mean that you will be able to cram 500 people in the same venue.
This is why leaders will need to adopt a more hybrid approach to event planning in 2020 and the years to come. This approach combines online events with live offline gatherings, with the majority of attendees residing in the online realm. The offline portion of the event will be reserved for VIP attendees and with strict social distancing and hygiene measures.
Setting your event goals and KPIs
Now that the majority of events are organized online, you have to rethink the main goals and KPIs of your events. Predominantly, you’ll want to use online events to boost your marketing efforts, elevate brand awareness and trust, and of course, improve customer acquisition and retention. As you can see, most of your goals should be focused on elevating your digital presence and standing in the online world – providing that you have already integrated eCommerce into your business model.
Some of the crucial KPIs for measuring the success of your online event include:
- Event check-ins
- Attendee satisfaction analysis via surveys
- Your net promoter score
- Number of active community members
- Live polling response rate
- Speaker engagement
- New social media mentions
- Total number of registrations
- Social media engagement
- Revenue from ticket sales
- Sponsor satisfaction
- Engagement on sponsor pages
- Number of qualified leads
- Number of conversions
Monitoring these metrics will allow you to assess just how well your event performed, and it will help you improve your strategy for the future.
Ensuring production value for online events
When it comes to making your online events as engaging and memorable as possible, you need to focus on elevating the production value. This is one of the most important elements of online event planning and management, as you can’t hope to achieve your goals and improve your KPIs if you’re experiencing any technical difficulties, or if you don’t have professional speakers, or if the whole thing looks like it has been organized on a moment’s notice.
Quality event production is something that the Media Powerhouse professional event support team emphasizes in their event strategies, for example, bringing professional equipment, speakers, and other support staff to create a virtual production studio that ensures every event adheres to the highest standards. This is done through remote access for all presenters, audience, participants, and crew, on-screen content and animations, professional audio and video equipment, and a wide array of customizable features.
Integrating a reliable ticketing tool
Aside from quality production, you also need to use the right tools to organize an event to remember. You can use your project management tool to plan the event, but you should also integrate a smart ticketing tool to help with all financial tasks, funding, analytics, and more. With a reliable ticketing tool, you can control all aspects of your upcoming event and scale your marketing accordingly.
Marketing the event
Last but not least, to make an event capture the attention of your online audience and inspire them to save their seat, you need to invest in digital marketing. There are many digital marketing tactics you can use, and you can combine paid ads with SEO and influencer shout-outs to boost word of mouth and get your event in front of as many people as possible. Be sure to start your campaign several months before the big day to build up momentum and anticipation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we plan and organize events, but that doesn’t mean that your events can’t be more memorable and impactful than ever before. Be sure to use these tips to reach a wider audience and make a bigger impact on your community in the new normal.