How To Have A Successful Virtual Event
We continue the conversation around virtual events in part two of our conversation with Andrew Roby.
Andrew is the Founder of Andrew Roby Events. He has spent the last fifteen years in the event planning industry as both a corporate event organizer and a motivational speaker. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrew has completely reimagined virtual events, committing himself to making them a powerful and engaging experience for audiences.
Did you miss the first part of our conversation? Catch up on Part One now!
Make sure that your speakers, make sure that your sponsors, and everyone who has an active role, whether it’s speaking or displaying something during your virtual event, knows how to use the platform.
Welcome To Amplify
Welcome to Amplify with White Knight Productions. I’m your host, Gavin Tice. At White Knight, we’re all about amplifying voices through storytelling. And in this series, we’ll be connecting with industry professionals who know how to boost messages far and wide. Today, we’re thrilled to speak with Andrew Roby about how to execute an engaging virtual event.
What are some of the tips that you would give for planning a virtual event?
When you think of virtual events, you automatically think of, “Okay, well, I’ve done FaceTime before.” Or, “I’ve done a simple Zoom call before, so I get it. It’s no big deal.” But, in actuality, that’s probably some of the things that hinder us from being successful when planning our virtual event.
When it comes to making sure you execute a great virtual event, it is important that you have, one, the infrastructure in place, whatever your virtual platform may be, you know. It’s up to you to select that. But make sure that, one, you understand how to operate that virtual event platform—meaning, does it have streaming capabilities that are native, or do you have to embed a third-party platform to do that streaming for you?
Make sure that you are creating the content that is going to get your audience to be engaged with that content. And engagement, to me, goes beyond just having people use the chat feature.
I want people to do more than just use that as an opportunity or means to engage with the event itself. Maybe it’s gamification, where they’re roaming around and connecting with other people. Maybe it’s networking. Those are options that you can have.
Make sure that your speakers, make sure that your sponsors, and everyone who has an active role, whether it’s speaking or displaying something during your virtual event, know how to use the platform. Don’t wait until the day of to rehearse; spend time rehearsing and actively rehearsing, so that way, those participants are familiar with what that platform is going to do.
Most importantly, make sure you have adequate Wi-Fi to ensure that your streaming is going to be flawless. Streaming can come with a static IP or even a public IP address, to make sure that it allows everyone that is watching to be able to watch it without issue. So test and test again, because that’s really important.
Lastly, make sure that it looks good. We spend so much time with our in-person events, and making sure that those look good; your virtual atmosphere has to look great as well. Focus on your branding, your photos, and like we discussed, pre-recorded video can be made ahead of time to welcome guests to that virtual event. So those would be some of the tips I would recommend.
Do you have any go-to methods for making these events more engaging?
What really drives engagement during virtual events is making sure you have the opportunity to use your vendors. Your vendors are your biggest assets for engagement. These are your mixologists, your speakers, your keynotes, your magicians—everything else that you can imagine are going to be the ways that you will see your guests tune in and really use the chat features and the other methods of gamification to really be engaged for your event.
So don’t sleep on your vendors, because those are the people that are going to be able to drive your attendees to want to come back for more, be glued to their screens, and really see what your event has to offer.
Would you like to share any more experiences from your time in the event industry?
One of the things that I encourage everyone to do as an event producer or event organizer is to make sure you’re in tune with your audience. Your audience now is thousands of people, if not more, that have the chance to come to your virtual or hybrid event, to understand what it is that you’re putting out as content and all the experiences that you’re creating for them.
So it is important that you get their feedback. Get the feedback of your attendees and understand why they actually loved your event, why they came to your virtual event. But don’t just stop there. Make sure you talk to your vendors, your speakers, your keynotes, your A/V team, your producers, to get the feedback from them as well. Because the more information, the more data, that we have, the more we’re able to produce a more flawless event, an event that brings back people time and time again.
Thank you so much, Andrew, for taking the time and sitting down with us to talk about virtual event planning. To learn more about Andrew and his company, visit andrewrobyevents.com. And to hear more insider scoops on how to amplify your story, follow White Knight Productions on your preferred social media for updates on future episodes.
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Catch up on previous episodes of our series.